Welcome to Wyalusing State Park–Celebrating 100 Years

scan0005Wyalusing State Park is pleased to announce its 100th Anniversary this year, welcoming new visitors and returning friends to enjoy the great outdoors, and the spectacular view from the bluffs overlooking the river valley in Grant County, Wisconsin. (Link to Centennial Celebration Information)

Wyalusing is open year-round and offers excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation in all seasons. We hope you will join us in celebrating 100 years of Wyalusing State Park.

Wyalusing State Park The idea to create a park at the junction of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers was both a local movement and statewide initiative. The Robert Glenn family, who owned the land, promoted the concept of a park around the turn of the century. At about the same time, the state Legislature commissioned a report on the subject of state parks for Wisconsin.

The report, completed in 1909, recommended four sites in the state for immediate consideration for acquisition. This area was one of four recommended. The purchase was approved by the Legislature in 1912, and the park established in 1917. The park was first named Nelson Dewey State Park and later changed to Wyalusing. Wyalusing is a Munsee-Delaware Native American word meaning home of the warrior

Since the original purchase, land has been added to the park with preservation of this unique area of Wisconsin as a primary goal. The park now encompasses 2674 acres. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, picnicking, scenic scan0011overlooks, bird watching, nature education programs, bicycling, cross-country skiing, fishing, and many other outdoor activities at the park.

As you hike the park trails downward from the bluff tops, you are walking back in time. Each layer of dolomite (limestone), shale, and sandstone is older than the layer above it. Native Americans

People began arriving here about 11,000 years ago, as the glaciers retreated. Many left evidence of their life and culture behind. The Red Ochre Culture appeared around 1000 B.C. They were followed by the Hopewell Native Americans and the Effigy Mound builders. Archeologists tell us that these groups were the builders of the many mounds on Sentinel Ridge, Spook Hill and other areas of the park. Burial of the dead was one reason Woodland Native Americans constructed mounds. Most of the dome-shaped, conical mounds contain skeletons. Effigy mounds, those shaped like deer, bears, birds, turtles, and other animals, were more than just a simple burial method. Construction may have been religious, an indication of territorial possession, or a ceremonial group activity.

Some land features in the park have been named for Native Americans of the region. Green Cloud Picnic Area is named for the Winnebago Chief who led the last band of Native Americans to camp in the park. Eagle Eye Bluff, Yellow Thunder Point, and Big Chief Bluff are colorful names that honor those people who lived here long ago.

Other areas in the park received names for the way they were used by the Native Americans. Signal Point was used for signal fires. Native American sentries used Point Lookout to keep watch on the rivers. Chert (flint) was gathered for arrowheads along what is now Flint Ledge Trail. Continue Reading……