Pewits Nest ranks as another of those incredible wonders of natural beauty that remains almost unknown outside of its immediate area.
This area holds remarkably pristine geological, as well as botanical, beauty. It lies within the confines of the aptly named Pewits Nest State Natural Area. The government created the small Nature Reserve specifically to preserve the natural splendor found there.
This area sits in the state of Wisconsin, in the United States. The state of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources owns and maintains the site. Its designation as a protected State Natural Area occurred in 1985.
The name of the location derives from the presence of an avian species known locally as peewits, which once inhabited the site in abundance.
Pewits Nest Formation and Description
The Nature Reserve containing Pewits Nest actually covers a quite small region. It encompasses a total area of only 9 acres (3.6 hectares), but beauty comes in all sizes.
Pewits Nest formed across the landscape approximately 10,000 years ago, which, in geological terms, remains young, by the retreat of the last glacier in the region.
That action carved a narrow, and relatively deep, gorge into the sandstone of the area. The depth of the gorge ranges from 30-40 ft (9.1-12.2 m), not including the height of the several small cliffs which surround it.
The melting of the glacier created numerous small waterfalls, as well. Numerous formations known as potholes also formed, along with a small creek, known locally as Skillets Creek, which continues to run through the Reserve even today.
Pewits Nest History, Nature, and Preservation
Pewits Nest once contained a small mill, where a water wheel made use of the falls, but no trace of either exists today.
Bountiful and beautiful flora thrives there, perhaps because Pewits Nest resides within a small dry-mesic forest. The region consists of dense undergrowth and numerous trees. The majority of these include white pine, hemlock, red cedar, and yellow birch.
Numerous small animals (such as birds, squirrels, and rabbits) make their home here. Sadly, however, the namesake peewit is rarely seen now.
The Pewits Nest State Nature Area stays open to the public but few known of its existence.
The parking zone only holds 7-8 cars, since the government makes every effort to maintain the beauty of this small wonder.
However, they do not maintain the numerous trails, so visitors to the Nature Reserve must watch their step.