Parfrey's Glen Trail

MODERATE 29 reviews
#2 of 11 trails in

Parfrey's Glen Trail is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Merrimac, WI that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round.

1.7 miles 229 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

snowshoeing

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

washed out

no dogs

Parfreys Glen is Wisconsins first State Natural area and is unquestionably the most visited state natural area outside of Devils Lake State Park. The glen is open to the public from 6am to 8pm. At its uppermost part, the glen reaches a depth of nearly 100 feet and embraces a mountain-type stream In the last 20 years, the glen has been changed drastically by powerful floods. The glen has gone through various closures, repairs and upgrades in recent years. The bridges and trail known to hikers in the 80s and early 90s are now gone. The trail was again damaged by flooding in 2010 and closed until the fall of 2011. The 2011 repairs only went as far as the gorge itself. The expectation of further floods has caused the DNR to curb spending on repairs within the gorge proper. Hikers wishing to continue up to the waterfall must navigate a stream and rough stone. The steps leading up to the old viewing area and the viewing area are also damaged. Steps are missing and a section of the viewing area is now partly collapsed. Use caution if you plan to go beyond the marked trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Ample parking and a restroom at the trail head. The trail follows the creek for the whole length. The trail goes from paved surface to easy dirt road to moderate rock scrambling and creek fording after the "end maintained trail" sign. Waterproof boots and poles will help. Very interesting narrow deep gorge. Huge rock blocks fell from cliffs. The cliff exposes layers of pink quartzite pebbles in between sandstone. The trail ends at a low waterfall. Great golden fall colors.

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

3 months ago

It's a pretty hike, but I would say far from hard.

hiking
4 months ago

Neat little area. You wouldn't expect this sort of terrain from the parking lot. The lot is small, but there seemed to always be room for at least a couple of cars. If you go bushwhacking, be sure to wear pants, the stinging nettle can be vicious.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike that doesn't take too much time to accomplish, along with beautiful Merrimac scenery

5 months ago

Nice hike for anyone passing through the area with an hour to spare. Prepare to "off road" it a bit to get to the satisfying falls.

hiking
5 months ago

Easily one of my favorite trails. this particular area is known for having unique/seldom seen plant life. It's a gorgeous shaded trail. I'm not too sure why it's rated as hard. there is a very moderate incline on your way in and at the end trail sign you need to use the rocks in the stream if you want to continue but still not too technical. And that's coming from a newbie hiker!

6 months ago

How could you not give this 5 stars? Although it isn't long, it's a beautiful short hike to see some beautiful rock faces and a mini waterfall.

hiking
10 months ago

Easily one of my favorite trails in the area. A must-see if you are near Devils Lake. Don't be afraid to keep going over the rocks until you reach the small waterfall!

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Such a beautiful trail. It gets pretty busy during the day, but if you hike in the early morning you should have the Glen to yourself. Relatively easy to hike but there are some small streams that you must hop from rock to rock in order to cross. One person in your group is bound to step in the water-It gets slippery! The Glen is a must-see if you are in the area.

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Great trail to observe geology. You need to make your own trail as you near the end of the canyon. Wear shoes with good traction - the rocks get slippery the busier it gets. Wonderfully cool in the canyon on a hot day!

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful trail, especially during late winter when the falls and stream are frozen. A short hike, but definitely worth it.

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful hike, cool water. Worth the trip

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Great

Great walk but to short. Go all the way to the small waterfall surrounded by high Rock cliffs. Very beautiful area. You can climb on past the falls but for most that's the end of the trail. This is worth going out of your way for a great 1-2 hour hike.

hiking
1 year ago