Witches Gulch Trail - Dells of the Wisconsin River

Witches Gulch Trail - Dells of the Wisconsin River - North Parking Lot area is located on River Road East of the Wisconsin River and North of Wisconsin Dells along Witches Gulch, which is part of the Dells of the Wisconsin River. There is a section of it along the Gulch that is not open to the public due to a private lease with one of the local river boat tour companies. The rest of the area is open to the public and is mostly used for hiking on the Witches Gulch Trail. Some parts right around the Wisconsin River are not open to the public for safety reasons because of the steepness. This area is mostly large pine trees. A sign there reads “140,000 Pines Planted in The Dells 1925 – 1926”. There are lots of ferns, wild flowers, vines, mushrooms, berries, moss and maple trees. The terrain there is lightly rolling for the most part, but steep by the river. This part of the Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area is home to Whitetail Deer, Wild Turkey, Squirrels, Coyotes, Birds of Prey, Song Birds, Wood Chucks, Porcupines, Chipmunks, Snakes and other Wisconsin Wildlife.

Dells of the Wisconsin RiverWitches Gulch Trail (North Parking Lot) | Chapel Gorge Trail (South Parking Lot) | 61st Street Parking Area | Wisconsin River

Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area

Witches Gulch Trail

Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area is owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, also known as the Wisconsin DNR. It is located in the Wisconsin Dells ,WI 53965 area at the intersection of four counties: Columbia, Juneau, Sauk and Adams counties. The Dells of the Wisconsin River is a gorge about 5 miles long carved out by the Wisconsin River. It features rock formations, cliffs, tributary canyons and amazing views. There are three main parking areas giving access to the public areas all North of The Dells; one on the West side of the river and two on the East side. All three locations offer trails for hiking. Some parts of the State Natural Area are not open to the public, mainly along the river with steep banks. There is also a section leased out by one of the local river boat tour companies.

WI DNR Sign Reads: “Area Open – 5:00 am to 10 pm between May 15 and September 15th and 5:00 am to 8:00 pm between September 16 and May 14. NO Fires, NO Camping, NO Glass Containers.”

Dells of the Wisconsin River

Wisconsin River 

The Wisconsin River is about 430 miles long and is known for its amazing historical background Several popular flowages are created from it including Lake Du Bay, Lake Petenwell and Castle Rock Lake.  The river begins at the northeast corner of Wisconsin flowing southwest and ends in the west central part of the state at the Mississippi River.  One of the most popular sections of the river is about 5 miles long which is known as the Dells of the Wisconsin River. It is better known as the famous Wisconsin Dells that is filled with fun attractions and historical landmarks.  Thousands of years ago the ice that formed Lake Wisconsin melted away causing an overflow which cut a portion of the Wisconsin River out. In turn that created the Wisconsin Dells that had previously been called Kilbourn. Today the river offers outdoor activities like swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, canoeing, tubing, photography, sitting by the water and even transportation. There are all types of aquatic life here including clams, catfish, sturgeon, musky, bass, panfish, mud puppies, snakes, turtles, and also terrestrial wildlife including deer, turkeys, bald eagles, cranes, song birds, and more that live in and around the mighty Wisconsin River.

Wisconsin Dells WI 53965

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The Dells Quick Facts

  • Columbia County & Sauk County on the Wisconsin River
  • Area: 19 sq. miles
  • General Size of City – Around 2,600 people but gets about 4 million visitors per year!
  • Main Area Lakes – Castle Rock Lake, Lake Delton, Mason Lake, Wisconsin River and Lake Blass
  • Area Features: Schools, Post Office, Banks, Shopping, Churches, Bars, Cafes, Gas Stations, Snowmobiling, Campgrounds, Water Parks, Gift Shops, Health Care, Interstate Access, Public Land,
  • Known as the Waterpark Capital of the World
  • Has about 20 Indoor/Outdoor waterparks & 20 campgrounds.
  • Has 2 visitor centers: 701 Superior Street and is open from 9am to 5pm 7 days a week, 31 Meadowview Drive and is open Saturday-Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday from 10am to 6pm.
  • Area Terrain – Mostly Wooded, Rolling Terrain, Wisconsin River Basin, Rock Formations, Sand, Sandstone, some Farm Fields…
  • Area Code - 608    
  • Zip Code - 53965
  • Access
    • State Highway 12, 23 & 16
    • County Road – H
    • Interstate – I-90/94
  • School District – Wisconsin Dells
  • Classified as a City
  • History – Founded in in 1857 as Kilbourn by Byron Kilbourn but was changed to Wisconsin Dells in 1931

Nearby Villages, Towns and Cities

  • Lake Delton
  • Plainville
  • Briggsville
  • Lyndon Station
  • Dellwood (In Sauk County)
  • Reedsburg
  • Rock Springs
  • Baraboo
  • Pecks Corners
  • Green Corners
  • Lewiston
  • Big Spring
  • Davis Corners

Nearby Lakes, Rivers, Creeks and Trout Streams

  • Wisconsin River 
  • Castle Rock Lake
  • Lake Delton
  • Mason Lake
  • Lemonweir River
  • Amey Pond
  • Gulch Creek
  • Fawn Lake
  • Trout Creek
  • Lake Blass
  • Mirror Lake
  • Beaver Creek
  • Lake Dellona
  • Weeting Lake
  • Corning Lake
  • Shadduck Creek
  • Gilmore Creek
  • Hulburt Creek

Nearby Wisconsin Public Land

  • Wisconsin River Journey

  • Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area

  • Dell Creek State Wildlife Area 

  • Rocky Arbor State Park

  • Mirror Lake Pine Oak Forest State Natural Park

  • Mirror Lake State Park

  • Fern Gorge State Natural Area

  • Lemonweir Bottomland Hardwood Forest State Natural Area

  • Amey Pond Fish and Wildlife Area

  • Pine Island State Wildlife Area

  • International Crane Foundation

Related Links:

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Witches Gulch Trail Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area

Area Links:

Dells of the Wisconsin RiverWitches Gulch Trail (North Parking Lot) | Chapel Gorge Trail (South Parking Lot) | 61st Street Parking Area | Wisconsin River

Witches Gulch Trail