Icy wonders of Devil’s Punch Bow

Barbara Young

The Devil’s Punch Bowl. It’s nothing new to people who have been in Menomonie for any amount of time — after all, it’s prehistoric — but it remains an amazing sight.

Devil's Punch Bowl

For anyone new to UW-Stout or considering going to see the natural wonder, it’s a must-see. You could go any time of year and I’d bet my tuition money that it would be beautiful.

I went in the winter because that’s the season we’re in. Plus, I had yet to experience the wonders of the ice.

And let’s be honest: I just wanted to pretend to be Elsa for an afternoon.

Map to Punch BowlTo get there, take Broadway Street (also known as Highway 25) to 11th Avenue near Price Commons and go west on Highway 29, over the river. Go past the park and take the first left onto Hofland Road.

Then, from Hofland Road take the first left onto 410th Street. Stay on 410th for about five minutes, but be careful. The road has curves and hills, so when it’s icy it looks like a recipe for disaster.

When you get around all the twists and turns, Devil’s Punch Bowl County Park will be a small parking lot on the left.

You have to park in this strange little lot with two random stone walls. A plaque on one of the walls explains that it’s a scientific study area and that Devil’s Punch Bowl is there to be enjoyed, not altered.

Devil's Punch Bowl

A wooden staircase takes you down into a pit. The steps can be very dangerous in the winter. Good thing no one else was there to see me slide my way down them on my butt.

Devil's Punch Bowl

Devil's Punch BowlAs you go down, you begin to hear the water. In the spring, a small stream runs through the ravine.

Despite the frozen stream, water still drips from the vast walls of the pit. Stand there and listen to the water dripping down the sides, with only the occasional car to interrupt the sounds of nature.

In winter, the Punch Bowl looks like a frozen wonderland. Water drips down the walls, freezes and creates sheets of ice that are amazing to see.

Be sure check out this beautiful Menomonie locale.

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