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Category Archives: Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

After having lunch with our friends my wife and I decided to drive over to Gibraltar Rock. Gibraltar Rock is designated as one of the Wisconsin State Natural Areas and offers spectacular views of the Wisconsin River Valley and Lake Wisconsin. At the top there are some nice Red Cedar Trees that are twisted and bent. They offer some nice foreground when photographing the river valley.

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The radar showed that rain was moving into the area. When we left Baraboo there were some dramatic clouds. It was a race to see if we could get to Gibraltar Rock before the rain. We made it to the parking lot and loaded up our gear for the hike to the top. Just then it started to rain so we walked back to the car and unloaded our gear. Then the rain stopped so we decided to make a run to the top.

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Unfortunately the fall colors were past peak and the dramatic skies had been replaced with a grey overcast. I still managed to get in a few photos before it started to rain forcing us to make a hasty retreat to the car.

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It is sometimes difficult to hit the fall colors just right. I’ve had the most success visiting Ironwood at the end of September some of the other locations I try to judge the fall colors using the Wisconsin Fall Color Foliage Report.

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Gile Flowage Sunrise

I’m starting to think about fall color trips. Typically my fall season starts with a trip to Ironwood, Michigan at the end of September. My two favorite photograph locations are Gile Flowage. Gile Flowage is a great place to start the morning by photographing the sunrise.

Gile Flowage

Gile Flowage

Later in the day I like to drive over to Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill and make the trip to the top of the ski jump. There are some spectacular views from the top of the ski lift.

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill

In mid October I like to drive over to Munising, Michigan. This is probably one of the premier fall color locations in the country. While I’m in the area there are three locations I like to visit. The first is Hiawatha National Forest. There are quite a few lakes in the forest that offer some spectacular fall color shots. The leaves turn first in the National Forest. If you are really lucky you will be in the area when the snow falls on the colors.

Thornton Lake

Thornton Lake

A week or so later the colors will turn at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hiking along the trails above the lake offer some unsurpassed scenery. If the weather cooperates a sunset cruse on the tour boats is well worth your time.

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While in the area I always try to visit Seney National Wildlife Refuge. It offers some spectacular sunrise and sunset opportunities as well as a chance to photograph wildlife.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge Sunset

Seney National Wildlife Refuge Sunset

Toward the end of October I like to drive down to Baraboo, Wisconsin. There are some great photography locations in the area. Devils Lake State Park is always popular and can be crowed on a beautiful fall Day.

Devils Lake State Park

Devils Lake State Park

Gibraltar Rock offers some great views of the Wisconsin River Valley.

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

My favorite location is Pewits Nest. If you time it right the leaves can be outstanding. Pewits Nest is small natural gorge cut by Skillet Creek.

Pewits Nest

Pewits Nest

Another location we like to visit in the Baraboo area is Gibraltar Rock. During the fall color season the views can be spectacular. We were up early to so we could hike to the top of Gibraltar Rock while the sun was still behind us. As it turned out it was an overcast morning and the sun did not appear until we were leaving.

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I’ve compiled a list of my favorite fall photography destinations. The links go to additional photos on my website.

Blue Hills – Drive through the back roads of the Blue Hills east of Rice Lake and you will find beautiful fall colors.

Blue Hills

Blue Hills

Crex Meadows – In October and November you will find thousands of migrating Sandhill Cranes.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Devils Lake State Park – Beautiful fall colors.

Devils Lake State Park

Devil’s Lake State Park

Gibraltar Rock – Overlooks the Wisconsin River valley.

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gile Flowage – An often overlooked gem. The fall colors turn in the Hurley area early.

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Parfreys Glen – A beautiful walk up a small stream through giant boulders.

Parfrey’s Glen

Parfrey’s Glen

Pewits Nest -The best of the Wisconsin State Natural Areas.

Pewit's Nest

Pewit’s Nest

Earlier this fall we were in the Madison, Wisconsin Area to visit son who is a student and the University of Wisconsin. He also coaches soccer in Middleton, Wisconsin. We took in a couple of the soccer games that he was coaching and the next morning headed over to Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area.

Gibraltar Rock is located near Lodi, Wisconsin. It rises 200 feet above the surrounding landscape and offers some great panoramic views of the Wisconsin River Valley and Lake Wisconsin.

I’ve visited on a number of occasions but this is the first time I’ve visited in the morning when the light seems to be the best The trees are very interesting and provide some nice subjects for photography as does the river valley the unfolds below the rock. On this trip the trees were not in peak fall color but there were still some nice photographs to he had.

Additional photos of Gibraltar Rock can be found on my website.

It’s the time of year when I start getting excited about the fall colors. Already some states have their fall color reports active. I started thinking about the places I would like to travel to this fall and came up with a list of my top 5 destinations. I’ve listed the ironwood area first because, for some reason, the leaves turn in this area before they do in any other area.

Ironwood, Michigan

Gile Flowage– is located just south of Ironwood, Michigan. What I like about Gile Flowage is that you can photograph at sunrise and sunset and get some great photos. In fact, at both times you can photograph the color of the trees and just turn around and then photograph the rising or setting sun.

Gile Flowage Sunrise

 

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hillis the largest ski jump in the world and the top of the jump is nearly 1200 feet above lake Superior. On a clear day you can see for over 40 miles. Lake Superior and the Porcupine Mountains are visible from the top. The ski jump is open on weekends during fall color season.

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill

 Black Riveris just down the road from Copper Peak and offers some great fall views of waterfalls along the Black River.

Rainbow Falls

  Munising, Michigan

Hiawatha National Forestis located just south of Munising and offers some great photography opportunities along the many lakes in the area. The peak colors in the national forest are usually a week or so before the colors in Pictured Rocks. Most of the lakes are best photographed early in the morning. More information can be found in an earlier Blog.

Thorton Lake

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshoreoffers some spectacular photo opportunities. The fall sunset boat cruise is not to be missed. The many mile of hiking trails through the park offer a wide range of subjects for photography.

Grand Portal Point

Seney National Wildlife Refugeis located at the eastern end of Pictured Rocks and offers some great chances for sunset and sunrise photography. Large numbers of Trumpeter Swans can be found in the Refuge.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge Sunset

WaterfallsThere are a large number of great waterfalls within a short drove of Munising. This is a shot of Laughing Whitefish Falls.

Laughing Whitefish Falls

 Baraboo, Wisconsin

 Pewits Nestis located in the southern part of Wisconsin just outside Baraboo. It’s a small gorge with a stream flowing through it. The top of the gorge is covered with large maple trees. If you hit it right the maple trees are spectacular. The gorge itself is worth the trip even after most of the leaves have fallen.

Pewits Nest

Devils Lake State ParkIs also located just outside of Baraboo. It is one of the premier Wisconsin parks and a popular destination any time of the year but particularly in the fall. We usually combine the trip with a visit to Ski-Hi Fruit Farm which lies just outside the park.

Devil’s Lake State Park

Gibraltar RockIs just a short drive from Baraboo and offers some stunning views of the Wisconsin River valley. We usually combine a visit to Gibraltar rock with a trip on the Merrimac Ferry which crosses the Wisconsin River at Merrimac Wisconsin.

Gibraltar Rock

Minnesota North Shore

There are photography opportunities all along the Minnesota North Shore from Duluth, Minnesota to Grand Portage State Park on the Canadian Border. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites. The fall leaves turn first in the interior away from the lake. The Maples turn earlier than the Birch. Generally it will take several trips at different times to take in all of the fall color along the North Shore. If the leaves disappoint the Lake will not so there is always something to photograph.

 Gooseberry Falls State ParkThis is usually my first stop on any trip to the North Shore. I try to time my visit so I’m not there on a weekend because it is one of the most popular parks in Minnesota.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

 Tettegouche State Park –  They are building a new visitors center at the park so the visitors center will closed for the fall 2012 season. Lots of nice hiking trails into the back country.

Mic Mac Lake

Oberg Mountain – My favorite place for fall photographs on the North Shore. The top of Oberg Mountain offers stunning 360 degrees of the surrounding forests and Lake Superior.

Oberg Mountain

 Cascade River State Park is a great place to photograph any time of the year but it can be beautiful in the fall if the water level is high. Best photographed early in the morning or late in the day when the cascades are in the shade and provide a uniform light.

Cascade River

Grand Portage State Parkis located on the border with Canada. It offers spectacular views of the highest waterfall in Minnesota. Late in the fall color season the Birch Trees at the top of the falls turn brilliant colors. If you happen to be there late in the day the sun will highlight the fall colors while the falls is in the shade.

High Falls

 Crex Meadows

Crex Meadows stands alone as a destination for photography. It is a great place to photograph fall colors, sunrises and sunsets. It is also the one of the best locations in the country to photograph the fall migration of the Sandhill Cranes. You will want to plan on spending the night in Grantsburg, Wisconsin so you can take in the evening and morning flights of the cranes. About an hour before sunset the cranes start returning to the meadows. Folks bring their lawn chairs and just sit and watch them fly into their rousting grounds. You can return to the same location at sunrise and watch the cranes leaving to feed for the day in the surrounding fields. During the day you can drive the back roads south of town to watch the cranes feeding. Make sure you make the trip this year because if the Wisconsin creates a Sandhill Crane hunt you may not be able to see this spectacular event in future years. I have more details on photographing at Crex in an earlier Blog.

Sunset Crex Meadows

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes Sunset Flight

We were in the Madison, Wisconsin Area over the weekend visiting out son who has transferred from Michigan Tech to U.W. Madison. We also took the opportunity to visit a number of local photography locations including Gibraltar Rock. Gibraltar Rock is located near Lodi, Wisconsin. It rises 200 feet above the surrounding landscape and offers panoramic views of the Wisconsin River Valley and Lake Wisconsin. It is one of the Wisconsin State Natural Areas.

 

I’ve visited on a number of occasions but have never seem to be there during the best time for photography which would probably be mid to late morning in order to capture the best light. Photography from the bluff usually involves a high dynamic range so I’ve done a few HDR shots to try and capture the full range. The trees are very interesting as is the valley below the Rock. On this trip the trees were not in peak fall color, the sky was not very interesting and there appeared to be a haze over the valley. The last three photos are from an earlier visit to the Rock when the conditions were better.

 

Additional photos of Gibraltar Rock can be found on my website.

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock