South Central WI Hiking

Hiking Baxter’s Hollow

Baxter's Hollow
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.  We may take a little longer than most because of all the stopping I do to capture pictures and enjoy the scenery.

Baxter's Hollow

We parked on the north side of the trail and entered from Forest Drive. 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.Hiking Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area trail markers

I think it could be 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.Hiking Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area fallen tree.

After we crested the first hill:

The trail became more defined and seemed to even out a bit.Hiking Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area decaying tree

I 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.

Hiking Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area interesting rock formation.

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.

Hiking Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area near Sauk City footbridge

Next, we came to a very cool footbridge.  I have seen bridges made like this, what a great idea to keep things more natural looking.

Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area tiny bridge

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.

Hiking Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin Natural Area stream

I don’t know how this trail usually is but it got wet and muddy in spots for us.  I didn’t mind though because it made for some beautiful streams along the way.  Just make sure you have the proper footwear for this trail.

I was very thankful for my waterproof hiking shoes.  I have had them for over three 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 three years ago than they are now.

Baxter's Hollow Wisconsin State Natural Area old homestead fireplace

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.

 External Links:


Map & Directions to Baxter’s Hollow Natural Area

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. 

Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

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