Fancy taking an RV to where the Trempealeau River meets the Mississippi? Perrot State Park is a 1,270-acre state park in Wisconsin's Driftless Area that is known for the gorgeous views from the 500ft limestone bluffs.
The park is full of plentiful wetlands and river valleys that are home to many migratory birds that travel through the area twice a year. Named after French explorer Nicolas Perrot, the park is the home of one of the earliest encampments by Europeans who explored the upper Mississippi. Some earthwork mounds that were made by ancient Native American cultures can also be found within the park.
You can find two State Natural Areas in the park. Brady's Bluff Prairie and a cone-shaped mountain surrounded by water known as Trempealeau Mountain.
Depending on the seasons, there are many different recreational activities to do in the park. In the summertime, hiking, boating, and fishing are popular. During winter cross-country skiing, snoeshowing and hunting prove to be are popular.
There are 38 sites RV suitable campsites that have electrical hookups and one that is accessible for people with disabilities. The campground also has flush toilets, showers and a dump station in season. You can camp during all seasons at Perrot State Park but during the Winter it will be quieter experience.
RV Rentals in Perrot State Park
Transportation in Perrot State Park
The park is very centrally located and is relatively close to being in between Milwaukee and Minneapolis. During the winter it can be difficult to access the park if there is a snowstorm, so make sure to check the weather before you depart on your journey.
If you are coming from the north or northwest, go south from Eau Claire on State Highway 93. After about 53 miles you will reach Centerville. This is where Highway 93 turns east, so take this south on State Highway 35 (the Great River Road). Take Highway 35 about five miles to Trempealeau. Once you reach Trempealeau, Highway 35 turns into Main Street. Take Main Street south to First Street and turn right. Once you reach the park First Street becomes South Park Road. Follow the signs from here to the various facilities and locations within the park.
From the east or south, take US Highway 53/State Highway 35 north from La Crosse. Once you are north of Holmen, turn left on Highway 35 where it splits from Highway 53. Take Highway 35 about eight miles to Trempealeau. Once you reach Trempealeau, Highway 35 turns into Main Street. Take Main Street south to First Street and turn right. Once you reach the park First Street becomes South Park Road. Follow the signs from here to the various facilities and locations within the park.
The park is quite large and there will be plenty of parking available all year round.
Campgrounds and parking in Perrot State Park
Campsites in Perrot State Park
Perrot State Park Campgrounds
Perrot State Park has a beautiful campground that is located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. The sites will give you great views and there are nice and private shaded campsites. In total there are 38 sites that will provide your RV with electrical hookups and one site that is accessible for people with disabilities. Although there are no water hookups direct to the sites there are 14 water stations in the campground. We recommend choosing site 35 or 36 if you want to be close to Trempealeau Bay.
Other amenities include flush toilets, pit toilets, shower block, dump station, recycling area and canoe launch spot into Trempealeau Bay. You will be able to pick up phone reception in the campgrounds and pets are allowed on leashes only.
Reservations can be made by calling the campground or booking them online at the Perrot State Park website. You can camp during all seasons at Perrot State Park and during the Winter it will be quieter in comparison to the peak summertime.
Seasonal activities in Perrot State Park
Perrot State Park offers some incredible hiking opportunities for visitors of all ages. There are seven trails in total that vary in length from half a mile to two and a half miles. Brady’s Bluff is one of the more popular trails. It is quite narrow and steep and you will encounter steps and a stairway, but is an easy trail at half a mile. As soon as you start the hike, your view will be stunning as you can see over the Mississippi valley.
Boating is made possible in Perrot State Park with a boat landing on the Trempealeau River. This will give you access to Trempealeau Bay and the Mississippi River under a railroad bridge. The most popular boating activity is to take on the Voyageurs canoe trail.
Voyageurs were French Canadian explorers who came to the area in the mid-1600s to increase their the fur trade. Back then canoes were their primary means of transportation, so this trail pays tribute to their journeys. The three and a half mile looped canoe trail takes about two to three hours to complete. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent at the park office if you don't have your own.
There are a few different fishing options at Perrot State Park. You can partake in shore fishing in the Trempealeau River and Trempealeau Bay right near the park, but they are shallow and the water levels change during the year. The Trempealeau Lakes Recreation Area also has shore fishing and an accessible fishing pier. If you do want to cast a line free fishing equipment rental is available from the park office.
Hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas of Perrot State Park during the standard Wisconsin state parks hunting and trapping time frame. You can also hunt with bow and crossbow from mid December through to the first Sunday in January.
At Perrot State Park, the traditional nine-day muzzleloader deer hunting season and the archery deer hunting season falls between Nov. 15 through the Sunday nearest to Jan. 6. During this time deer can be hunted in the open areas of the park but there is no gun deer hunting at the park.
There is a special beauty at Perrot State Park during winter. If you visit during this time make sure you get out the skis to enjoy the winter scenery. When the conditions are suitable there will be nine miles of trail groomed and tracked for cross-country skiing. Skiers over the age of 16 must have a state trail pass. You can buy a pass from the park office before you start to ski.
Perrot State Park is located along the Mississippi River flyway and it is a prime spot for bird watching. There have been more than 200 species spotted in the park. Some of the most popular to be on the look for are warblers, hawks and vireos. During the spring you can spot hundreds of Tundra swans making their grand journey through the park on the way to their summer home near the Arctic Circle.