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Autumn in Parfrey's Glen
Autumn in Parfrey’s Glen

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

– EASY / MODERATE –

  • Hours – 6am to 8pm

  • Trail Length – 0.7 miles

  • No Pets On Trails

  • Parking Lot

  • Restrooms

  • Located on the Ice Age Trail


Parfrey's Glen Creek
Parfrey’s Glen Creek

THINGS YOU MIGHT NEED

  • Wisconsin State Park Pass
  • Trail Map
  • Waterproof Hiking Boots
  • Extra Pair of Socks
  • Trekking Poles
Devil's Lake Trail Map

Water flowing through Parfrey's Glen
Water flowing through Parfrey’s Glen

ABOUT THE AREA

The Baraboo area is one of the best outdoor recreation locations in all of the Driftless Region. Here you will find slot canyons, lakes, 500-foot bluffs, sandy beaches, and the beautiful Dells of the Wisconsin River. One of the main attractions of the area is Devils Lake State Park, the largest, and most visited state park in Wisconsin. Nestled on the far east side of the park is the hidden gem known as Parfrey’s Glen. Parfrey’s Glen was Wisconsin’s first State Natural Area, and was first designated in 1952. The 100-foot deep gorge has been carved by Parfrey’s Glen Creek which flows through it, and is regularly changing due to seasonal flooding.


Water flowing through Parfrey's Glen
Water flowing through Parfrey’s Glen

ABOUT THE HIKE

The hike into Parfrey’s Glen begins at a large parking lot with a self-pay station and restrooms. We visited in the afternoon of a fall weekend. The parking lot was already full when we arrived, and parking overflowed onto the county road. Weekdays are recommended if you want some time to your self in the glen.

The beginning of the trail is paved, at the halfway point it transitions to a smaller dirt trail. Before reaching the start of the glen, you will cross several small bridges that cross Parfrey’s Glen Creek. Once you reach the beginning of the glen, you can get a good view upstream without venturing into the creek bed itself. The first few pictures above were taken up to this point.


Parfrey's Glen
Parfrey’s Glen

CONTINUING UP THE GLEN

Most of you reading this will keep trekking up the gorge, and you will be required to cross stream several times, and will need to balance on logs or rocks when crossing to stay dry. We recommended bringing trekking poles for this reason, as they will help you balance while completing these crossing. We did not have trekking poles, but since a tripod was required to shoot smooth waterfalls, we used that to help us cross. If you have waterproof boots, or a change of shoes and socks in the car, you can simply walk right through the creek at these crossings. Parfrey’s Glen Creek is not more the a foot deep in rare spots depending on the time of year.


Parfrey's Glen Waterfall
Parfrey’s Glen Waterfall

VIEWS FROM THE TOP

As you are continuing up the glen, the rock walls will continually rise, and rock obstacles will along the creek with present themselves. These are obstacles are fairly easy to navigate, but will require small climbs over the rocks and boulders. Near the top, you will have a 20-30 foot ascent up crumbled rocks to reach the top of the glen. Once you have reached the top, you will find a small waterfall which has carved the glen into what you see today.


Parfrey's Glen
Enjoying the views high up in Parfrey’s Glen

The most rewarding view of this hike is at the top of the glen as you turn to make your way back down.


PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR USED

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