In March of 1995, The Nature Conservancy designated the Baraboo hills as a “Last Great Place,” one of only 75 outstanding ecosystems in the western hemisphere and today as you know, we can explore this great place at one of Wisconsin’s most popular state parks, Devil’s Lake. However there are some smaller tucked away areas just perfect for those of us looking to avoid the crowds and really feel alone with nature. One little known area is just west of Devil’s Lake State Park and is known as Baxter’s Hollow.
Baxter’s Hollow is managed by the Nature Conservancy and is a dedicated State Natural area with one marginally maintained trail. This is not a public park as such, but a preserve. The trail is often muddy and is not meant for extensive public traffic. It is most often used by student groups studying the Wisconsin Environment.
Baxter’s Hollow is notable for the large area of deep forest and the mountain-like Otter creek within. At Baxter’s Hollow there are still moments when you can stand and listen to nothing but the breeze rolling through the hollow and the occasional songs of the native birds. Baxter’s Hollow is your best chance to bypass the summer tourists and explore the quiet natural wonder of our beautiful state.
Directions – Take Highway 12 south out of Baraboo continue about 5 miles up over the Baraboo Bluffs and just before the Badger Munitions plant. Take a right on Kings Corner Rd. Follow it about 2 miles and take a right on Stones Pocket Road. Stones Pocket is a beautiful drive along a rocky stream bed that will lead you right up to the Nature Conservancy trail. You will have to park along the road.
Photos of Baxter’s Hollow
Click on any photo to enlarge.