Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge
Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge (Source: Wikimedia)

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge

Park Information

Young black terns sit on their floating nest, a great blue heron gracefully flies over the wetland, a gentle breeze blows across the sand prairie, and a wood duck finds shelter in the bottomland forest.

Welcome to Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge! This 6,200-acre refuge lies within the Mississippi flyway, along the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin. It is an isolated backwater, cut off from the Mississippi and Trempealeau rivers by dikes, providing needed resting and feeding areas for waterfowl and other birds.

The refuge is situated in a unique geological formation known as the driftless area. Thousands of years ago, glaciers surrounded but did not pass over the land.

Blown into mounds, sand and silt from melting glaciers formed the rolling sand prairies of the refuge. Wetlands are a prominent feature. Before the railroads arrived and the locks and dams were built, the lands within the refuge were part of the Mississippi River.

As such, these backwaters experienced floods and droughts. Today, using dikes and control structures, managers can mimic this natural cycle by lowering the water to expose mudflats and allow plants to germinate. Migratory waterfowl and marsh birds benefit.

Agency Name:

Fish and Wildlife Service


From Winona, MN: Take Rt. 43 across the Mississippi River into Wisconsin. Turn right onto Rt. 54 east. Travel 5.7 miles, and take a right onto West Prairie Road. Refuge entrance is on the right after about one mile. From LaCrosse, WI: Take Rt. 53 north to Rt. 54 west. Follow 54 west to Centerville and continue 3.1 miles to West Prairie Road. Turn left on West Prairie Road and drive one mile to refuge entrance.

Geographic Location

Contact Info

W28488 Refuge Rd.

Trempealeau, WI


Additional Info

  • “Home – Trempealeau – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service”. Accessed May 25, 2020. Link.

Near By Parks

  • Effigy Mounds National Monument
  • Mississippi National River And Recreation Area
  • Science Museum Of Minnesota
  • Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
  • Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife And Fish Refuge
  • St. Croix Wetland Management District
  • Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge

Near By Campgrounds

  • Backbone State Park
  • Pikes Peak State Park
  • Volga River State Recreation Area
  • Yellow River State Forest
  • Albert Lea Austin KOA
  • Arrowhead Resort Campground
  • Black River State Forest
  • Blackhawk Park (WI)
  • Brunet Island State Park
  • Buckhorn
  • Chippewa (WI)
  • Devils Lake State Park
  • Highland Ridge (WI)
  • Hixton Alma Center KOA
  • Lake Wissota Sp
  • Main Day Use (WI)
  • Merrick State Park
  • Mill Bluff State Park
  • Mirror Lake State Park
  • Nelson Dewey State Park
  • Oakdale KOA
  • Perrot State Park
  • Roche A Cri State Park
  • Rocky Arbor State Park
  • Wildcat Mountain State Park
  • Willow River State Park
  • Wisconsin Dells KOA
  • Wyalusing State Park
  • Yukon Trails Rv Resort


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