Hiking Above the Mississippi at Perrot State Park

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Goat Prairie Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Goat Prairie Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI


Hiking trails in Perrot State Park take you to soaring heights above the Mississippi River. The recommended trail route here traverses a level 5 mountaineering climb to Perrot Ridge and then a level 5 climb to Brady Bluff. Even on a gray and cloudy day the views are breathtaking. Perrot State Park also offers safe canoeing and kayaking in a channel of The Great River, and camping, biking, and general state park activities. 






View of Brady bluff from Perrot Ridge at Perrot State Park
View of Brady bluff from Perrot Ridge at Perrot State Park

A beautiful afternoon hike awaits at the lesser known Perrot State Park which seems to be a local secret. With other popular Mississippi River Bluff state parks such as Wyalusing, Pike's Peak, and Interstate, Perrot State Park is often overlooked. For the avid adventure hiker, it should not be. Views of the The Great River are superb here, and the hikes are as comparable to mountain hiking as can be achieved in the Midwest.

For a 3.5 mile challenging  double loop hike start at the parking lot just North of the ranger station. Keep right and follow the trail to Perrot Ridge. As you ascend you will encounter several vistas of the river valley. From Perrot Ridge you will overlook Brady Bluff. Take it in; you'll be hiking down through the valley between the two high points and up to the top of the steeper and higher Brady Bluff.

At the summit of Brady Bluff is a log shelter for those who take a late evening hike up the bluff and want to roll out a sleeping bag and contemplate the stars above and the passing of barges on the Mighty Mississippi below. From this point you can view Trempealeau bluff and island. Following my recommended hike you will descend from Brady Bluff on a steep switchback trail through Brady Bluff State Natural Area. This area is a goat prairie. Back into the woods you will be shaded by old growth hardwood and white pine forest. Several streams carve gorges along the route.

This hike has risen to one of my most favorite in Wisconsin. Combined with biking on The Great River Trail - this is the perfect weekend getaway for anyone living between Minneapolis and Chicago.

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI




Overview: Perrot Ridge and Brady Bluff Trails at Perrot State Park


COUNTY: Trempealeau
COMMUNITIES: Trempealeau

TOTAL MILES: 3.5
DIFFICULTY: Moderate (2 level 5 mountaineering climbs)

POINTS OF INTEREST: Mississippi River, Brady Bluff State Natural Area, Perrot State Park, Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge


Directions and Trail Map




Address for your GPS: W25709 Sullivan Rd, Trempealeau, WI 54661
| coordinates: 44.011721, -91.463893 |

From Milwaukee3.5 Hours
From Madison2.5 Hours
From Green Bay4 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis2.5 Hours
From Chicago4.5 Hours



Photos


Hike to Brady Bluff at Perrot State Park
Hike to Brady Bluff at Perrot State Park

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Goat Prairie Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Perrot Ridge Trail at Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
View from Brady Bluff at Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Shelter at Brady Bluff at Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI

Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI
Perrot State Park in Trempealeau WI