Prairie Hikes At Crane Foundation Begin June 10

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Explore dozens of blooming native plants, some 6 feet tall, nodding in the breeze during guided hikes through restored prairie, wetlands and oak savanna, and rare remnants of tall-grass prairie at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis., each second Saturday June through October.

There are 15 crane species in the world and all reside here at the Foundation’s headquarters in its captive-flock breeding program. Plus wild sandhill cranes nest in the Foundation’s 120 acres of restored crane habitat that surround the facility.

During the 90-minute prairie tour you’ll walk among prairie smoke, 6-foot-tall compass plants, big bluestem and dozens of other native species.

  • There are more than 275 native flowers and grasses here.
  • Aldo Leopold noted in his A Sand County Almanac that as many as a dozen native plants bloom in a day in June, averaging 10 a day coming into bloom from April until September.

Expect to learn about how the Foundation restored this land that used to be a dairy farm into the prairie it is today, and land-management practices to maintain it and conserve the original prairie remnants the co-founders discovered there in the early 1980s when scouting for a permanent location for the Foundation’s cranes.

  • Prairie remnants are biologically diverse ecosystems that survive because they have never been cultivated or plowed.
  • Discover why thriving landscapes like these support cranes and humans.

During these monthly prairie hikes and the regular guided tours through the breeding facility a naturalist explains the organization’s global conservation programs to protect healthy wetlands and grasslands, ecosystems that sustain cranes during breeding, migration and wintering.

Prairie Tours 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.:

June 10

July 8

Aug. 12

Sept. 9

Oct. 14

These and the regular guided tours are included with general admission, $9.50, $8.00 if you’re 65 or more, or free if you’re a member. Anyone is welcome to join here.

Visiting The Foundation

The International Crane Foundation is open daily April 15 through Oct. 31, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Plan at least two hours to:

  1. Explore at your leisure the grounds along paved paths.
  2. Take a guide tour of the breeding grounds with a naturalist at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily Memorial Day through Labor Day and weekends only in April, May, September and October.
  3. Sit in the covered amphitheater of the whooping crane exhibit.
  4. See interactive exhibits in the visitor center.
  5. Browse the gift shop.
  6. Hike two miles of nature trails with interpretive signs and good birding through prairie, wetlands and oak savanna ecosystems.
  7. Enjoy panoramic views from the restoration overlook.
  8. Take lunch from one of Baraboo’s downtown cafés to enjoy in the picnic area.

View and download the Visitor Guide with a map of the trail loops here.

For more information visit www.savingcranes.org and call 608-356-9462.

Getting There

The Foundation is on Shady Lane Road just north of Baraboo, 20 minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point bed and breakfast www.bestviewinwisconsin.com.

 
Hike and bird our three miles of secluded trails through woods and prairie, where a resident pair of breeding sandhill cranes visits.

Book a summer escape HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

Summer and fall weekends fill early.

The s’mores kits are ready for stargazing and firefly dances by the fire on our prairie terrace.

 

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