The Knob Shelter

Located end of Wisconsin Ridge camp ground overlooking Wisconsin River.

Point Lookout Shelter

Scenic shelter at Lookout Point

Peterson Shelter

Located at Wisconsin Ridge

Green Cloud Picnic Shelter

Located near Passenger Pigeon monument.

Homestead Picnic Shelter

Located near Homestead Camgound.

Hennegar Point Shelterr

Located at farthest southern point of park.


imagesCounty Road C, from Hwy 18 is under construction Starting July 29. The Grant County highway dept. advised that the old blacktop is currently being pulverized. The machine is just too wide to allow traffic on the road. Pulverizing, hopefully, will be completed by the weekend.

If all goes well, travel will be permitted on County Rd C for the weekend. However, the road bed will be pulverized blacktop which will be difficult to remove from autos and RV’s.

Next week, blacktopping will commence. Hopefully, it will take a week.

For most people, the detour will be the best choice. It will add 20-30 minutes travel time if coming from the East.  Here is Detour Map. Follow Green Line .

The detour is a bit hilly, but it is all blacktop. Just take your time and enjoy the journey. You’re on vacation! The journey to Wyalusing State Park is worth a few extra miles and a few extra hills.


g16The Friends of Wyalusing invite all to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 7oth Birthday at Wyalusing State Park. The Birthday party will be on Saturday, August 14, 2014 from 6:00PM-7:00PM.  Celebrations begin with a parade led by Smokey Bear. All area children and campers are invited to participate in the parade, either on foot, bicycle, scooter, or stroller.  The parade starts and ends at the Peterson Shelter located at the entrance to the Wisconsin Ridge Campground.

In addition to the parade, the true story of Smokey Bear will be told.  Children can play “Pin the Hat on Smokey”.  Children can sit with Smokey for photos.  Refreshments will be provided, including a Smokey Bear Birthday Cake and cookies, donated by Ma’s Bakery of Bloomington. 

Bruce Klang, president of the Friends of Wyalusing State Park,  encourages local residents to pack a picnic supper and spend an evening at one of Wisconsin’s most scenic state parks.  “The festivities should conclude just in time to watch the sun set from the beautiful bluffs high above the Mississippi River”, added Randy Paske, vice president of the organization.

A state park admission sticker is required on all vehicles.  For more information, please call Wyalusing State Park Office at 608-996-2261 or visit our website at

Wyalusing State Park Water Trail

Wyalusing State Park Water Trail (Download Water Trail Brochure)
Glide across Glenn Lake, into narrow backwater streams connecting the Woodyard Slough, and onto the open waters of the Mississippi River. The canoe/kayak water trail offers a unique way to see the waterfowl, aquatic plants, an diverse animal life of the river bottom lands.

The canoe/kayak water trail is a loop of a little less than six miles. It begins and ends at the Wyalusing State Park boat landing. Taking the entire loop does require some paddling effort. Wear a life jacket (Personal Flotation Device) at all times.

The water trail is marked with signs posted on the shore or trees at every major.

In most cases, look for blue and white trail signs. There are a few brown and white signs along the way. There are no signs at the end of sloughs leading back to the canoe trail.

The first half of the trip is 'upstream' from the boat landing through Glenn Lake into Woodyard Slough. The current is generally slow with a few exceptions in narrow parts of the stream.

At several points along the water trail, logs and branches may appear to block the trail. There should be a small opening. Wyalusing State Park staff maintains the trail with openings just wide enough for canoes and kayaks to pass through, but too small for motorized pleasure craft. Should a tree be completely blocking the trail, please mark the spot on the paper map and inform the park staff at the office.

The second half of the canoe trip, from the entrance to the Mississippi River and back to the boat landing, may prove the most stressful for the novice. Staying close to the east shore of the Mississippi River is strongly advised. Wakes from pleasure boats as well as barges can not be avoided. Turning into the waves before they reach the canoe/kayak is advisable. Barges tend to make the largest wakes. However, a few pleasure craft can produce surprisingly large wakes as well.

A Mississippi river daymarker used for barge traffic navigation. Colors may be red and white, also.

Watch for first 'daymarker' on the east side of the river bank. About three tenths of a mile, turn left to go back to the boat landing. Incidently, if you see a second daymarker you have gone too far!!!

Once again, the canoer/kayaker will have to be on the lookout for pleasure craft wakes. This is a narrow water way. The wave reaches the canoe/kayak faster than in the Mississippi River. The paddler will have to paddle upstream.

The trip usually takes three to three and one-half hours. Take your time and enjoy the sites.

Water Trail map. View numbered sections below.

Click to Enlarge

Water Trail map. View numbered sections below.
Map Key:
All Maps (All Sections)

Images will open in separate page. Most images can be enlarged for viewing.
Section 1 Boat landing through Glenn Lake to Water Trail Entrance. (Section 1)
Section 2 Glenn Lake to Woodyard Slough (Section 2)
Section 3 Woodyard Slough to Mississippi River (Section 3)
Section 4 Mississippi River (Section 4)
Section 5 Mississippi River. Watch for Daymarker. (Section 5)
Section 6 From Mississippi River towards boat landing (Section 6)
Section 7 Along Tracks to Boat landing (Section 7)

Future Blog Topics:
Guided Water Trail with Bruce Klang
Flora and Fauna - The Water Trail.

Harv Peterson Shelter Renovations Being Completed After 76 Years

photo 2The steps, located on the southwest corner of the Peterson Shelter, are being re-leveled. The Harv Peterson Shelter, was originally started by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the later part of the 1930’s. At that time, just the masonry work was completed. In 1937, the  men of Camp Nelson Dewey were dismissed. The shelter remained unfinished.

In the spring of 1938, WPA workers arrived at Nelson Dewey State Park (Wyalusing State Park). The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was the largest and most ambitious of Roosevelt’s New Deal.  The first task for the WPA was to complete the roof of the Peterson Shelter.

Today, some 75 years later, local masons are putting the final touches on the renovation of the Peterson Shelter. A few new stones are being added for the steps. The stones are quarried from the same stone quarry used by the CCC.  Prior to 2014, new electrical service was installed, partially paid for by the Friends of Wyalusing. The building was acid photo 3washed, re-tuck pointed, fireplaces repaired, the west stone floor was re-leveled, and eve troughs and down spouts were added.

Harvard Peterson was a Civilian Conservation Corps Engineer in charge of building the “Combination Building”. He was also the park’s second superintendent.  (Right-Stepping stones  laid out.)

Weave Your Own Basket

Adults and children visiting  Wyalusing State Park, Bagley, WI, on Saturday, July 19, 2014, are invited to attend a basket weaving program.  Each person will be able to create their very own small reed basket. The evening program, starting at 7:00PM, is sponsored by The Friends of Wyalusing State Park.

Effigy Mounds National Monument Ranger, Mary Techau, will lead the basket weaving program in the Peterson Shelter.  Materials will be provided by Ranger Techau. Basket weaving materials can be purchased for a nominal fee.

A State Park Vehicle admission is required.

Many other programs have been planned for park visitors.

Facebook users are encouraged to "like" the Friends of Wyalusing State Park.

Smokey’s Birthday Party

August 9th, 6:00pm

Decorated peddled vehicles and visitor parade around Wisconsin Ridge Campground 6:00pm. Party continues with games, birthday cake and cookies. Special treat – meet and greet Smokey Bear.

Wyalusing Spirits of the Past

Last Saturday in September.  Pumpkin carving starting at 3PM. Spirits start in Peterson Shelter at 7:00PM

Water Trail Most Likely to Reopen Midweek July 17, 2014

mcgi4_hgIF the rain continues to hold off “Up North” and IF the Wyalusing State Park Staff can get out onto the water trail for sign repair and removal of downed trees and IF the canoes/kayaks can be cleaned up in time, there is a possibility that the canoes/kayaks will be available for rental at  the Friends of Wyalusing State Park Concession Stand. (Click on image to increase size.)

Park visitors can use personal watercraft at any time.

The concession stand has four(4) single person kayaks and 18 canoes available for rental. Visitors wishing to rent canoes/kayaks must stop at the concession stand located at the top of Wisconsin Ridge Campground to complete a rental agreement and receive equipment. Included with each canoe rental are Personal Flotation Devices for each occupant and two canoe paddles and a map.

Visitors drive to the boat landing. All of the gear must be returned to the concession stand in good, preferably dry,  condition.

It is recommended that no more than three adults occupy a canoe, one adult each on seats in the front and back, and one adult seated on the bottom of the canoe.  If children accompany the adults, it is recommended that the canoe contain no more than two adults and two children. The children will sit on the floor of the canoe. Personal flotation devices must be worn at all times by everyone in the canoe/kayak.

All rented watercraft must stay on the marked canoe trail. It will be easier for park staff to begin a search if a problem arises.

Additional information can be found at, click on Trail Info.

Call the visitor office for additional information: 608-996-2261