Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wisconsin With Kids {Parfrey's Glen}

Wisconsin offers many State Natural Areas to explore.  Parfrey's Glen, Wisconsin's first State Natural Area, is a favorite.  We visited years ago; I believe Amber was a toddler (so 12 years ago), and we've been wanting to get back ever since.  Glen is a Scottish term for narrow, rocky ravine; last time we visited, a boardwalk was the path through the glen.  Since that time, the glen flooded, washing away the boardwalk.  The remaining posts are proof that the boardwalk existed.  The glen closed for a while during the clean up from the flood, but has since reopened to the public.

For directions, maps, allowable activities, and details on the flora of the glen click here.

For pictures of us enjoying Parfrey's Glen, keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling - there's a lot of them.


Gathering around the sign - I like to secure this picture first thing when everyone is smiling, still full of energy, and eagerly anticipating the hike.  This isn't my first rodeo - I know how family hikes can end.  Don't worry this is a super fun hike, bound to start and end well.

Amber's missing - she was on a bus to Washington D.C.
 A good hike always starts with nourishment.  Never attempt this with hungry children.  Today's choice - Veggie straws, Voortman oatmeal cookies, and more.

Remember brushing your teeth while camping.  This is where it happened.  It's still a draw; there's just something fun about pumping water from the ground.  Making your brother mad - that's a bonus.  Joe wanted a drink of water without Sam pumping; of course the water stopped when the pumping stopped.  This was maddening to Joe.


The path into the glen starts as a flat, easy hike.

 A grand variety of flora to be seen.  I wish I would've taken along a wildflower guide.


As we approached the glen, the path got a little narrower, much more rocky, and made for some fun tripping over tree roots.  Side note:  it's much cooler in the glen, so this hike is great for hot days.

Is it ok to treat your little sister like a lion cub?

These stone steps is the official beginning of the glen.  The absence of the boardwalk makes the hike much more challenging and hands on.  

Great practice with balancing and large motor skills.  I see everything through the eyes of "Joe's teacher" (which I am).

We made it; we're still smiling; no rock jumping injuries.  It was a success.

Our day didn't stop there, but since this post was so long, I'll save the Merrimac Ferry for another time.

For more Wisconsin With Kids posts click here.