Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area, Baraboo

4.7
#3 of 9 in Parks in Baraboo
Parfrey's Glen, located within Devil's Lake State Park, is a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-designated State Natural Area. The glen is a deep gorge cut through the sandstone of the south flank of the Baraboo Hills. It was the first State Natural Area to be designated in Wisconsin. The valley was named for Robert Parfrey.Location and accessParfrey's Glen is located approximately 5 miles north of Merrimac, Wisconsin. Though within the boundaries of Devil's Lake State Park, it cannot be accessed by vehicle from the rest of the park. A trail leads north into the natural area. The Ice Age Trail also passes through the site. However, heavy rainstorms in 2010 destroyed the boardwalk that made up the last part of the trail, which leads to a small waterfall. Visitors are advised not to travel down that part of the trail. As of September 6, 2015 it has yet to be repaired. As of Sept 3, 2017 still not repaired and lots of damage is being done to the streambed area.
Plan to visit Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area during your Baraboo vacation using our convenient Baraboo trip itinerary maker site .
Source
Create an itinerary including Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area
map
Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
179 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Very peaceful and serene. Great hike alone or with family. Well marked trails. It's amazing that beautiful places like this exist whee you would never expect it.  more »
  • Wonderful! Well maintained. Unique climate change and temperature drop In the glen. State natural area.  more »
  • Parfreys glen has spectacular scenery. There are so many unique plants and flowers. You really have to visit here all 4 seasons to really enjoy its beauty. Of course fall is stunning with its show of ...  more »
Google
  • A must visit if your in the Devil's lake area. Winter, spring, summer or fall, anytime is a good time. The rock formations and the stream the run through the Glen make it memorable. We went in the spring with still some ice near the waterfall at the end of the Glen. The Glen starts slowly the afternoon a 1/2 mile your surrounded by rock cliffs. It's a nice hike during any time of the year
  • What a great place to visit for a few hours excellent family time. Their parking lot is rather small, so we had to park on the road. Not the safest option with small kids. This was my first time here and I really enjoyed the walk in and taking in all the scenery. Be prepared to get a wet foot if you're not careful spelunking on the rocks in the stream. I'm looking forward to going back!
  • It is beautiful during the winter! The trail is maintained for a distance and it fairly easy to navigate. You do have to cross the stream (4') once. Once you get to the non-maintained, at your own risk section though, you have to cross the now 10'+ multiple times. Some of the stream is frozen over pretty solid, but you see holes here and there. We did not get to the end this trip because of this. We could not recall how deep the stream is at this point and did not feel safe walking on the ice. This is a place that needs to be experienced in all seasons though, whether you can get to the waterfall or not!
  • This is a great short hike for any skill level both in the Winter and Summer. At a slow pace it can be hiked in around an hour and a half. If you want to see the small waterfall you will have to adventure past the maintained trail and climb over some rocks. In the Summer plan to hop across rocks and possibly get you shoes wet. In the winter you won't have to hop across as many rocks, but it does get slippery. The water isn't deep if you fall in. Once passed the maintained trail you have to stay within 20 ft of the water and cannot go past the waterfall.
  • This is a nice little, well-defined hike, great in the fall, but esp. in the heat of summer; the gorge is a cool spot. We hadn't been there since the washout some years ago. Before, the falls were maybe 20 feet high and the walk up and back was on a built path through the gorge. Now, the path through the woodsy part is still great. The rest is a mix of path and hopscotch on rocks back and forth over the shallow creek. Regardless, it's a beautiful feature of the land. The layers of rock that have been exposed show an interesting geology - at least to me!
Places to stay near Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area

Plan your trip to Baraboo

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area by other users

32 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in Oshkosh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Madison BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in La Crosse BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Lake Geneva BY A USER FROM INDIA August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans