Pheasant Branch nature walks

A fantastic place to experience nature is located on Middleton’s northeast side. The expansive 550-acre Pheasant Branch Conservancy is laced with trails, allowing for a short stroll with the kids or a longer hike with a friend. Here are five tips for exploring Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

  1. Head up Frederick’s Hill for the best panoramic views. It’s a bit of a hike but worth the journey. This hill is crowned with old bur oak trees, the remnant of an Oak Savannah. You can take in a view that stretches for miles – it’s even possible to see the State Capitol in Madison. Frederick’s Hill is located on the northern side of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, with parking available just off Pheasant Branch Road.
  2. Take time to admire the native prairie. The steep side of Frederick’s Hill was not suitable for farming when the area was settled, so it helped preserved a piece of history. This land has likely been prairie for thousands of years.
  3. Explore Native American history throughout the conservancy. Frederick’s Hill is a sacred site, topped with effigy mounds. In more recent times, Black Hawk and his followers camped on this land as they retreated during the 1832 Black Hawk War.
  4. You can explore wetlands without bringing wading boots. Elevated wooden boardwalks wind through this picturesque and wooded park.
  5. Head to the trails on the park’s northeast side to admire a wealth of prairie flowers. In the late summer, the plants and grasses here can tower above a hiker’s head!
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