Pewit's Nest State Natural Area

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Pewit's Nest State Natural Area
Wisconsin State Natural Area
Final74.jpg
The Gorge at Pewit's nest
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Sauk
Location Baraboo
 - elevation 892 ft (272 m) [1]
 - coordinates 43°27′4″N 89°47′24″W / 43.45111°N 89.79000°W / 43.45111; -89.79000Coordinates: 43°27′4″N 89°47′24″W / 43.45111°N 89.79000°W / 43.45111; -89.79000
Area 36 acres (15 ha)
Founded 1985
Management Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Location of Pewits Nest State Natural Area in Wisconsin

Pewit's Nest State Natural Area is a nature reserve of Wisconsin, USA, that includes a deep gorge formed during the retreat of the last glacier. Pewit's Nest is outside of Baraboo in Sauk County. At one time a waterwheel and mill were located on the site and an individual lived in the solid sandstone. The name of the site was a result of early settlers calling it "Peewit's Nest" after the abode, ten feet above a deep pool of water, resembling the nest of a phoebe (or peewit, an earlier name for this bird). The water-wheel once turned lathes for repairing or manufacturing equipment, but no evidence of it remains. Pewit's Nest is owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and was designated a State Natural Area in 1985.

Prehistory[edit]

When Glacial Lake Baraboo drained, Skillet Creek cut a narrow canyon through the Cambrian sandstone, forming a number of potholes and waterfalls. The layers of Cambrian sandstone show that finer-grained sediment was laid down by the Cambrian seas, Sandstones are found in layers. Forest cover includes red cedar, white pine, red pine, and yellow birch.

Description[edit]

The area includes red cedar, white pine, hemlock, and yellow birch trees as well as Skillet Creek, shaded cliffs, and a northern dry-mesic forest. It is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) off of U.S. Highway 12 and County W in southwest Baraboo.

Tourism[edit]

An increase in awareness has caused a surge of visitors to Pewit's Nest, especially during the summer months. The area has since become a local swimming hole, as well as a popular site for hiking. Camping and cliff climbing/diving are also popular, but the Devil's Lake State Park staff considers these activities dangerous and advises against them.[2]

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