Pewits Nest is another of those incredible wonders of geological beauty that remain almost unknown outside of its immediate area. That is SUCH a great pity! This is an area of pristine geological (as well as botanical) beauty. It lies within the confines of the aptly named Pewits Nest State Natural Area. This small nature reserve was created specifically to preserve the natural beauty found there. The area is located in the state of Wisconsin, in the United States. The site is owned and maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Its designation as a protected State Natural Area occurred in 1985. The name of the location was derived from the presence of an avian species (known locally as “peewits”) which once inhabited the site in abundance.
Pewits Nest Formation and Description
The area known as Pewits Nest is actually quite small. It encompasses a total area of only 9 acres (3.6 hectares). But beauty comes in ALL sizes! Pewits Nest was carved out of the landscape approximately 10,000 years ago. In geological terms that’s young! This was effected by the retreat of the last glacier in the region. A narrow (and relatively deep!) gorge was carved into the sandstone of the region. The depth of the gorge ranges from 30-40 ft (9.1-12.2 m). It is surrounded by several small cliffs. The melting of the glacier created numerous small waterfalls, as well. Numerous formations known as potholes were formed, as well. A small creek (known locally as Skillets Creek) continues to run through the gorge even today. So much beauty!
Pewits Nest History, Nature, and Preservation
Pewits Nest once contained a small mill. A water wheel made use of the falls. No trace of either may be found today. The flora found here is beautiful! Pewits Nest is situated within a small dry-mesic forest. The region consists of dense undergrowth and numerous trees. The majority of these are white pine, hemlock, red cedar, and yellow birch. Even their names are colorful! 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 IS open to the public but is not widely known. In fact, the parking area only holds 7-8 cars! Every effort is made to maintain the pristine beauty of this small wonder. However, the numerous trails are not maintained….so watch your step!
Todd Sain Sr.