Although The Aldo Leopold Foundation is currently closed to visitors through March, start planning now to make your pilgrimage to the Shack, we’re working hard to get it ready for you and others. Can’t wait to see you!

Crane Congregations

Aldo Leopold would marvel today at the spectacle of sandhill cranes gathering each fall on the Wisconsin River’s sandbars just behind his beloved Shack. The Aldo Leopold Shack and Farm has become the region’s premier vantage point to experience the incredible sights and sounds as the cranes congregate by the thousands before commencing their annual migration.

Take a sneak peek of our Crane Congregation Tour!

Viewing Opportunities

Crane programs are offered mid November through early December. Sign up for our monthly e-news letter to be the first to know when tickets become available. Explore our three program options below, we hope to see you in 2022!


*Standard Tours (Tues-Wed, $35/person)

We invite you to spend an evening with our education and land stewardship fellows to experience the phenomena of crane congregations! The experience will begin with an interactive family-friendly presentation that will reveal the history and wonder of sandhill cranes, followed by an open-air wagon ride to our crane blind situated on the banks of the WI River.  From the blind you will witness  upwards of 10,000 cranes congregating on the shores. This slightly condensed tour lasts about two and a half hours. Participants are welcome to bring their own snacks and water bottle.

* Premium Tours (Thurs-Sun, $70/person)

Join us for a premium crane tour. The experience will begin with a presentation from world-renowned bird expert  Dr. Stan Temple, Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  This presentation will orient individuals to the history and behaviors of the sandhill cranes.  An open-air, rustic ride through the floodplain will bring guests within a short walk of the large viewing blind situated on the bank of the Wisconsin River within the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area. The blind affords ample space to observe the incredible phenomenon of congregating cranes. This experience runs for about four hours and ends shortly after sunset.

*Optional: Join us for a complimentary tour of the Leopold Shack and Farm one hour before the program for the full experience! These tours are only open to premium crane tour participants.

* Virtual Crane Tours (Dec, 2022)

Not able to join us in person? No worries, The Aldo Leopold Foundation hosts virtual crane tours as well! Enjoy the marvel of 10,000 sandhill cranes from the comfort of your own home. World-renowned ornithologist  Dr. Stan Temple, Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin – Madison will be your virtual guide during this FREE 1 hour event. Programs will be held  online via demio.


Frequently Asked Questions

Considering joining us, but have some questions? Consult our handy FAQs.

FAQS