Hiking Wisconsin: 4 Ways to Enjoy the Driftless Bluffs

A Walk in the Wooded Bluffs of Boscobel

Imagine a land that runs wild – a land left unaffected by the glaciers which shaped so much of the Midwestern landscape. When you’re hiking Wisconsin, what you’re imagining is very real, and it’s known as the driftless region. In Boscobel’s neck of the woods, it’s also known as the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway (LWSR). Have you been searching for a place to escape into a true, natural wilderness? Come take a walk through our serene, wooded bluffs.

Hiking Wisconsin: Scenic Bluffs and Incredible Views

Hike the Bluffs of Boscobel

Take to the hills of Boscobel Bluffs State Natural Area (designated in 2017) which is made up of diverse terrain, from sandy river terraces to oak savanna woodlands. Hike through over 380-acres of green, natural bluffs, and reach incredible high points overlooking the water. From these heights, you’ll experience the same scenery early visitors saw – an inspiring, rolling landscape that frames the Wisconsin River.

The City of Boscobel also offers the Sanders Creek Trail, which runs from Sanders Creek Recreation Area to the Floyd Von Haden Boat Launch. This trail was completed in 2017 and makes nature readily accessible to locals and visitors looking for a beautiful place to walk, jog, and bike. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagles’ nests, other wildlife, and plenty of wildflowers, which are common in the area.

Hiking Wisconsin: Ample Bird Watching Opportunities

Bird Watching in the Bluffs

Grab your binoculars and head out Blue River Bluffs State Natural Area. This lush forested area is a true wilderness – you will find no picnic areas, restrooms, or benches here. This pristine land is protected by state law and has been diligently preserved.

Recognized as a State Natural Area in 1996, Blue River Bluffs has acres of dry prairie and oak savanna bluffs, which provide the native habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna, including over 300 species of birds. Bust out your field guide, and test your identification skills in a bird watcher’s oasis.

Hiking Wisconsin: Unique Landscapes for Nature Photography

Hiking Wisconsin: Nature Photography near Boscobel

Embark on a trek up Frank’s Hill (also known as the Shadewald Mounds) to find unique overlooks and perspectives of our picturesque region. Located just north of Muscoda, near the intersection of Highways 193 and 60, this local landmark is home to a slew of native animal and plant life.

Hike up and around the bluff and discover effigy mounds of native peoples, formed in the likeness of a raptor and bison. Also at the top, you’ll encounter excellent views of the surrounding landscape – the perfect place to snap a few photos.

Hiking Wisconsin: Discover Prairie Restoration Projects

Prairie Restoration Projects in the Bluffs

The Boscobel Sime Balds were granted as an easement in 2004 to The Prairie Enthusiasts, an organization working to protect and manage prairie and oak savannah lands. The Sime Balds consist of 35-acres of prairie/oak wetland, including three steep and rocky bluff prairies.

This site is home to more than 80 species of plants and many varieties of snakes, native to the region prior to European settlement. For those interested in prairie restoration, the Sime Balds site is a natural treasure.

Explore the Wooded Bluffs of Boscobel

Explore Boscobel's Scenic Bluffs when Hiking Wisconsin

Are you ready to leave the crowds behind, experience unglaciated bluffs, and enjoy natural wilderness? Grab a few good friends, and plan a visit to Boscobel, WI – located in the heart of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway.

For more information on outdoor recreation in the Boscobel area, take a look at our list of activities under the Outdoors tab on our homepage.