Mississippi river through Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin (Wiki)

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What to do in Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park features many geologic wonders including interesting rock formations, waterfalls, and sand caves. Located at the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, the park contains 5.5 miles of panoramas atop 500-foot-high bluffs, originally cut by the two rivers. The park's natural history is as exceptional as its cultural history. Visible are ancient mounds from early cultures that include Red Ochre, Hopewell and Effigy Mound Builders. In fact, the park is home to 56 Native American mounds.

Wyalusing State Park is one of four places originally recommended by landscape architect John Nolen in 1909 to become a state park. The park was established in 1917 and today encompasses 2,654 scenic acres bearing the designation of state natural area. Pure stands of mature black walnut grace the forest land.

Both the Depression-era Works Project Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corp were instrumental in developing facilities at Wyalusing State Park between 1935 and 1941 building roads, shelter, trails, and opening vistas.

As one of Wisconsin's original state parks, Wyalusing offers a wide variety of outdoor pursuits including famed hiking and sightseeing.

Camping opportunities include two family campgrounds with over 100 sites suitable for tents and RVs. Many of the sites are atop 500-foot-high bluffs under a canopy of mature woods blanketed with shrubs and wildflowers. Showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, firewood, pay telephone and a boat launch are offered. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below.

There are more than 20 miles of trails that course through the park offering photogenic, bird watching, wildlife viewing, and nature study opportunities. The Sentinel Ridge Trail is wonderful for history buffs; ancient effigies are interpreted along this half-hour walk. View caves along Sugar Maple and Sand Cave trails. Follow the route of early settlers along Old Immigrant Trail. There are two trails for mountain bikers: Whitetail Meadows and Mississippi Ridge trails. Mississippi Ridge along with Sugar Maple invites cross-country skiers in winter. Bikes are also permitted on park roads.

Canoeing is a very popular pursuit at Wyalusing State Park. Rentals are available. A popular route explores the shoreline of Wood Yard Slough where great birding is enjoyed. This water route is also a good one for viewing numerous species of native marginal wildflowers.

Fishing at the park is a natural occurrence. A small boat ramp gives access to the upper Mississippi River that receives visits from over 300,000 anglers annually. Typical catches include largemouth bass, northern pike, crappies, walleye, and catfish. Restrooms are available at the small launch site.

The park offers a beautiful historic Civilian Conservation Corp-built nature center. With the park's location at the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers, nature study is another park natural. Learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the region particularly the bounty of resident reptiles. Learn about the early occupants of the land and what the 56 mounds could have possibly signified. A wonderful three-dimensional diorama depicts the park's terrain, its river corridor and lands extending to Pike's Peak State Park in Iowa. The nature center is a wonderful resource for learning more about bird life inhabiting the Mississippi Flyway. Anglers are even given the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge through the fish display. A frequently forgotten mammal among us is the bat. The nature center explores the various benefits of this small creature.

In winter, recreation continues. Ice fishing the backwaters of the Mississippi proves successful with good catches of crappie, pike and bluegill. As mentioned above, cross-country skiing is enjoyed on several trails (groomed and tracked). Winter camping is offered for the hearty souls.

Recreation
Recreation at this Southwest Wisconsin park include camping, canoeing, swimming, fishing, boating, sightseeing, bird watching, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

Location
Wyalusing State Park is located three miles south of Wyalusing in Southwest Wisconsin at the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers.

Climate
Southwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. January's average temperature is above 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). Average July temperature is 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Southwest Region can range from 20 - 40". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Address
13342 County Hwy C
Bagley, WI 53801

Phone: 608-996-2261

  • Wyalusing State Park Travel Q&A

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