Posted by: kerryl29 | June 17, 2019

Wisconsin: Parfrey’s Glen

The same morning that saw me spend time at Pewit’s Nest and McGilvra Woods ended with a stint at Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area.  (One of the most attractive things about the Baraboo Hills area of Wisconsin is that there are a large number of interesting locations all within a 15-20 minute drive of one another; that’s how I was able to visit all three of these spots in the same morning.)  It was still blissfully cloudy when I arrived at the deserted Parfrey’s Glen parking area and I quickly put on my rubber boots (as I expected to spend time in the water), grabbed my tripod and photo backpack and headed up the trail.

The trail in Parfrey’s Glen follows a creek through a pleasant wooded area for roughly half a mile before entering the glen itself.  I found myself checking out compositions along the creek within a few hundred yards of the trailhead.

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

Many of these images were made while standing in the middle of Parfrey’s Glen Creek.

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

The creek is relatively shallow in many places, but it was necessary to watch my step, as there were numerous spots that were two or three feet deep, at least.  Despite what appeared to be slippery rocks, footing was actually pretty good, for the most part.

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

Though, as noted in the prior posts in this series, the spring leaf out was still in its early stages during my time in central Wisconsin, blooming marsh marigolds were frequently observed creekside and made a nice complement to the rushing stream.

Marsh Marigolds, Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

Eventually I reached the entrance of the glen itself, and I paused at this spot to produce the image you see immediately below.

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

Within 200 feet or so of this spot, I found myself adjacent to the creek, with tall walls on both sides of me.  This was Parfey’s Glen proper, and it reminded me of some spots at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana.  It was at this point that some kind of waterproof footwear was not merely a convenience.

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

The Glen itself narrows quickly at this point.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which is responsible for this site, had maintained the trail at Parfrey’s Glen all the way to a waterfall at the head of the canyon, and the trail up to the point where the glen narrows is still in fine shape.  But a series of huge floods over a few years caused the DNR to abandon maintaining the trail through the canyon itself and it now requires a bit of scrambling to make it through to the waterfall.

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

I had to cross the creek numerous times over the last few hundred yards, and I also walked up the creek bed at times in an attempt to work my way around some of the boulders.  In one or two spots, I had to climb over the boulder fields.

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

Ultimately, I made it to the waterfall, which was a bit of an anticlimax.   You can see it in the background in the image immediately below.

Parfrey’s Glen Waterfall, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

I did produce one image that actually featured the waterfall, with a composition I kind of liked.

Parfrey’s Glen Waterfall, Parphrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin

Moments after the above image was made, the sun popped out…and it stayed out for a long time thereafter.  Lucky for me that I’d made it to the end of the trail by that time.

This wasn’t to be the end of the photographic day for me, however, as I ventured to Baxter’s Hollow Preserve that afternoon.  But that story will have to wait for a later entry.


Responses

  1. I love these long exposure shots!

    • Thanks very much!

  2. Beautiful compositions, one can almost hear the water bubbling through the creek.

  3. A beautiful place and interesting images. Not sure if they are a little over processed but would love to go there. Very inviting

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I’m a bit confused by the over processed remark as I used the same approach to processing these images as all the others that appear on the blog.

      • Oops!

        • No worries. If you see a problem with the way the images are appearing, I’d really appreciate hearing about it. I hope my message didn’t suggest anything different.

  4. I love the green mosses and the slightly-slowed shutter speed.

  5. these are so pretty!!

  6. […] I left off the narrative at the end of my last Wisconsin-based post, I was wrapping up at Parfrey’s Glen just as the sun burst from behind the clouds, right […]


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