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Natural Bridge State Park

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Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Look for this "show-stopper" -- Lobelia cardinalis, in sunbroken creekbeds
Description - Natural Bridge State Park embraces 530 acres of oak woodlands, dry prairie, open fields, and a natural sandstone arch serving as its focal point. Located in Southwest Wisconsin, this remote and quiet park harbors one of the oldest inhabited sites on record in the Midwest. The wind and water-carved sandstone expands 25 feet wide and 15 feet high with the top towering 35 feet above ground level. The Raddatz rock shelter at the base of the natural arc is 60 feet wide with a depth of 30 feet and is believed to have been inhabited by Paleo-Indians approximately 11,000 years ago when a glacier moved nearby the area. The rugged, wooded terrain is rich with bird life and common furbearers including white-tailed deer, fox, and squirrels.

Attractions - The small state park features a rustic picnic grove, seasonal nature study, pit toilets, and several hiking trails. Indian Moccasin Trail is an interpretive trail and Whitetail Hiking Trail makes for a scenic autumn excursion. Sightseeing is why folks come to Natural Bridge State Park known for its ancient wind-carved bridge and rock shelter. The interpretive trail provides access. Touring the park provides sights of an old log granary and a smokehouse. Snowmobiling is permitted in winter.

Located near the park is a featured Wisconsin Rustic Road. R-21 travels over rugged and rolling terrain punctuated with stately old hardwoods, native wildflowers, and picturesque farmland. Also near the park is Baxter's Hollow, a 4,000-acre Nature Conservancy Preserve boasting 135 kinds of birds and rare aquatic life including the pickerel frog. Another attraction for the nature lover is Hemlock Drawboth. This site protects a variety of northern and southern Wisconsin tree types, 60 species of birds, and a stand of virgin hemlock. Both parcels are located off US 12 between Sauk City and Baraboo Hills.

Recreation - Visitors experience Natural Bridge State Park to hike, picnic, sightsee, study nature, and snowmobile.

Climate - Southwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. January's average temperature is above 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). Average July temperature is 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Southwest Region can range from 20 - 40". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Location - Located in Southwest Wisconsin, the park can be found 16 miles south of Barboo.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Natural Bridge State Park, C/O S5975 Park Road , Baraboo, WI, 53913-9299, Phone: 608-356-8301, TTY: 608-356-4281

Additional Information:
Southwest Wisconsin - Southwestern Wisconsin is well known for the Norwegian descendants that farm the region and maintain many Scandinavian traditions.
Wisconsin State Parks, Forests, Recreation Areas & Trails - Wisconsin showcases 86 state park system properties offering visitors an opportunity to hike, camp, swim, fish, and simply relax.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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