EARTH DAY - Morning Hike in Ableman's Gorge State Natural Area

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Name: EARTH DAY - Morning Hike in Ableman's Gorge State Natural Area
Date: April 22, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM CDT
Trip Builder: View Trip
Event Description:

Ableman's Gorge is tucked into the hills around Rock Springs. It's a good place to see geology, flora, and birds!

Join Scott Weber for a guided hike up the trail.

The hike is from 9 am until 10 am. Meet at the trail head (off Hwy 136 as you leave Rock Springs). Parking is limited. You can also park at the community center and walk down. Wear good shoes, bring your walking stick if you like.

Definitely bring your camera and your binoculars.

Oh, and the kids, bring the kids!

A little bit about Ableman's Gorge:
Ableman's Gorge is a classic gorge cut by the Baraboo River through Baraboo quartzite, Cambrian sandstone, and conglomerate. The cliffs and rocky slopes rise about 200 feet above the river to form a wall nearly three-fourths of a mile long, oriented east-west, which then abruptly turns south for a similar distance. The latter portion is 250-450 feet wide and is composed of irregular quartzite cliffs. Spectacular unconformable contacts with younger Cambrian sandstone can be seen on both the north and south sides of the Precambrian Baraboo quartzite. The exposures of the unconformity between the ancient quartzite and the overlying sandstone are world famous. The site tells a fascinating geological story of changing conditions in an ancient sea that first rose quietly against a cliff of quartzite and then, as layers of sediments gradually decreased the relief between sea floor and land, surged against the top of the cliff, wearing away quartzite and depositing a layer of cobbles and boulders across its upturned edge. Erosional forces and a former quarrying operation in the southern part of the natural area have re-exposed these long buried layers. Nowhere in the Midwest is such a sequence of events so displayed. The cool, moist, north-facing slopes shelter plants more typical of northern Wisconsin, including hemlock, yellow birch, mountain maple and Canada yew. The groundlayer contains numerous ferns and includes species such as Virginia water-leaf and Canada mayflower. The area is widely used for geology research and a plaque honors researcher Charles Van Hise, who formulated some of his principles of structural deformation and metamorphism here. Ableman's Gorge is owned by the DNR and the University of Wisconsin and was designated a State Natural Area in 1969.

Hwy 136 Rock Springs, Wi 53961

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highways 136 and 154 in Rock Springs, go west on Highway 136 one mile to a parking area on the left just before the Baraboo River bridge. Direct access to the quarry's exposed rock is afforded by parking in the pull-off on the east side of Highway 136 across from the bottling plant and then crossing the highway to the DNR gate north of the plant. A trail begins there and leads to Van Hise Rock.

Date/Time Information:
Sunday, April 22nd from 9-10am
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