“A short loop around the Dells area with plenty of views along the way.
— Eric Ashley
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Matthiessen State Park is open from dawn to dusk.
Swimming, wading, scrambling on the rocks, and possessing alcohol are all prohibited in Matthiessen State Park.
This trail provides a short and interesting run with enough flights of stairs to keep your heart pumping.
The Bluff Trail is a mostly gravel doubletrack trail that loops around the Upper and Lower Dells and provides views down into both from various vantages. The Bluff Trail can be traveled in either direction from where it starts on either side of the Entrance Stairs Connector
. This description is for the counterclockwise direction.
From the parking area, descend the Entrance Stairs Connector
to the junction with the Bluff Trail, and take a right. From here, the wide trail gently climbs for over a half mile before descending to a large bridge that crosses over the dam and Lake Falls. The view straight down the face of the falls and into the canyon is quite impressive.
The trail continues descending past the upper end of the Interior Canyon Trail
, Interior Canyon Trail Connector
, and the lower end of the Interior Canyon Trail
before it arrives at the middle bridge. Keep to the right to circle around the Lower Dell, eventually descending a long set of wooden stairs.
Enjoy a bird's-eye view from the lower bridge before climbing past the Bluff Trail Extension
to end across from where the trail started at the Entrance Stairs Connector