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Pewit's Nest Gorge - Best Wisconsin Swimming Hole

by Deltafxn  
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Wisconsin's best swimming hole by far!

We wanted to skip the noisy, loud, crowds at nearby Devil's Lake and hike and swim somewhere private and completely natural. The wonderful staff at Devil's Lake National Park provided a trail map for the Pewitt's Nest Gorge State Natural Area which is a short drive away.

This totally natural place, no picnic tables, no guards, no people other than hikers and fellow swimmers and explorers and one sign at the parking lot, is the perfect swimming hole in Wisconsin.

We went on a hot, steamy, humid day, and the cool waters of Skillet Creek were perfect!

From the parking lot trail it's a short ~10minute walk to the base of the gorge if you stay right when given the option. Hike down to the bottom, wear water shoes, bring bug spray, and wade and swim in the deep gorge at the base of towering rocks lined with cool, green ferns and pines! The waterfall when we went was too strong to ride down, but playing in the falls and the rock-lined caves at the base of the gorge were terrific.

Hiking back up to the top of the gorge was easy by the trail, taking the left path this time, and it ran the entire length of the gorge and provided an easy entrance into the gorge again to see the upper part from the water.

We ended up hiking the entire gorge about 4 times on this trip, both directions from the top and bottom, which was totally worth it! Total time about 2hours including an hour swimming!

Bug spray is needed in the hot, steamy summer months. We left ours in the car and needed it after swimming - whoops...

Don't bring too much down into the gorge with you if you're going to swim; we didn't feel it was a good idea to leave belongings like cell phone, keys, wallet, etc. around with other people around fishing, swimming, etc.
waterfall, waterfall massage, swimming hole, gorge, jumping, swim, hike, Natural Area, uncrowded, upcoming, trail, creek, creek trail, wisconsin, rural wisconsin, wisconsin swimming hole
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Trip Info
August 20, 2010
Length: 0.5 miles
Activity: Hiking
Trip viewed 15,459 times
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