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Category Archives: Willow River State Park

We drove over to Hudson, Wisconsin to check on conditions at Willow River State Park and to see if the Trumpeter Swans were still around. The Swans were gone as was the ice on the river. There was very little ice at Willow Falls but I notice on the walk in there were some interesting ice formations along a branch of the river. It was a steep climb down to the river but it was worth the effort.

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It looks like the river was higher and when it receded it left a ring of ice on the trees. The first photo shows where a Beaver has been working on the tree. If you look close you can see the teeth marks.

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After check on the Trumpeter Swans in Hudson we stopped for a bite to eat then headed over to Willow River State Park to check on the ice at Willow Falls. I was a little disappointed with the lack good ice on the falls. There was a lot of water and not so much ice. I ended up taking some intimate photos of what little ice there was.

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We had a little time so we decided to drive over to Willow River State Park. We had not been to the park this winter and was anxious to see the condition of the ice. Turns out it was not all that great. I took a few photos and then we headed out. Tough to get spectacular ice if it isn’t cold out.

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Amnicon Falls State Park – My favorite waterfall photography location is Amnicon Falls State Park. Almost every time we drive by I stop to at least look at it and usually take some photos.

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Lost Creek Falls – I typically hike into Lost Creek Falls at least once every summer to take photos.

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Lower Falls Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – This was take on a spring trip to Yellowstone State Park. It was a stormy day with some beautiful clouds above the falls.

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Jay Cooke State Park – Not a waterfall we frequent but we stopped late in the fall. This particular waterfall was difficult to photograph in its entirety but provided an opportunity for an intimate photo of the water flowing over the top of the falls.

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Willow River State Park – Willow Falls is a waterfall that is not particularly appealing to photograph as a whole but does offer some nice intimate shots of small areas around the main falls.

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It was a beautiful but unseasonably warm day when we decided to drive over to Willow River State Park. Our first stop was Willow Falls. There was a lot of water coming over the falls, a bit surprising considering the dry winter and spring. Unfortunately most of the falls was covered in bright sunlight so I decided to concentrate on some intimate photos of the portions of the falls that was in the shade.

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While was photographing a small portion of the falls I noticed something sticking up out of the water. At first it looked like a leaf but the more I looked the more it looked like a fish tail. I kept watching it and sure enough it was a fish attempting to navigate up the falls. As I watched I noticed even more fish attempting to make it up the falls. It was strange because there a number of other folks viewing the falls and none of them had noticed the fish.

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We then continued on, what turned out to be, an eight mile hike. For the most part there was not a lot of color and we didn’t see any spring flowers.

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More photographs from Willow Falls State Park can be found on my website.

On my last visit to Willow River State Park was during a warm stretch. For some reason the river below the falls was frozen solid but there was not a lot of ice at Willow Falls. About a week later I made a second trip to Willow Falls. We had a solid week of below zero weather. This time the River was open and the Falls had quite a bit of ice. I haven’t been able to figure out why the river was open.

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Willow River State Park is a popular rock climbing areas. I almost always find someone climbing on the sandstone cliffs above the falls. This past visit was no exception. I happened to have my long lens with me in anticipation of seeing some birds on the lower Willow River. I took a few photos of the climbers.

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This year we have only been to Willow Falls State Park a couple of times. I usually visit more frequently but with the cold weather the waterfall has been frozen so it hasn’t been that photogenic. This past weekend we drove over to see what was going on. The falls was almost ice free so I took a few intimate photos.Willow-River-State-Park-14-4-_0381

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It has been bitterly cold the last few weeks so I decided to drive over to Willow River State Park and see if I could find some frost to photograph. Unfortunately it has been cold for too long and there wasn’t any frost to photograph. Willow Falls was almost completely frozen so there weren’t a lot of good photos to be had but I managed a few intimate photos of Willow Falls. It was a bit of a disappointing trip but I was able to stop at the DNR office in Baldwin and pick up my ski pass and park pass for next year.Willow-Falls-13-12-_0036

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It has been a while since my wife and I have been to Willow River State Park. Usually I make a number of visits in the winter but this year I just made one visit. With the arrival of Spring we decide to drive over and check on condition in the Park. In fact  we made two visit last week to Willow River State Park.

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The first visit was made on bright cold spring day.There was plenty of water running over the falls. It was late in the day so the falls was mainly in the sun and only partially in the shade. I managed to get a few photographs using a neutral density filter and a circular polarizing filter.

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After photographing the falls we decided to follow the river down to Willow Falls Lake and see if we could find any wildlife. There were plenty of ducks and Canada Geese to be found where the open water of the river met the ice on the Lake. We heard a pair of Sandhill Cranes calling as we were walking along the river but couldn’t see them. We also saw a couple of Trumpeter Swans land in the open water on the lake as we were walking back to the car.

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Canada Geese

After looking at my photos I wasn’t happy with them so a few days later we decided to drive back over to the park and do some hiking. In the morning we walked down to the falls and took some more photos. The water was running higher than on the previous trip. We then walked along the river to check on the waterfowl. They were less plentiful along the shore than on our previous trip. We decided to walk back to the car and head out for some lunch.

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After Lunch we decided to try hiking the Nelson Farm Trail which was finished late last year. It goes from main east parking area through the north portion of the park and ends back at Willow Falls. In all we walked about seven miles through the park.

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The trails had been groomed for cross country skiing but they had turned mostly to slush and in many places were bare ground. We encountered a couple of diehard cross country skiers on the trails. They had to stop every once in a while and walk through the mud to get to the next patch of snow. One of them gave up and clearly was not happy with conditions but the other one persevered and made the circuit of the park.

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Wildlife was plentiful in the bluffs above Willow River Lake. There were two herds of White-tail Deer in the meadows. We also managed to see quite a few birds including our first Eastern Phoebes, Eastern Bluebirds, Great Blue Herons and Cedar Waxwings of the season. Waterfowl was plentiful but too far out for any photographs. Waterfowl included Wood Ducks, Common Mergansers, Mallards, Buffleheads and lots of Canada Geese.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

This is a great time to visit Willow River State Park. There is some good water flow over the Falls. Many of the summer birds have returned to the park. Waterfowl are plentiful where the Willow River enters Willow Falls Lake and along the edge of the ice on the lake.