logo: Wisconsin's Scenic Treasures: Southern Vistas

Wisconsin's Scenic Treasures: Southern Vistas

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March 01, 2021 | LENGTH: 01HR 28M 54S

WISCONSIN’S SCENIC TREASURES: SOUTHERN VISTAS

Wisconsin’s Scenic Treasures: Southern Vistas is a visually stunning trip across the landscapes of Southern Wisconsin’s most beautiful natural places. Take in the sights and sounds of the region’s forests, prairies, valleys and shorelines, and the flora and fauna that call these places home in this breathtaking celebration of the state’s scenic southern vistas.

On-demand and airing on PBS Wisconsin.

Learn how to make a donation and receive a DVD of the program as a thank-you gift.

Mapping Scenic Treasures

The following Google Map locates the sites celebrated in Wisconsin’s Scenic Treasures: Southern Vistas. The map showcases the geographic scope of the project — from the Mississippi River at Wisconsin’s western edge to Lake Michigan’s shores on the east. The pins are color-coded to follow along with locations as they are presented across the three segments of the program — green for sites in part 1, yellow for those in part 2, and blue for sites in part 3. Click on any pin to call up details of a particular site. To view a legend and list of corresponding sites, click on the square symbol with the arrow in the upper left corner of the map, or expand the entire map by clicking the brackets in the upper right corner.

Photo Gallery

Take in the landscapes, geology, flora and fauna, as well as behind-the-scenes photographs captured during the production of Wisconsin’s Scenic Treasures: Southern Vistas. 

A videographer holds a camera rig on his shoulder while filming on Lulu Lake

Videographer James Donovan films in Lulu Lake State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A colorful path in Beulah Bog State Natural Area marked by a wooden plank

Beulah Bog State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A close-up photo of a Purple Pitcher Plant inside Beulah Bog State Natural Area

A Purple Pitcher Plant in Beulah Bog State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A videographer films in Beulah Bog State Natural Area

Videographer James Donovan capturing Beulah Bog State Natural Area. Photo/Thomas Meyer

A videographer films in Horicon March State Wildlife Area

Videographer Ethan Freel films Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A videographer films from a bluff in Devil's Lake State Park

Videographer Ethan Freel viewing Devil's Lake State Park from the South Bluff/Devil's Nose State Natural Area. Photo/Thomas Meyer

A canopy of trees against a blue sky with clouds

A view of the canopy at Baxter's Hollow State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A frog sits on a mossy branch

Northern Leopard Frog, Baxter's Hollow State Natural Area. Photo/Emily Julka

A videographer films squatting down on an autumnal path in Baxter's Hollow State Natural Area

Videographer Lina Soblyte captures early autumn at Baxter's Hollow State Natural Area.

A large rock outcropping in Mirror Lake State Park amid tall trees

An outcropping in Mirror Lake State Park. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A tree-topped bluff outcropping in the Dells of the Wisconsin River

Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A curved and layered geologic outcropping of the Dells of the Wisconsin River

A geologic feature of the Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A water-filled narrow canyon flanked by rock outcroppings and trees

Coldwater Canyon in the Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A close-up of a flower called Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain in the Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A flower called Daisy Fleabane found in Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area

Daisy Fleabane in Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A wide view of a green and lush valley in Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area

Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A colorful field of prairie plants

Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

Delicate white flowering prairie plants

Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A sculptural tree, a Red Cedar, in Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

Red Cedar in Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A vista view from Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A close-up of the bark of a Red Cedar tree with colorful striations

Red Cedar in Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A close-up of a rocky outcropping within Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A wide view of a field dotted with trees and flowers

Spring Green Preserve State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A close up of Goat's Rue, a flowering plant inside Spring Green Preserve State Natural Area

Goat's Rue in Spring Green Preserve State Natural Area. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A rocky outcropping and tall pine trees

Ridgeway Pine Relict State Natural Area. Photo/Thomas Meyer

A close-up of a sunlit red and pink rocky outcropping

Ridgeway Pine Relict State Natural Area. Photo/Thomas Meyer

Tall pine trees within Ridgeway Pine Relict State Natural Area

Ridgeway Pine Relict State Natural Area. Photo/Thomas Meyer

A close-up of native plants within Riverland Conservancy Merrimac Preserve

Riverland Conservancy Merrimac Preserve. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A close-up of Purple Coneflowers

Purple Coneflowers in Riverland Conservancy Merrimac Preserve. Photo/Laurie Gorman

A videographer holds a camera rig on his shoulder while filming on Lulu Lake A colorful path in Beulah Bog State Natural Area marked by a wooden plank A close-up photo of a Purple Pitcher Plant inside Beulah Bog State Natural Area A videographer films in Beulah Bog State Natural Area A videographer films in Horicon March State Wildlife Area A videographer films from a bluff in Devil's Lake State Park A canopy of trees against a blue sky with clouds A frog sits on a mossy branch A videographer films squatting down on an autumnal path in Baxter's Hollow State Natural Area A large rock outcropping in Mirror Lake State Park amid tall trees A tree-topped bluff outcropping in the Dells of the Wisconsin River A curved and layered geologic outcropping of the Dells of the Wisconsin River A water-filled narrow canyon flanked by rock outcroppings and trees A close-up of a flower called Blue Vervain A flower called Daisy Fleabane found in Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area A wide view of a green and lush valley in Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area A colorful field of prairie plants Delicate white flowering prairie plants A sculptural tree, a Red Cedar, in Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area A vista view from Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area A close-up of the bark of a Red Cedar tree with colorful striations A close-up of a rocky outcropping within Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area A wide view of a field dotted with trees and flowers A close up of Goat's Rue, a flowering plant inside Spring Green Preserve State Natural Area A rocky outcropping and tall pine trees A close-up of a sunlit red and pink rocky outcropping Tall pine trees within Ridgeway Pine Relict State Natural Area A close-up of native plants within Riverland Conservancy Merrimac Preserve A close-up of Purple Coneflowers

Scenic Treasures Glossary

Bird Call vs. Bird Song

A song is generally much more elaborate than a call, and it typically serves a territorial or mating function. A call is generally simpler (fewer sounds within it) and served a contact or warning function. The Audobon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology offer fun and valuable resources to learn to identify different bird calls and songs.

Bluff

A cliff, headland, or hill with a broad, steep face

Dells

From the French word “dalles” meaning slab-like rocks that form a canyon through which a river flows

Gorge

A narrow cleft with steep, rocky walls, especially one through which a stream runs

Prairie

A treeless grassland dominated by native grasses and wildflowers that once covered much of central North America; prairies in Wisconsin occupied broad, rolling plains to steep hillsides and blufftops

Pine Relict

Pine relicts are pine-dominated conifer forests that occur as discrete, isolated stands in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. Most of these dry “relicts” are associated with sandstone or dolomite bluffs. The bedrock may outcrop as cliffs or ledges, or underlie a thin layer of soil.

Ridge

A long, narrow elevation of land; a chain of hills or mountains

Savanna or Oak Opening

An open woodland dominated by scattered, open-grown oak and hickory trees with an understory of prairie grasses, shrubs and wildflowers

Wisconsin State Park

A Wisconsin State Park is an area of land preserved by the state for its natural, historic or other resources. The State Park System in Wisconsin includes both State Parks and State Recreation Areas. Wisconsin currently has 66 state park units, covering more than 60,570 acres.

Wisconsin State Natural Area

State Natural Areas (SNAs) protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin’s native landscape of natural communities, significant geological formations and archeological sites. Encompassing 406,000 acres on lands owned by the state and its many partners, including land trusts, local and county governments, and private citizens, Wisconsin’s Natural Areas are valuable for research and educational use, the preservation of genetic and biological diversity, and for providing benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands. They also provide some of the last refuges for rare plants and animals.

Partners and Resources

logo illustration with a green globe covered in white leaves

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated to working with the citizens and businesses of the state while preserving and enhancing the natural resources of Wisconsin. In partnership with individuals and organizations, DNR staff manage fish, wildlife, forests, parks, air, and water resources while promoting a healthy, sustainable environment and a full range of outdoor opportunities.

The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Since 1960, TNC has protected more than 236,300 acres of land and water in some of Wisconsin’s most critical and beloved landscapes — from its lakes, to the forests of the Northwoods, to its winding rivers and cherished prairies.

Funding for Wisconsin’s Scenic Treasures: Southern Vistas is provided by the Bitzer Family Legacy Fund, in honor of Lloyd and Jo Ann Bitzer, Greg and Carol Griffin, Elizabeth Olson, Colleen and Ron Weyers, Eleanor and Thomas Wildrick Family, the Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, Roger and Lynn Van Vreede, Alliant Energy, the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund, Jim Slattery, the Focus Fund for Wisconsin Programming, and Friends of PBS Wisconsin.