Baxter’s Hollow, SNA #82 (8/674)

Blankets of wildflowers fill the gorge at Baxter’s Hollow and avian melodies fill the air around Otter Creek.  Perhaps a reflection of its glacial origins, Baxter’s Hollow is a site that is in seemingly constant flux.  Heavy spring rains flood the gorge and wield immense power.  During my first visit, I came upon a washed-out bridge on Stone’s Pocket Rd, which precluded deeper access to the area.  Repairs were made, but a few years later more washouts destroyed the road.  Eventually, the town decided to no longer repair the road and instead built a gravel parking area prior to the bridge.  Baxter’s Hollow is a massive piece of land and is the largest Nature Conservancy property in Wisconsin.  The creek supports an amazing array of aquatic insects (78 species of caddisfly!) and geology of the gorge allows cool air to fill the area and enable a white pine forest to survive near the stream.  Baxter’s Hollow is a birder’s paradise with several rare species found here including the state-endangered worm-eating warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus) and the state-threatened Kentucky warbler (Oporornis formosus) and hooded warbler (Setophaga citrina).  I have been to Baxter’s Hollow five times already and I plan to visit again and again.

More of my photos from Baxter’s Hollow can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 82
County Sauk
Parking Parking Area (gravel)
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership The Nature Conservancy (more info: Wisconsin DNR)
Located Within na
Dates Visited 6.14.09 / 4.2.10 / 5.8.10 / 10.8.11 / 5.25.14

Sauk
Sauk County
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