Wyalusing State Park, as well as Crawford and Grant counties received over 11 inches of rain over a two week span. Heavy rain led to flash flooding in parts of southwestern Wisconsin, and northern Grant County was hit especially hard.
The surrounding bluffs and valleys directed the water along main highways and back roads, often propelling tree trunks and rocks along its path. Culverts, plugged with debris, could no longer direct water safely under road ways. The deluge overflowed onto the roads. Swatches of loose blacktop glided along atop the rain run-off. Boulders washed onto the roads. Trees, once anchored by their roots along side the roads fell onto the roads because the soil washed from their roots.
Thus, the only road to Wyalusing State Park Boat landing, fishing pier, and canoe rental became impassable. Long Valley Road was closed to general traffic for three weeks. Campers, park visitors, anglers, and water enthusiasts had to do without, or find other roads to the waters of the Mississippi River.
In addition to Long Valley Road damage, water levels on the back waters of the Mississippi River stayed at high levels. The high water made for dangerous conditions.
The park staff working with DNR engineers and local construction company worked to make proactive repairs. Finally, on July 18, 2013, Long Valley Road was reopened.
In preparation for future deluges of rain, the entrance to the culverts have been widened. In addition to widening the entrances, small dams have been constructed further up on the approaches. Roadway brush and ditches have been widened as well.
The good news is that only a few washouts occurred on Wyalusing State Park trails. Trees were also down and across a few trails. All trails have been repaired. Trees have been removed from the trails. All trails are in good walking condition. (Flood Damage from 2013, Repairs after Flood, 2013)
Canoes/Kayaks are available for Rent
The Friends of Wyalusing State Park Concession Stand canoes and kayaks are now available for rent. Wyalusing State Park offers a 5.8 mile water trail, part of which goes along the main channel. The trail is in good condition. All trail signs have been checked. Canoes and kayaks are available at the concession stand from 8AM-4PM, seven days a week. Paddles and life jackets are included.
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. Continued….