Spring will arrive.

Fire place

Between Peterson Shelter and Bluff Trail

Nature Trail

Pigeon Monument

Pigeon Monument

Early Spring.

Arriving soon.

Bluff Trail

The Knob shelter

Spring - the best time.

New Playground–Homestead Picnic Area

DSC_0086Children visiting Wyalusing State park have a new playground! The playground is located at Homestead Picnic Area. The playground was made possible through the generous donations of The Friends of Wyalusing State Park, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, and the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Property Grant.

The playground features a slide, rock climb, log jam climb and two swings. The ground cover is 8 inch bark.

It is hoped that the new playground will introduce park visitors to an area of the park. The Homestead Picnic area is located via the Homestead Campground.  A walking/biking trail is located at the end of the south section of the campground.  The picnic area has a  accessible bathroom, water, and a picnic shelter with a fireplace.  The new playground and picnic area is also accessible by car. There are two parking lots – one next to the shelter, and the second located at the Sugar Maple Nature Trail.

Robert Glenn and his family’s  home and farm were located what is now called Homestead Picnic Area. Homestead Campground was part of Glenn’s land.  Robert Glenn had a dream, that one day, this land would become a state park. Finally, in 1917 his dream became reality.  Before Wyalusing State Park, the land was known as Marquette State Park, and Signal Hill State Park. In 1917, it was officially named Nelson Dewey State Park. However locals called it Glenn Park after Robert Glenn, whose dream it was to have the land an official state park. Finally, in 1937, the park was officially called Wyalusing State Park.

Additional Photos can be found by clicking here.

99.9% Tick Removal Tool available at Concession Stand….

….Buy it now. It is also engraved with the Friends of Wyalusing logo!

TICKKEY is the only tick removal device on the planet that uses natural forward leverage to remove the entire tick, head and all, quickly and safely without touching or squishing even the toughest engorged ticks.
Tick key is 99.9% effective on the safe removal of all sizes and types of ticks from people and pets.

TickKey Is The Easiest-To-Use Tick Remover On Earth!

  • Place the key over the tick in the slot.
  • Pull key away from tick sliding along the skin.

The Tick is removed easily, head and all!

This patent pending design has been perfected and tested for over five years and is responsible for the removal of thousands of ticks of all sizes including deer ticks and dog ticks.

  • TickKey  is fabricated from high-strength anodized aluminum...this is not a weak piece of plastic.
  • TickKey  is currently available in 7 bright metallic colors; Green, Blue, Orange, Purple, Red, Pewter & Black.
  • TickKey  is flat and is easily stored in a wallet, pocket, on a key chain, collar, saddle, or leash.

Don't Remove Ticks With Your Fingers.
In many cases a tick is likely to be carrying pathogens such as lyme disease,ehrlichiosis and others that are harmful to humans and pets. Tick saliva or blood is something you don't want on your skin. Pulling on a tick, even with tweezers, can tear the mouth parts from the body of the tick and leave embedded parts in the host.


Don't Squeeze, Crush or Squash A Tick.
This can force spirochete and other infective body fluids through the mouth parts of the tick into the host.

Don't Apply Substances To A Tick.
Applying any substances, such as petroleum jelly, fingernail polish remover, repellents, or a lighted match that upset or harm the tick almost always cause the tick to vomit the contents of its stomach back into the host.
No matter how badly a tick may want to remove itself, it is not capable of doing so quickly. Ticks can live without air for long periods; attempts to smother it can allow disease transmission for hours.

Low Water levels Affect Wyalusing Water Trail

With the lack of rain north of Prairie du Chien and the lack of snow melt, the Mississippi River and the backwaters are at lower than normal during early spring. Low Mississippi River water levels create a few challenges for paddlers on the Wyalusing State Park Water Trail (Shown Left).

Currently, the Mississippi River stage is at 7.9 feet.  The river stage is measured at McGregor, IA, McGregor is across the Mississippi River from Wyalusing State Park. The gauge is maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  EVERY site along the Mississippi River reports river stage as a measure relative to sea level, but there are some river gauge locations along our local rivers that are NOT reported relative to sea level. Instead, those sites have a subjective benchmark point, often based on something historical about the local area or the river reporting practices from decades ago. For example, at McGregor, IA, the river stage of 7.9 means that the water surface is 7.9 feet above a "benchmark" established years ago.

With lower than normal water levels, paddlers may have to walk and drag the canoe/kayak through sand and/or mud from 20-30 yards in one section and 125-150 yards in another. (See the red areas on the map.) With the spring of 2015, a new sand bar has appeared in the northern section as well. The yellow area signifies part of the trail where paddlers may have to get out of the canoe or kayak, depending on the route taken through this stretch.

When water levels reach a minimum of 7.6 feet, most paddlers will be able to navigate the trail without walking. Travel time around the nearly six mile circuitous route is normally around 2/12 hours. During low water levels, paddlers may have to add an extra half-hour to 45 minutes.

When paddlers re-enter the canoes or kayaks, some of the sand and mud also comes along. The life jackets get extra dirty as well. Concession stand staff washes all life jackets with detergent  and hangs each out to dry. Dirty, sandy life jackets will incur additional expense to the user.

Water Trail Alternative

Paddlers seeking a water-trail adventure without having to walk in sand and Mississippi River muck can still venture out on an alternative trail. From the Boat landing, travel North along the railroad tracks into the first dead-end inlet. Travel around the inlet, head south and around to the next inlet. Eagles can frequently be found in these areas Glenn Lake. After traveling though the inlets, take the first leg of the canoe trail until reaching the first "walking area". Reverse directions, and travel south along Glenn lake to the lower portion of the lake.

Make the turn into the Mississippi River and paddle upstream a ways.  Turn around and head back to the boat landing.

State Recreational Areas Affect Your Pocket Book- Mississippi River Corridor*

dnr.wi.gov topic parks documents wisc_st_parks econ_report_2013_final_web.pdfWisconsin's state parks, outdoor recreation areas, forests and trails serve as important drivers of local economic vitality, according to a recent report that estimates that total spending by Wisconsin state park properties visitors is more than $1 billion a year. (1) In recent years, the park system recorded an average level of 14 million visitor-days per year. (Photo source: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/documents/wisc_st_parks-econ_report_2013_final_web.pdf)

The Mississippi River Corridor Region is located along the west edge of Wisconsin from its middle to the southern border, and encompasses St. Croix, Dunn, Pierce, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau, La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford, and Grant Counties. This region contains roughly 6,700 square miles and 385 lakes. The Mississippi River running along the region’s western border is the primary recreational resource in the region.  Although most public lands within the region are fishery or wildlife areas, there are also a number of state parks. The Great River Road, a thoroughfare that follows the Mississippi for 250 miles, connects over 50 local parks and beaches. Urban influences also impact this region as visitors from the nearby Twin Cities metropolitan area make use of the region’s recreational resources. Suburban development associated with the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area in St. Croix and Pierce Counties continues to impact recreation supply and demand across the region.


Your Wisconsin State Budget vote May 7.

Here is link to State Park Budget info.


Here is link to contact your legislator



The Mississippi River Corridor Region has thirteen properties in the WSPS. State Trails in this region include the Buffalo River, Chippewa River, Great River, and LaCrosse River, and Red Cedar. Hoffman Hills is the single State Recreation Area in the region. The region’s State Parks include Kinnickinnic, Merrick, Nelson Dewey, Perrot, Wildcat Mountain, Willow River, and Wyalusing River.

The Wisconsin Park System accounts for over 1,200  jobs generating over $84 million in wages that are centered among the top employment sectors of the regional economy that include state and local government, food services and drinking places, private hospitals, and wholesale trade businesses.

Wyalusing State Park

In 2010, the  Wisconsin State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan listed the yearly total visitation to Wyalusing State Park at over 207,000 visitors.  Nearly 63,000 of the visitors were from the area, and the remainder were non-local visitors.  In 2013, annual non-local expenditures was $13,530,146.   Local Expenditures was $3,253,368.  In 2013, the local economy was helped by $16,783,514.  Does Wyalusing State Park, help the local economy? You bet!



*(1)"Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System: Connections to Gateway Communities" [PDF] is available by searching the DNR website for "parks," and then clicking on the link for "Reports and more" under the "Documents & publications" tab.

Concession Stand–Grand Opening Mothers Day Weekend

birdinacornNeedless to say, and an understatement at best, it seemed like a lo-o-ng cold winter.  A delightful spring season is coming to  Wyalusing State Park. Soon wild flowers will be springing up and the bird migrations will be greeted by hundreds of birders who come to Wyalusing State Park. It also brings the opening of The Friends of Wyalusing State Park concession stand – known as The Bluff Top Shop.
The Bluff Top Shop will be open during the weekends in May – Friday from 3PM-8:00PM, Saturday 9:AM-8PM, and Sunday 9AM-2PM. The concession stand will also open for school groups renting canoes by special appointment. The Spring hours will continue through mid June.
This year will bring many changes to Wyalusing State Park as well as the Bluff Top Shop. In addition to a point of service register enabling faster customer service and an expanded credit card use, the concession stand will be offering unique, one of a kind, souvenirs.
Once again, the concession stand will offer certified wood for campers. The hardwood bundles is stored inside, assuring a welcome campfire in the evening or excellent heating source for the creation of campfire culinary delights. ALL PROFITS FROM THE BLUFF TOP SHOP ARE RETURNED TO THE PARK.
The concession stand also offers other camper supplies like eating utensils, batteries, tarps, matches, etc. Some food items like marshmallows can also be purchased at the concession stand.
Of course, Schwan’s products will also be available. Schwan’s frozen treats and hot items is a favorite among park visitors. Who can resist a mint flavored ice cream treat or a Bomb-op on a hot summer day?
Candy bars, chips, and soda pop are also available. The concession stand also features t-shirts and sweatshirts for kids and adults of all sizes.
Canoe rental is available through the concession stand.  Canoes are large enough for three adults or two adults and two children. Single person kayaks are also available. All canoe/kayak rentals include paddles and life jackets.
The concession stand staff will look forward to your visit. Each staff person is knowledgeable about the area and are here to serve everyone.

Wyalusing State Park Embraces QR Codes

Wyalusing State Park, in southwest Wisconsin, has over 21 miles of trails. Located along the bluffs of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, the trails offer a variety of sights as well as very different levels of terrain.

For the first time visitor, choosing which trail offers scenic views or which trail has steep grades or steps, can be a daunting task. A paper map shows the trail layout. Most trails have a brief description. Asking a park ranger or the park staff at the visitor station is always an option, but sometimes a visitor may forget to ask.

Wyalusing State Park began to utilize QR codes in 2011. These square-shaped black-and-white codes are found in the Park Visitor Guide and the concession stand. The Wyalusing QR codes are used to show users the latest trail information, topographical maps, nature information, and short videos of trail and natural features. Each trail has a specific topographical map. The six mile canoe trail has several sections of maps.

A QR code is a picture that a web enabled cell phone can translate into a web address. There are a number of different ways to read QR codes. The easiest is to take a web enabled cell phone, sometimes called a smartphone, and use a QR code reader app, which can scan any code and immediately launch the content in a web browser. Most smartphones have a QR Code reader App. You just need to find it. Users just point a smartphone's camera at the QR code, and in a moment (if there's cellphone coverage) the phone will access current trail information or anything relevant to using that particular trail. Web enabled tablets can also scan QR codes.

imagesWhen smartphones scan the QR code for Wyalusing State Park, the wireless device will go to a special website formatted for the smartphone or a tablet. Once the information is on the wireless device, the web address is stored on the device. The QR code does not have to be scanned again for that device.

Get a QR Code Reader
If your wireless device doesn’t have one already, the first thing you’ll need to do is download a FREE QR code reader to your mobile device.
If you have an Apple device visit the app store and download my favorite reader, QR Reader for iPhone.

If you have an Android device, visit the Android market and download QR Droid.

If you have a Blackberry device, you’re in luck! Many BB’s already come with QR code readers. Located the MENU key on your device and select SCAN A BARCODE. If your Blackberry doesn’t have a scanner, visit the app store and download QR Code Scanner Pro.

Still confused about QR codes? Here’s a video that will take you step by step in choosing a QR code reader and and scanning your first code.

QR Code Factoids:
  • QR code uptake has increased 4589% from early 2010 to early 2011
  • 56% of QR codes appear on product packaging
  • The majority of users expect to receive a coupon or deal from scanning a QR code
  • 11 out of 50 Fortune companies are incorporating QR codes into their marketing strategy
  • 68% of QR codes are scanned via an iPhone

Friends of Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park was one of four areas recommended for state park status in 1911, by the Nolan Commission. It formally became a state park in 1917. At that time, it was called Nelson Dewey State Park – named for Wisconsin’s first governor. It was renamed Wyalusing State Park when Nelson Dewey State Park, near Cassville, Wi, became a State Park.
Wyalusing State Park is in the Driftless region of Wisconsin. It is bounded by the Wisconsin River to the north and the Mississippi River to the west. The confluence of these rivers is easily viewed along the Wisconsin and Sentinel Ridge Bluffs. Point Lookout is is located midway between these two bluffs. The lookout is a favorite for everyone coming to the park.
The Friends of Wyalusing was formed in the late 1990’s. The organization had 16 members. Since its inception, the mission of the Friends of Wyalusing is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the visitor experience by enhancing the connection between nature and the park visitor. Today, there are eight active members and a little more than 80 members on the roll.
The Friends of Wyalusing made their presence known as “big Stinky” met its demise in 2001. The removal of Wisconsin’s largest open-pit toilet became a national event. The Friends of Wyalusing had its most successful T-shirt sales ever. Quite literally, a truck load of t-shirts were sold as a fund raiser. The Friends of Wyalusing made a cleaning that year.
The Friends of Wyalusing also played a part in Wisconsin’s Centennial celebration of its Park system. Hundreds of people came to the park to see the launching of four hot air balloons. One of the balloons was a huge Smoky Bear. A decade later, the Friends group celebrates Smokey’s birthday. Smokey Bear leads children and adults around Wisconsin Ridge Campground inviting one and all to the birthday party held at the Peterson Picnic Shelter. Smokey rides in the back of the Park’s electric vehicle. Children decorate their bicycles. The Friends of Wyalusing, organize the event which ends with games, stories birthday cake and ice cream.
The Spirits of Wyalusing Past is the culmination of events by the Friends of Wyalusing. Interesting, colorful, historical tidbits of the area are presented by ‘Spirits of Wyalusing Past’. The “Spirits” are portrayed by members of The Friends and other volunteers who have talent and a willingness to portray a character.
The “Spirits” are located on the 500 foot bluff, overlooking the night lights of Prairie du Chien, and the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. Families reserve camping spots a year ahead for this event. The event was first held in the late 1990s on or near Halloween. It was moved to the last weekend of September in 2004, because of more favorable weather.
Local scout groups and camping families decorate and carve donated pumpkins. The lighted pumpkins and lighted tiki torches are placed along the .5 mile trail part of which follows the Sentinel Ridge. The Friends of Wyalusing and family members serve as guides. After the walk, home-made treats are served. A silent auction is also held during the event. Each of the items is donated by member of The Friends of Wyalusing. It is not unusual to have over 250 visitors attend this event.
However, due to dwindling members who live close-by, The Friends of Wyalusing have found it very difficult to maintain this program.
During the early 2000’s the Friends of Wyalusing began to operate the concession stand in the east end of the Peterson Picnic Shelter. The concession stand operates during the summer camping season. All of the profits are returned to the park for projects which enhance the visitor experience.
Through Affinity Grant Awards, matching funds and other grants, The Friends of Wyalusing have been able to provide almost all of the information signage, trail signs and nature signs found in the park, including the entrance sign welcoming all to Wyalusing State Park. Informational kiosks, found throughout the park, provide information about invasive species, Friends events, and park happenings.
The Friends group assisted in the purchase of a new flagpole at the visitor contact station.
The Amphitheater, located at the Hugh Harper Indoor Camp, was partially funded by the Friends of Wyalusing. A fireplace insert, located in the fireplace of the Nature center, provides warmth to campers and park visitors during cool damp days thanks to the Friends group. The Friends of Wyalusing also provided funds for the major rehab of the Paul Lawrence Interpretive Center.
The Friends of Wyalusing through matching grants, paid for completely rewiring the Peterson Picnic Shelter, Nature Center, and the Concession stand in 2014. The Friends of Wyalusing are very thankful for the 1000’s of people who visit the park, and stop by the concession stand to purchase items, rent canoes or kayaks, or drop off donations.
In 2014, The Friends of Wyalusing, helped with the rededication of the Passenger Pigeon monument.
This year, 2015, the Friends of Wyalusing State Park along with shared grants are funding a new playground at Homestead Picnic area.  In addition to the Homestead campground, The Friends of Wisconsin State Park will be sponsoring a 5K Fun run in June. Donations from this event will go towards our most challenging plans – A nature center connected to the visitor center. We hope to break ground for this in 2017.
One of the most note-worthy projects that the Friends of Wyalusing has undertaken is the creation of the Endowment Fund. The Friends of Wyalusing was the very first Friends group to start an Endowment Fund for a State Park. When asked about the meaning of the Endowment Fund for the future, Kathy Paske, Secretary of Friends of Wyalusing said, “The park is a special place in many different respects--historical, geographical, diverse flora and fauna and spiritual to name a few. We want to make sure future Friends have the means to continue our conservation and education efforts.”
We are hopeful that a shower building and bathrooms will become a reality this year for Homestead Campgrounds.
The website  - www.Wyalusingfriends.org features interactive maps, 100’s of photos, 10’s of videos, and information formatted for Web-enabled devices.