Geography of Brown County, Wisconsin


Brown County, situated in northeastern Wisconsin, is a region distinguished by its diverse landscapes, vibrant communities, and the significance of the Fox River. This comprehensive overview will delve into the topography, climate, rivers, lakes, and other geographical elements that contribute to the unique character of Brown County.


According to healthknowing, Brown County features a relatively flat to gently rolling topography, a characteristic of the Central Lowland region of North America. The county is part of the broader Great Lakes Basin, with the Fox River playing a central role in shaping the local landscape. Elevations in Brown County range from approximately 580 feet (177 meters) above sea level at the lowest point to around 1,200 feet (366 meters) at the highest.

The county’s topography is influenced by glacial activity, with the last ice age leaving its mark on the region through the deposition of glacial till and the creation of moraines. The result is a mix of plains, hills, and river valleys that contribute to the overall diversity of the terrain.


Brown County experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by distinct seasons with cold winters and warm summers. The climate is influenced by the proximity of Lake Michigan, which has a moderating effect on temperatures and can contribute to lake-effect snowfall during winter.

Winter temperatures in Brown County can range from 15 to 30°F (-9 to -1°C), while summer temperatures typically range from 60 to 80°F (16 to 27°C). The region receives a moderate amount of precipitation throughout the year, with snowfall in winter contributing to seasonal snow cover.

Rivers and Lakes:

The Fox River is a defining feature of Brown County, meandering through the heart of the region. The river plays a crucial role in the county’s geography, providing a watercourse for transportation, recreation, and supporting the local ecosystem. The Lower Fox River, particularly the section that flows through Green Bay, has been historically important for trade and commerce.

Brown County is not characterized by large natural lakes, but it has numerous smaller lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, often created for recreational purposes, flood control, or water supply. These water bodies contribute to the local hydrology and provide opportunities for fishing, boating, and other water-based activities.

Vegetation and Wildlife:

The natural vegetation in Brown County is representative of the Central Lowland region and includes mixed hardwood forests, grasslands, and wetlands. Oak, maple, birch, and coniferous trees populate the wooded areas, contributing to the region’s biodiversity.

Wildlife in Brown County is diverse, with mammals such as white-tailed deer, foxes, raccoons, and various bird species inhabiting the region. The Fox River and its adjacent wetlands provide important habitats for waterfowl and other aquatic species. Conservation efforts in the county focus on preserving natural habitats, maintaining water quality, and supporting biodiversity.

Geological Features:

Brown County’s geological features are shaped by glacial processes and the underlying bedrock of the Central Lowland region. Glacial deposits, including moraines and drumlins, are evident in the landscape and contribute to the varied topography of the county.

The Fox River itself has played a significant role in shaping the region’s geology. The river has cut through glacial deposits, creating river valleys and contributing to the formation of fertile plains along its banks. The Lower Fox River Valley has been historically important for agriculture and settlement.

Human Impact and Activities:

Brown County is home to several communities, with Green Bay as its largest city and the county seat. Other notable towns include De Pere, Ashwaubenon, and Howard. The city of Green Bay is not only an economic hub but also home to the Green Bay Packers, one of the most iconic teams in professional football.

Agriculture has been historically significant in Brown County, with fertile soils supporting the cultivation of crops such as corn, soybeans, and dairy farming. The Fox River has played a role in transportation and trade, contributing to the economic development of the region.

The county is an economic and cultural center, with industries ranging from manufacturing and healthcare to education and technology. The Green Bay metropolitan area is a regional hub for commerce and services, providing employment opportunities and amenities for residents.

The Fox River, in addition to its historical importance, contributes to recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and waterfront events. The riverwalks and parks along its banks enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Efforts to balance economic development with environmental conservation are evident in Brown County. The preservation of green spaces, wetlands, and natural habitats is a priority, ensuring that the county maintains its ecological health while accommodating growth and urbanization.


Brown County, Wisconsin, is a region where natural beauty and human activity coexist harmoniously. From the gently rolling landscapes and the vital Fox River to the vibrant communities of Green Bay and beyond, the county encapsulates the spirit of the American Midwest. As Brown County continues to evolve and grow, a commitment to sustainable practices, environmental stewardship, and the preservation of its unique geographical features will be essential for ensuring a thriving and resilient future.