Lower Narrows, SNA #533 (45/674)

Lower Narrows is a beautiful and great example of the geologic history of our state.  It represents a break in the Baraboo Range and was likely carved by a preglacial river.  Today, the Baraboo River flows through the 900-foot wide, 230-foot high gorge.  Further to the west, another SNA, Ableman’s Gorge, represents a similar break in the range and is referred to as the ‘Upper Narrows’.  Rhyolite, a volanic rock, is found here, though the bulk of the gorge is Precambrian Baraboo quartzite.  A portion of the rock gorge is exposed as seen in several of the photos below, but much of the SNA (the Narrows’ western side), is covered in a southern dry-mesic forest.  There are some prairie plants present below the gorge, though this is not a high quality example of that natural community.  This is also one of a few places in Wisconsin to see our native cactus, the eastern prickly pear.  On my visit here, I spent most of my time examining the gorge from below and roaming the prairie.  I plan to return and explore the forest a bit more and seeing the area from on top of the rock as well.

More of my photos from Lower Narrows can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 533
Size (Acres) 146
Natural Communities / Geology
Southern Dry-Mesic Forest, Prairie, Gorge
County Sauk
Parking Parking area (gravel)
Trails No
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within na
Dates Visited 7.25.09

Sauk
Sauk County
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