You are looking north from the Military Ridge toward Mazomanie, which lies in the Wisconsin River Valley. Beyond the Wisconsin River bluffs, on a clear day, the higher Baraboo Hills can be seen 35 miles away. These hills, with some of the oldest rock on the continent, are fronted by the younger river bluffs of even height. Capped by the hard Prairie du Chien dolomite rock, the bluffs are the remains of an old "peneplain", a land worn flat by many years of erosion.
The contour strip farming displayed below is a soil conservation method of great importance in hilly, erosion-prone southwestern Wisconsin. This and other methods, such as minimum tillage, are necessary to conserve the light soil which was originally blown into this "driftless" or unglaciated area by winds.
Brigham Park contains one of the rare examples of a mature sugar maple forest in Southern Wisconsin. Explore it along the park nature trail. A combination of fertile soil and ample moisture has allowed these maples to grow to maturity. The damp environment, created by frequent fogs and a north-facing slope, protected the forest from prairie fires before the arrival of settlers. Within the forest, notice how the density and heavy shade of the trees modifies temperature, moisture, light and wind, creating a distinct air-conditioned "micro-environment" in summer.