The August 15th, hike was discussed as heading out on Burma Road, which after the drive to get there was a nice wide expanse of path for about 1.5 miles. We then reconvened for a nice water view of the Wisconsin River with boat captain Dean Schwarz. Afterwards, I did some research about this spot on the DNR website. It was all more interesting than I imagined including the name, Devils Nose.
How to get there
To get to this spot, you start within Devils Lake State Park in Sauk County. Head into the South Shore access road or you can get there via Hwy 12.
From the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and State Highway 136 in West Baraboo, go east (south) on 12 4 miles, then east on Ski Hi Road 1.2 miles, then south (right) on South Shore Road 0.2 mile, then south on Burma Road 1.5 miles to its end. Or from the intersection of Burma and South Shore Road, continue on South Shore Road 0.6 miles to a parking area south of the road. Walk west along Messenger Creek into the site.
Description from the DNR
South Bluff/Devil’s Nose encompasses a huge expanse of the forested southern flank of the Baraboo Hills and provides habitat for numerous rare plants and animals. The majority of the site is southern mesic and dry-mesic forest of sugar maple, red oak, white oak, basswood, and hickories. Within the site is Pine Glen, a deep spectacular gorge cut into the Baraboo quartzite.
On its south slope is a small cedar glade and dry prairie that have unusual floras including rare species such as tubercled orchid (Platanthera flava), slender bush-clover (Lespedeza virginica), and purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens).
Cold air drainage at the lower end of Pine Glen harbors northern plant species such as white pine, oak fern, yellow blue-bead-lily, and rosy twisted stalk that thrive in the cool ravine. Also in the area is spring-fed Messenger Creek, which occupies an ancient valley, cut into the Precambrian Baraboo quartzite. The rich wooded area contains yellow birch, eastern hop-hornbeam, and ironwood and is rich in mosses and uncommon ferns. One of the primary features of the natural area is the presence of several uncommon to rare plant species including drooping sedge (Carex prasina), Hooker’s orchid (Platanthera hookerii), nodding pogonia (Triphora trianthophora), and one-flowered broomrape (Orobanche uniflora). The site also harbors many rare birds including worm-eating (Helmitheros vermivorus), hooded (Wilsonia citrina) and cerulean warblers (Dendroica cerulea), and Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens). Also present is the rare arrowhead spiketail (Cordulegaster obliquus).
South Bluff/Devil’s Nose is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1972.
I found some interesting photos from others posted on the photo sharing site Flickr that you can view
Wisconsin River Boating
Every good hike needs a river excursion afterwards. Just a few pictures of the group via water
Based on the photos I saw on Flickr which were taken in the the fall with leaves turning, this would be one hike I would do in October and hope we can talk the group into doing it again.