Wisconsin Hiking, Nature June 04, 2018
This Easy Wildflower Hike In Wisconsin Will Transport You Into A Sea Of Color
There’s a little known nature conservancy just outside Madison. Pheasant Branch Nature Conservancy is more than 500 acres that protects Pheasant Branch Creek, which supplies Lake Mendota with 1,800 gallons of water every minute. This stunning spot has rolling prairies as well as hills that provide a panoramic view of the Capitol Building, the downtown Madison skyline, and Lake Mendota. Perched right on the northwest corner shore of Lake Mendota, this area is home to tons of wildlife, including cranes, as is one of the most beautiful hikes in the state. There are tons of trails to choose from, but the outer loop is just 3.1 miles, doesn’t have a lot of elevation change and is great for hikers of all ages and abilities. And in Spring, it’s awash with fields of wildflowers.
This path is truly stunning, with a trail that winds through through woods, wetlands, and prairies. There are numerous side trails and paths to take you to view points and to the water. And at times, everywhere you look are flowers.
You'll find yourself stopping often to take in the views and enjoy the beauty of these flower-covered hills.
The stunning colors of the wildflower make a gorgeous visual and their sweet scent draws in butterflies and insects of all kinds.
You'll never get sick of these welcoming, wonderful Spring views. They're such a welcome sight after a long winter.
One of the reasons this is such a great hike is that it takes you into very different territory over its short span. There are boardwalk areas to protect marshy parts and lead you to a natural spring.
Picnic hill gives stunning views back into Madison and is a relatively easy climb. Atop the hill are also Native American effigy mounds.
For some of this hike, you'll be near development and the city of Middleton, which makes it easily accessible and good for a quick morning or afternoon in nature.
Other parts of the hike, especially those in the woods and through the marshy areas, make you feel far, far away from home. This hike really has everything and it's so convenient for those living right in Madison.
When the wildflowers are in bloom, the hillsides and prairie are awash in color and the whole hike is transformed.
There's just something so calming, welcoming and happy about a field of wildflowers that you know have survived a long, harsh winter and are emerging in warmer weather to celebrate their survival and welcome in the start of a new life cycle.
Pheasant Branch Conservancy's outer loop trail is really great for families and hikers of all ages and abilities. Much of the trail is accessible, with paved areas and the boardwalk making for a good place to take those with mobility difficulties. The lack of major elevation changes makes this one a great spot for little legs and the riot of color of the wildflowers will keep kids fascinated.
It's never easy to find wildflower hikes, but this trail is right in an urban area and easy to get to, making it the perfect spot for a quick morning or evening hike.
You'll feel far away from any troubles or stress as you gaze out over Madison laid below you. The rolling hills covered in wildflowers are the perfect backdrop for this stunning, easy and relaxing hike.
You won't regret planning a morning or afternoon here, smelling the sweet scent of the wildflowers, enjoying the stellar views and escaping the stress of life for a few hours. Pheasant Branch Conservancy is the perfect urban hike to let you (metaphorically) stop and smell the roses.
Access the trail from Orchard Heights Park, 3960 Valley Ridge Rd., Middleton WI 53562.
Learn more about the Pheasant Branch Conservancy at their website here.
Looking for more gorgeous, in bloom spots? Check out
These Are The 10 Most Colorful Spots You Can Visit In Wisconsin This Spring.