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Walk the Woods & Prairies of Pheasant Branch

  • November 08, 2022
  • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Parking lot at Orchid Heights Park, 3960 Valley Ridge Road, Middleton.
  • 5


  • The member may register a guest.

Registration is closed

Free to PLATO members and guests.

Change of Starting Point to the Walk

This will be a walk lead by Mike and Carla Diiorio

Driving and Parking Information

Change of Starting Point to the Walk

The original starting point for this walk is no longer available for parking.

We will use the parking lot at 4864 Pheasant Branch Road, Middleton, 53562, labelled parking lot C on Conservancy Maps.

The following instructions will get you to the parking area.

  • Starting from University Avenue
  • Turn onto Century Drive
  • Travel 1.0 miles to Century Ave
  • Make a left turn onto Century Ave
  • in 0.4 mi turn right onto Old Creek Road
  • in 0.2 miles, turn right onto Pheasant Branch Road
  • in 1.1 miles. prepare to park your car.  Look for large sign indicating Pheasant Branch Conservancy Parking.
  • Make a right into the parking area.

The Walk

Pheasant Branch Conservancy is a regionally significant natural area located on the north side of Middleton, Wisconsin. It contains a marsh with open water, springs, prairies, meadows, lowland forest, and wooded hills. 

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 of slight elevation will lead us around a portion of the perimeter of the conservancy. We may climb Fredricks Hill to view the effigy mounds and the recent additon of former farmland to the Conservancy. 

Additional Information:

Several maps of the conservancy are available at the Friends of Pheasant Branch website:

  • A three 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 climbing Fredrick's Hill to view the effigy mounds.


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.

Additional Information:

The Watershed

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.

PLATO is proudly supported in part by Oakwood Village.

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

for more information, contact us at:


6209 Mineral Point Road #203
Madison, WI 53705

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