Hiking within a mile of the south parking area the trails are clear and easy to see for me. Do not go the entire lenght of the trail. I've read the trails are rugged to non-existant so come prepared. I had an afternoon of fun in a huge area with deerpath trails. Not for the inexperience hiker, a foolish person could easily get lost. Stay on the natural trails. Flashlight and a compass won't help if you don't know how to pay attention to where you are going. I imagine a person could get lost in the 5,600 acrers natural prserve. Don't be daft.
How to get there:
Actually discovered the south entrance to Baxter's Hollow Preserve on an unsuspecting north-south road called stone's pocket road. Go south from Baraboo on 12, turn east on county C, turn north on Stone's pocket road. The road feels like you are driving up someone's farm with a long driveway. About a mile in there's a parking area on the right and a metal gate on the road. That day the gate was open so we proceeded further up the road. Road eventually terminates at a gated entrance to Baxter's Hollow Presereve. No parking lot so park sensibly on the road here's a map to the parking. No dogs allowed so leave fido at home.
What's there to see:
Interesting terrain features a dry riverbed full of quartzite rocks. Big old rocks the size of bowling balls up to several feet in diameter. Moss covered rocks on a riverbed offer intriguing photos.
Examine the ruins of a rock mortar chimmeny with a large foundation. Seems too large to be a cabin. Poured concrete foundation could not imagine how such a huge slab of concrete was ever poured that deep into a forest. Neither my friend or I could correctly guess it was an old schoolhouse. Heard it firsthand from a hiker who recalled the schoolhouse and camp as a child. She said it was about 60 years ago so that puts the schoolhouse back in the 1950's
Follow the trail opposite the ruins there's a beaver pond (which required bushwacking to get to so we passed on that). All around there were large boulders and interesting mounds of dirt. Large circular mounds to which I honestly don't know what there are. 2 to 4 feet round and about a foot high, covered in long grass. Not sure what they are but I recall about 6 or 7 of those strange mounds. Never seen them before in Wisconsin.
Interesting enough place and level hiking within a mile of the parking lot, I suspect it would be interesing snowshoe hiking in the winter. Probably will go back after there's some snow on the ground. Maybe get to that beaver pond.