DNR South Central Region - BARABOO - Parfreys Glen, Wisconsin's first State Natural Area (SNA), has been closed due to extensive damage caused by floodwaters, the second time in two years, the Department of Natural ... More... BARABOO – Parfreys Glen, Wisconsin’s first State Natural Area (SNA), has been closed due to extensive damage caused by floodwaters, the second time in two years, the Department of Natural Resources announced today. The Baraboo area received about five inches of rain last night and water rushing down bluffs at Parfreys Glen washed out a bridge and damaged the temporary hiking trail, facilities that had been constructed after similar flood-related damage occurred in July, 2008. Hikers can only go about 100 feet up the trail before encountering water and “about half of the temporary trail has been washed out by the stream overflowing its bank or by rechanneling the stream bed,” noted Jim Carter, assistant manager at nearby Devil’s Lake State Park. “The larger of the two bridges that were put in place after the 2008 flood has now been washed downstream. After assessing the damage, we have closed the property for public safety reasons,” he added. The area will be barricaded and signs posted this evening (Thursday) after any remaining visitors have left the parking lot. Encompassing 480 acres, Parfreys Glen is a spectacular gorge cut deeply into the south flank of the Baraboo Hills near Devil’s Lake State Park in Sauk County. A popular one-mile long hiking trail offered outdoor enthusiasts an excellent opportunity to interpret the geographical history of the hills, culminating with a waterfall at trail’s end. Parfreys Glen SNA was established in 1956, and like its counterparts across Wisconsin, represents one of the last vestiges of the state’s native landscape as it existed prior to the 1830’s, before intensive European settlement. SNA’s are also established with an eye towards education, scientific research and for the long-term protection of Wisconsin’s biological diversity.