December Falls

Devil's Lake State Park - December Falls

Ironically the terrible rainy weather created perfect conditions to visit an ephemeral waterfall called December Falls (sometimes referred to as Roznos Falls). I visited on both Saturday & Sunday and as you can see 1 inch of rain makes a big difference. To find the falls, hike north on the Ice Age Trail / East … Read more

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

Our short ferry ride across Lake Wisconsin was specifically because it’s the fastest way to reach Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area from the north.  This is also a section along the Ice Age Trail. The trail is mainly pine and cedar but has a wide variation depending on where you are.  Trails today were quite … Read more

Parfreys Glen

Parfreys Glen State Natural Area - Parfreys Glen Falls

No more taking chances – our next destination was a surefire 5-star hiking and waterfall experience at the beloved Parfreys Glen State Natural Area.  We arrived relatively early and even got parking inside the parking lot (and not down the street!). The trail is a 1.1 mile in & out hike that starts very easy … Read more

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Pike Lake Unit #optoutside

Kettle Moraine Pike Lake Unit - Panorama From Powder Hill Observation Tower

Black Friday shopping madness?  Nope!  Once again I decided to #optoutside and burn off the turkey and pie.  This year’s hike was part of an event hosted by the Ice Age Trail Alliance at the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Pike Lake Unit. Part of this hike was a segment of the Ice Age Trail.  … Read more

Interstate State Park – Part 2

Interstate State Park - Horizon Rock Trail / Ice Age Trail segment

Midday detours were complete and I was back at Interstate State Park for part 2 of my visit.  Goal for the afternoon was to hike all the remaining trails which I was able to complete minus one or two small connecting paths. Eagle Peak Trail Starting from my campsite, I walked through the parking area … Read more

Straight Lake State Park

Straight Lake State Park - Rainbow Lake

Another detour on the way back to my campsite was to check out Straight Lake State Park.  As Wisconsin’s newest park (founded in 2002), it’s still relatively primitive which typically means less people & less disturbed nature.  I decided to take a quick trek around the Rainbow Lake Loop Trail and leave the rest for … Read more

Interstate State Park – Part 1

Interstate State Park - Ice Age Trail western terminus overlooking St. Croix River

Yesterday I arrived at Interstate State Park, setup camp, and almost immediately set off searching for waterfalls in the surrounding area.  Not quite sure I did it in that order, just a habit when I’m camping at a site for multiple nights my first day is always getting the “lay of the land”.  Weather was a … Read more

Dells of the Eau Claire River

Dells of the Eau Claire River - View looking downstream from bridge

Not sure I’ve mentioned this but waterfalls are pretty cool.  The area around north central Wisconsin has plenty of them too.  Next stop was the Dells of the Eau Claire River State Natural Area in Aniwa, WI (near Wausau).  I didn’t know much about this location before visiting, but glad I stopped here. I parked … Read more

Grandfather Falls

Grandfather Falls - Merrill, WI

Decided to keep chasing waterfalls (no, I’m not doing that intentionally).  Next stop was Grandfather Falls in Merrill, WI.  Like many of the other state parks and popular destinations, this site also crosses with the Ice Age Trail – something I would like to section hike but that’s far in the future. The falls are … Read more

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