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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can explore wetlands without bringing wading boots. Elevated wooden boardwalks wind through this picturesque and wooded park.
- 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!