Hiking Baxter’s Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area:
We spent a chilly Saturday afternoon hiking Baxter’s Hollow. The hike took us just over 3 hours. I think we may take a little longer than most when hiking because of all the stopping I do to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.
We parked on the north side of the trail and entered from Forest Drive. This is a hike out and back trail, I usually prefer a loop but sometimes turning around and going back the way we came can help me to see things differently.
I think it could be very easy to lose sight of the trail, and possibly even get lost while hiking Baxter’s Hollow. There are signs on the tree’s letting you know which way to go but if you are not paying close attention you can easily miss one and be off the trail in a hurry.
I had to watch where I was walking for much of the hike. There were many large rocks and exposed tree roots to trip over. It was very muddy in areas and the ground was covered in leaves hiding many of the hazards.
We did a lot of stumbling along the way.
After we crested the first hill:
The trail became more defined and seemed to even out a bit.
I really like this fallen tree. When it came down it must have been covering the trail. Someone came in and split it up, I think it is beautiful.
When we first hiked past this rock formation I wanted to get a closer look. But some hikers were having a picnic lunch on top of it and we didn’t want to disturb them.
Sometimes not having a looped trail is better. I remembered how thankful I was to be in the woods hiking Baxter’s Hollow instead of sitting inside at my desk.
I must admit I did find this tiny bridge a little intimidating. It almost appeared as though the original bridge had fallen apart and this was what was left.
I don’t know how this trail is normally but it got really wet and muddy in spots for us. I didn’t mind though because it made for some really pretty streams along the way. Just make sure you have the proper footwear for this trail.
I was very thankful for my waterproof hiking shoes, Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX W-W I have had them for over 3 years and they are still going strong. My only complaint, and it’s not with the shoes, I should have bought hiking boots instead of shoes. But my ankles were better 3 years ago than they are now.
We were nearing the end of the trail:
About to turn around and go back the way we came. Thinking we had seen everything when we spotted this old fireplace from a former homestead, just a little ways off the trail. I love finding “easter eggs” like this in the woods.
Overall this hike was super enjoyable and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a less maintained, less traveled trail.
Other hiking locations within a 30-mile drive:
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When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.
Always give more than you take and leave no trace.
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