The diverse topography of the 160 acre site provides panoramic as well as close up views of prairies, wooded hillsides, the Pheasant Branch Creek wetlands and several predominant springs that provide fresh water for Lake Mendota. A relatively flat walkway with some stretches slight elevation will lead us around a portion of the perimeter of the conservancy.
A couple of hill climbs are available for those wanting to extend their walk with a more strenuous finish. Please visit the Friends of Pheasant Branch website for more information.
We will be providing driving and parking instructions the week of the walk.
PLATO charges a $10 fee for each walk. We normally use a guide who is a member of the associated friends group. PLATO then will pass this registration fee onto the friends group as a way of saying thanks.
Several maps of the conservancy are available at the Friends of Pheasant Branch website: http://www.pheasantbranch.org/
- A two mile walk along a graded path makes this walk one of the more accessible we'll offer this year. However the route we will follow will involve doubling back rather than walking the entire trail.
Our leader will have a microphone along to assist in delivering her message clearly as possible.
Driving and Parking Information.
- will be emailed the week of the walk.
Pheasant Branch Watershed* drains into Lake Mendota. It covers approximately 24 square miles in an area that includes portions of the Towns of Middleton and Springfield and the Cities of Madison and Middleton. (See map on page 5.)
As the last glaciers began to melt about 13,000 years ago, much of the land west of present-day Highway 12 drained into the bed of Glacial Lake Middleton, the wetland flat along Airport Road in Middleton.
Today, Pheasant Branch originates out of a glacial moraine in the Towns of Middleton and Springfield, and flows through the City of Middleton before entering Lake Mendota. The seven-mile long creek has four distinct parts: the South and North Forks upstream from and west of Highway 12, and the upper and lower portions of the main channel.