Mother Nature - Wisconsin’s treasures

We are all surrounded by Nature. The natural world is the world around us. This world provides us with what we need to survive and thrive. Wisconsin offers a wide variety of natural wonders. You must look for them, see them, notice them, and learn about them.

This variety includes bird and wildlife watching, sandstone cliffs and sea caves, scenic river ways, the breath of fresh pine and hardwoods, glacial impressions, whitewater, glacial lakes and streams, rocky outcroppings, sanctuaries for species, wetlands, grasslands, ridges and much more.  You’ll see evidence of flooding as well.

The state is divided into five geographic provinces, described by eReference Desk as follows:

The Lake Superior Lowland is a narrow plain to which the surface of the Northern Highland drops abruptly. This small flat plain area extends about 5 to 20 miles inland. It slopes gradually upwards toward the south from the shores of Lake Superior.

The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands region is formed by three broad, parallel limestone ridges running north-south and separated by wide and shallow lowlands. The lowest elevation in the state is in this region, along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, about 580 feet (180 meters) above sea level.

The gently rolling hills of the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands extend from Green Bay south to Illinois. It is the richest agricultural region of Wisconsin, where ice-age glaciers deposited earth over limestone ridges.

The Northern Highland is a broad upland underlain by granitic bedrock. It contains the state's highest point, Timms Hill (1,951 feet [595 meters]), in Price county.

This area makes up about one-third of the state. It reaches its highest elevation in the north and slopes downward to the south. It has hundreds of small lakes and heavily forested hills. The highest point in Wisconsin is Timms Hill.

The Central Plain is south of the Northern Highland and curves across the central part of the state. The Wisconsin River is located in the southern portion of this region. This area of buttes and mesas is unusual for this part of Wisconsin. The Western Upland slopes down gently southward to the Central Plain, or Central Sand Plain, a crescent-shaped region of sandstone stretching across the center of the state.

The Western Upland is located west of the Central Plain and is made up of limestone and sandstone bluffs along the Mississippi River. It extends along the Mississippi River to the border of Illinois. The southwestern portion is an area that is steeply sloped ravines and winding ridges.  Glaciers largely bypassed the southwestern and western sections of the state along the Mississippi; this dry upland is known as the Driftless Area.