Parfrey’s Glen is one of those places that you just grow to love. It has a serene, peaceful feel and a beauty all of it’s own. The trail mostly consists of walkways and isn’t terribly long, clocking in at just a quarter-mile long. I will advise, however, that you wear shoes with good traction as the end does consist of some narrow and sometimes slick rock stairs. It’s worth it, though, trust me.
I’ve walked this trail in three of the four seasons, the missing season, of course, being winter. I’d love to come back here this winter, but it’s not terribly safe to do. I’d bet it’s beautiful lying under a blanket of sparkling snow, though. I’ve noticed that the prettiest seasons for hiking here are spring (full of brilliant greens) and fall (full of the brilliant shades that we have come to expect from fall.) Summer is pretty, too, but it seems less bright and colorful and the plants that grow here in the summer months tend to pale in comparison to the other times of the year.
The trail is unpaved, but the beginning is covered with rubble. If you will be traveling with a small child you can take a stroller in for about half of the trail. You will find the need to leave it on the trail by the first wooden bridge, though. The rest of the walk isn’t too far, though, and your child should be able to walk the rest of the way with a hand for balance.
The trail is not wheel chair accessible, though, and it is fairly narrow on those foot bridges. There are benches through the earlier portions of the trail where you can sit and soak up the surroundings. There’s an open glen where we’ve seen deer run across on past visits. If you will be visiting on a cooler day, I suggest bringing along a light over shirt or coat. The further in you go on the trail the prettier and cooler it gets. You will notice a definite temperature drop toward the middle to end of the trail.
Speaking of the end of the trail. At the end is a beautiful little waterfall. So peaceful and beautiful.
Parfrey’s Glen is part of the Wisconsin state parks and is located just a short drive from Devil’s Lake in the Baraboo area. There is a $7 day pass fee to go on the trail, though this fee also covers a day pass at no extra cost to the other nearby parks (Devil’s Lake and Natural Bridge are included in this fee) I would suggest starting out early and planning to maybe hit one of the other parks in the same day. You’ll pay $7 for the one park, or $7 for all three, why not try to make the most of your money?