“Gorges, caverns, & amazing swimming holes!”
Pewits Nest State Natural Area is a nature reserve of Wisconsin, USA, that includes a deep gorge formed during the retreat of the last glacier. Pewits Nest is outside of Baraboo in Sauk County. At one time a waterwheel and mill were located on the site and "an individual lived in the solid sandstone, like a gnome in a cavern." The name of the site was a result of early settlers calling it "Peewit's Nest" after the abode, ten feet above a deep pool of water, resembling the nest of a phoebe (or peewit, an earlier name for this bird). The water-wheel once turned lathes for repairing or manufacturing equipment, but no evidence of it remains. Pewits Nest is owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and was designated a State Natural Area in 1985. When Glacial Lake Baraboo drained, Skillet Creek cut a narrow canyon through the Cambrian sandstone, forming a number of potholes and waterfalls. The creek that runs through the cliff is Skillet Creek. The layers of Cambrian sandstone show that finer-grained sediment was laid down by the Cambrian seas, Sandstones are found in layers. Forest cover includes red cedar, white pine, red pine, and yellow birch.
Pewit's Nest State Natural Area was never meant to be used as a swimming hole. Its overuse in this way is destroying the natural beauty of the gorge and the surrounding forest. Note that a new DNR plan is underway to restrict its use, limit hiking to well defined trails, and prohibit climbing the cliff walls and jumping into the pools.
Stopped here on a road trip. We couldn't figure out where the main swimming hole and waterfall picture was but did find another place that was easy to get to. The water was freezing but that didn't stop us from swimming! Some of the trails are overgrown though or messed up from the excessive rain fall this year but its still a pretty place and was surprised to find it after miles of farm fields! Definitely a great place to visit if you want to get away from the touristy Dells.
A sweet easy beautiful stop for a swim or easy walk
Little treasure of a place parking is extremely limited at the canyon but if you can either wait around for someone to leave or you can park on the side of the road and risk getting a ticket. Great little hike and up the canyon and a way to get down or you can swim to the shallow part and hike it that way. Either way it's a beautiful experience the sound of nature and the waterfalls accentuates your connection with the Universe and nature. Wondrous place for sure. Thank you introducing me to this place. :-)
CLOSED for cliff jumping. PEOPLE! It is now against the law to jump from the cliffs, climb on the rocks, bring in food/beverage, enter the newly-posted "closed area" or be on the Pewit's Nest property between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.. Violators are subject to a hefty $175.30 fine.
This place has been loved nearly to death over the past few years after being popularized through social media as a place to party and cliff jump into Skillet Creek. It was established as a nature preserve and was never meant to be what it has become: an overused, abused, eroded hangout. Several people have been injured from jumping from the cliffs, and that, along with the defacement of the property, prompted the State to close portions of the site to protect public safety and the site's natural features.
Visitors may still hike on the property to enjoy the scenery, but stay home if you intend to cliff jump.
Me and the boys went in October and it was beautiful! It was a little muddy because it rained the day before.
Must have gone at the wrong time of the year, water levels were low the place looked muddy. Nothing special, id skip it.
Beautiful river flowing the through the canyon. The picture above looks very different at the end of winter (I went in March) as the river is much higher then and the only way to view the canyon is from the top. Great for a short kayak ride and/a brisk walk along the edge of the canyon. Wonderful place to sit back and listen to the river flowing as the birds chirp in the background.
Beautiful short hike to a gorgeous view in the fall!
Lovely place. I went in early february and the stream was frozen over. Pretty, but they don't plow the snow from the parking area. So don't get stuck. Highly recommended and I'll be back when it's warmer.
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Pewits Nest Canyon
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm
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