Pewit's Nest State Natural Area
|Pewit's Nest State Natural Area|
|Wisconsin State Natural Area|
The Gorge at Pewit's nest
|- elevation||892 ft (272 m) |
|Area||36 acres (15 ha)|
|Management||Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources|
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.
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.
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.
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.
- "Pewits Nest State Natural Area". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 2006-01-03. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
- "Pewit's Nest, Devil's Lake State Park Visitor Guide". Retrieved August 1, 2016.