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Explore These 4 Wisconsin State Natural Areas

Skip the waterparks and head into the woods!

By: Andy Merkel + Save to a List

When you visit Wisconsin Dells or Devils Lake State Park, there are plenty of other places nearby that you should check out when the parking lots are full. Here are some of the best areas you should check out in the area! 

1. Pewit's Nest State Natural Area

About a 15 minute drive northwest of Devils Lake, this hidden gem is closed off as of 2018 to all cliff-jumping! People have seriously injuring themselves. Please see the park's website for more details. You can still get into the area, view this area from the bottom and go swimming! This will take you about 5-10 minutes to walk into the main area.  

2. Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area

About a 10 minute drive east of Devils Lake, is one of the best kept secrets of the Baraboo area. (Actually, the parking lot is usually full!) This hike will take you about 1 hour to 2 hours total and you will have to go into a river about 2 to 6 inches deep or test your skill hopping on creek rocks. Bring bug spray, hiking boots, and trekking poles for a one-of-a-kind adventure.

3. Ferry Bluff State Natural Area

About 25 minutes south of Devils Lake right on the Wisconsin River lies a wonderful area that overlooks the water on 300 ft. cliffs!

4. Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

About 30-32 minutes south of Devils Lake in the Baraboo foothills lies an amazing hike up to the cliffs overlooking the driftless farmlands of Wisconsin. This is another hidden gem 200 ft high that is slowly gathering traction in 2018!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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