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