Perrot State Park is a fantastic park for camping, hiking, kayaking, and enjoying nature. It is located where the Mississippi and Trempealeau Rivers meet. We enjoyed our time here, and we plan to return when we are in the area. We highly recommend this park, and if you are looking for a peaceful experience, you’ll love this find.
A little History…
Perrot State Park is near Trempealeau, Wisconsin, in the western portion of the state. The park has 1270 acres and is located where the Trempealeau and Mississippi Rivers converge. It is located in what is called the Driftless Area, an area bypassed by the glaciers which flattened other areas around this region during the last ice age. Because it was spared from the damage, the park has steep limestone bluffs and beautiful river valleys which can be seen from atop of Brady’s Bluff.
Where it’s located…
If you’re going to this area, it has a drive time of 2.5 hours northwest of Madison and 2.5 hours southeast of Minneapolis-St Paul. The park is attached to the Great River State Trail, which is a 24-mile rail to trail between Onalaska and Marshland, Wisconsin.
The park offers tent and RV camping. The RV sites are large and spaced apart, with some of the tent sites being under huge pine trees that offer a gorgeous setup. Our RV site was shaded without a water view, but others had a view. The park offers bathrooms and some have showers. There is a firewood and ice station, and it is on the honor system. The RV sites have electric, but no water or sewer hookup. There is a dump station located in the park where you can empty and rinse your tanks and separate hookup for potable drinking water.
Kayaking, Canoeing, Biking & Hiking…
Kayaking and canoeing is a very popular activity in the park. We took advantage of this and loved every minute. We found beautiful shores to explore along the Trempealeau River which butted up to the park banks. The canoe trail is almost 3.5 miles. You can also paddle to Trempealeau Mountain to explore, but it is a steep hike. The park rents kayaks and canoes. However, be sure to check on availability if coming during the time of COVID. There are fun mountain bike trails inside the park, too. The trails are beautiful to hike as well.
There are two State Natural Areas that the park protects, Brady’s Bluff Prairie and Trempealeau Mountain. The state has designated them protected lands. We thought these areas were lovely.
Brady’s Bluff Prairie
Brady’s Bluff Prairie is a dry, steep bluff that faces the Mississippi River. It rises 460 feet above the river. It has over 100 species of native Wisconsin plants and flowers. There are three rare butterflies and a state threatened land snail that make this unique landscape their home. From the top of Brady’s Bluff Trail, you can see this area as you look down from the bluff towards the river.
Trempealeau Mountain is one of only three solid rock islands that formed along the entire 2300+ miles of the Mississippi River. It is very steep and stands 425 feet high. This mountain was used by early steamboat captains and river traders as a navigational site. The mountain is mostly wooded. Early Native Americans used the mountain for living and burial. The name Trempealeau comes from the French, “la montagne qui trempe à l’eau” meaning “the mountain whose foot is bathed in water”.