Parfrey's Glen

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

NW 1/4 SW1/4 Sec 23, T11N R7E, off Sauk County DL about 5 miles east of Devil's Lake State Park. It is an outlying unit of Devil's Lake State Park.

The Baraboo Range was once buried by Cambrian sandstones. The stream here, probably augmented by glacial meltwater, has carved an impressive slot canyon into the sandstones on the south flank of the range. The glen was a popular outing spot in the 19th century and was damaged by excessive hiking and rock climbing. Visitors now are required to stay on the boardwalk in the glen. The glen is about half a mile north of the parking area.


The Glen

The walkway ends at a small waterfall

The Rocks

The contact between the Baraboo Quartzite and the Cambrian sandstone is not visible in the glen, but within the sandstone are layers of pebble and cobble conglomerate containing rounded clasts of quartzite. As the Cambrian seas deposited sandstone, storm waves occasionally distributed coarse debris from the nearby bluffs. The sandstones belong to the Trempealeau and perhaps the Tunnel City Formations.


Dalziel, I. W. D. and Dott, R. H.; Geology of the Baraboo District, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, Information Circular 14, 160 p. 

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Created 5 June 2001, Last Update 11 Jan 2020