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Category Archives: Wisconsin State Natural Area

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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


A few weeks ago we made our fall trip down to Baraboo, Wisconsin to visit friends and check out the fall colors. Our first stop was Pewits Nest. Unfortunately the colors were gone and most of the leaves were on the ground. The good news is they enlarged the parking lot so more than 4 or 5 cars can park at any given time. In past years we sometimes had to skip the visit because the parking lot was full.



When you find yourself in a situation where the subject you came to shoot is not what you expected you then start looking for alternative subjects. On this day I concentrated on photographing close up photos of leaves in the water.



I have a photo of Houghton Falls published in the October/November 2015 issue of Lake Superior Magazine. The article is Blazing Trails: Where to Stroll When Colors Call.


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.




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


After Leaving Washburn we headed just down the road to Houghton Falls State Wildlife Area. We were again disappointed in the lack of water flowing over the falls. With all of the rain we expected a good water flow. We walked out to Houghton Point but were generally disappointed in the visit.

More photos from Houghton Falls State Wildlife Area can be found on my website.



On a recent trip to the northland we stopped at Houghton Falls State Natural Area. This is the first time we have visited in the winter. Houghton-Falls-State-Natural-Area-14-1-_1562




Late in the fall color season my wife and I visited Houghton Falls State Natural Area. We decided to go back a few weeks later when we had more time to look around. As it turned out it was getting late when we arrived so once again our visit was a short one. We did manage a few more photos of this beautiful area.Houghton-Falls-13-11-_0604



Davidson-Windmill-13-10-_2220In late October we took a late fall road trip from Duluth to Bayfield. Our first stop was Davidson Windmill located just outside Superior, Wisconsin on highway 13. I had driven by it many times but never took time to stop. It was built by a Finnish immigrant in 1904 and was used to mill locally grown grain.

Amnicon-River-13-10-_2260Our next stop was the mouth of the Amnicon River. This was only the second time I had been to this location. I’ve always wanted to photograph the area around sunset but never made it this year. The sandbar that separates the Amnicon River from Lake Superior is usually covered by dead trees and logs.

Port-Wing-Harbor-13-10-_2268The third stop was Port Wing Harbor. This houseboat is usually moored in the harbor. The story is that you can’t have houseboats in the harbor so once every summer the owner take it out onto the lake thus qualifying it as a boat.

Herbster-13-10-_2289Herbster, Wisconsin was the next stop. The wind was blowing and there was nice wave action on a beautiful fall day at the beach in Herbster.

-Cornucopia-13-10-_2293We drove from Herbster to Cornucopia where we stopped at the harbor where there are a number of old fishing boats on display. This is the Twin Sisters out of Cornucopia.

Houghton-Falls-State-Natural-Area-13-10-_2312My wife was interested in visiting the Apple Orchards in Bayfield but my goal was to visit Houghton Falls State Natural Area. We had tried to find it a few weeks earlier but failed. This time we had a better map. It was getting a little late and everyone but me wanted to head back to Duluth. I did manage to get a few shots and an overview of the area.