Parfrey’s Glen, SNA #1 (9/674)

A deep sandstone gorge dominates the site at Parfrey’s Glen, Wisconsin’s first State Natural Area. Designated in 1952, the area contains Parfrey’s Glen Creek, having cut through the Cambrian sandstone to form the gorge. The wet rock walls provide the environment for a more northern type of forest containing yellow birch, mountain maple,and red elder as well as two rare plant species: the federally threatened northern monkshood (Aconitum noveboracense) and state-threatened round stemmed false foxglove (Agalinus gattingeri).  My visit here was shortly after the boardwalk through the gorge had been destroyed by flood waters surging through the glen.  I was left to amble about the rocks and observe the cliffs up close.  I believe the boardwalk has since been repaired and so a return visit is in order soon.  The parking lot here does fill up during summer days; though the site is within Devil’s Lake State Park and can be reached by the Ice Age Trail, most visitors drive and park.  An early arrival or off-peak season visit is recommended.

More of my photos from Parfrey’s Glen can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 1
County Sauk
Parking Lot
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Devil’s Lake State Park (park sticker required)
Dates Visited 6.14.09
Sauk Sauk County[/caption

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