Outside of dear little Menomonie, Wisconsin, there is a place rumored to be the home of fairies, gnomes, and trolls. That is the Devils Punchbowl, a great place for a short visit any time of year, but this visit was in the winter.
I’ve been to the Punchbowl a few time and always enjoy it. It’s just a short drive from Menomonie and an easy walk down a set of stairs to get into the bowl. Just be careful in the winter, they can get a little slippery. I almost fell into the bowl the last time I went, thankfully I caught myself before I did.
In the summer the Bowl is lush and green with water trickling down. In the winter, it all freezes and icicles cascade down the walls. You can do a little hiking in the area, but there is nothing official outside of the bowl, really.
There is a tunnel going under the road, taking you to the other side. I’ve gone through there and wandered around a bit in the summer. It’s pretty fun and there are tons of places to go in the area, especially off the Red Cedar bike trail, which I would highly recommend.
The word on the street is that if you take water from the Bowl, it will still be cold days later, even in the summer. It’s also rumored that if you joke about the trolls while you’re in the Punchbowl, you’ll return to your car that won’t start for mysterious reasons. There are even reports of people seeing gnomes and trolls running through the Punchbowl and the tunnel.
It’s a fun place to visit, especially if you’re in the area, and a great place to just get outside for a bit. It’s not a place I’d spend a whole day, but it’s the perfect place to spend an hour or two.
Tips for visiting:
- Be careful of ice on the stairs in the winter. It can be slippery.
- Take some skittles or a shiny stone to appease the trolls.
- If you plan on hiking in the area, don’t forget to bring water. Bug spray would be good in the summer, too.
- The Punchbowl is on 410th street outside of Menomonie.
- An hour or two is all you really need here, but I’m sure you could stay longer.
- It’s awesome to visit any time of year. It’s probably really pretty with leaves changing in the fall.
Have you been to the Devil’s Punchbowl? Do you want to go? What is your favorite hike in the Menomonie area?