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Great River State Trail

The trail may bring a number of different users to the trail at the same time. It is important to use good trail etiquette to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all trail users.


Near Trempealeau, there is direct access from the trail to Perrot State Park where camping is available. In addition to camping, the park offers hiking trails, canoeing and fishing opportunities and a nature center. Perrot State Park was a natural landmark for the Hopewell Native American culture, which built many mounds along the Mississippi River Valley.

Canoeing and kayaking

Lytles Landing is a primitive canoe launch area along the Black River. Parking, water and vault toilets are available. The Great River State Trail is ideal for a bike and paddle trip. Sections of this former rail corridor parallel the Mississippi River. You can paddle downstream and then bike back to your starting point or vice versa.


The Great River State Trail corridor is open to hunting from County Highway ZN in La Crosse County northwest, approximately 10 miles, to the village of Trempealeau limits in Trempealeau County. Then, from approximately two miles past the northwest limits of the Village of Trempealeau, at Lehman Road northwest, approximately 3 miles, to the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge access road at the junction of West Prairie Road, for a total of approximately 13 miles. These sections are open during the Wisconsin state parks hunting time frame. For more information, please see:

Walking and bicycling

The level grade and limestone surface make this trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. A state trail pass is required for bikers 16 years of age and older.

Pet owners, please be sure to have your pet on a leash, 8 feet or shorter, at all times. You must pick up after your pet.

Winter activities

Snowmobiles are permitted on the trail. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The trail also connects to numerous miles of county snowmobile trails.

The opening and closing of snowmobile trails are at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails that cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails are done on a county-wide basis, however, localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails.

The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report [exit DNR], and local club and county snowmobile webpages [exit DNR] and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.

The trail is open to walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, the trail is not groomed and users must share the trail with snowmobiles. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail.

    Part of the Mississippi River Trail

    The Great River State Trail is part of the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), a designated bicycle route that travels from the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Delta at the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. It is a 3000-mile system of bicycle-friendly roads and multi-use pathways. The MRT is a "string of pearls" that connects 10 states, the cities of Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans and hundreds of smaller towns along the way. The MRT is a unique way to experience the Mississippi River’s natural wonders, transportation system, recreational facilities and cultural heritage. Most of the MRT in Wisconsin is routed on Highway 35, the Great River Road.