Visit the Parnell Observation Tower

Parnell Tower Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Matt Johnson

Beautiful scenery, fantastic views, and an optional 3.5 mile loop trail along the Ice Age Scenic Trail.

Located southwest of Plymouth, WI, the Parnell Observation Tower is located just west of the intersection of Cty Road A and Cty Road U. At the trail-head, the parking lot has a restroom facility, drinking water, and a picnic area.

The start of the trail has well established wooden steps along the entire walk to the base of the tower. On your left, there is an alternative route to begin the Parnell Tower trail loop. This loop is roughly 3.5 in length, and a great way to extend your visit to the area. Along the trail is Parnell Shelter (#4). This is one of six backpacker shelters within the Kettle Moraine section of the Ice Age Scenic Trail. For more information, visit

Once you reach the top of the 60 ft. tower, you can see a couple of local landmarks over the stretch of a 25-mile radius. 

The trail to the tower is short; this tower could be accessed throughout the year, even with snow on the ground. 


0.5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

200 ft Gain






Nearby Lodging

Madison KOA

Vienna, Wisconsin

Milton KOA

Edgerton, Wisconsin

Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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The Views From Parnell

The tower is beautiful, surrounded by wilderness far away from any major town. The trail is longer than expected which made it surprisingly fun. For anyone visiting remember that there's a park fee.

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