Parfreys Glen State Natural Area

Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area

A short drive from the main Devil’s Lake State Park area (but still within the park) is Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area.  Dedicated as the first state natural area in 1952, this is a popular family attraction thanks to easy access and a waterfall at the trail terminus.  Traffic is very busy during weekends/holidays – … Read more

Devil’s Lake State Park

Devils Lake State Park - View of the famous Devil's Doorway rock formation

I woke early and left Mirror Lake State Park so I could get one last day of hiking in.  After striking out at Devil’s Lake State Park due to huge crowds, I was hopeful that most families were heading home so I tried again – and was right.    Although I didn’t have much time … Read more

Mirror Lake State Park

Mirror Lake State Park - Northwest Trail

After leaving Iowa, I headed back towards central Wisconsin. My initial thought was to hit up Devils Lake, but after finding swarms of people & lack of camping I decided this was a bad idea for my spontaneous agenda. Drove around for a while searching for smaller lesser-known areas but my cell service cut out … Read more

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument - View from Fire Point

After making a mistake with campsite reservations at Wyalusing (and a less than restful stay at the last motel available), I woke early and headed to the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa.  I didn’t know much about this park, but it was on my list simply to check off another nationally-managed area. … Read more

Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park - From below the sandstone at Big Sand Cave

Next stop on my freestyle adventure was Wyalusing State Park in Bagley, WI.  Located in the far southwestern corner of the state, this location is unique as it overlooks the confluence of the Wisconsin River into the Mississippi River.  The state of Iowa is also visible from the bluffs.  Weather was still very grey and … Read more

Blue Mound State Park

Flint Rock Nature Trail

For the long Memorial Weekend, I set out to explore some local state parks, natural areas, and monuments.  I originally intended to leave Friday after work, but heavy rains changed my plans.  Instead, I woke early and started driving with no idea on the first destination other than a general direction of southwest Wisconsin.  I checked … Read more