“A rolling trail through Wyalusing timber, culminating in a nice view of the Mississippi River.”
— Kenny Slocum
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Wildflowers
The bugs can be GNARLY throughout Wyalusing in the summertime; come prepared with spray, especially if you plan to stop at any time to enjoy a view!
The Mississippi Ridge Trail is minimally technical, but is shared with mountain bikers so keep an eye out.
From the Homestead Picnic Area, the trail runs south along the ridge on a well-maintained wide dirt path. Running through large maple and oak trees provide significant shade, making this a nice escape on a hot summer day. The trail offers only a few teasing glimpses of the river until the very end - unless of course you're enjoying it before/after leaf out, wherein the Mississippi is in view throughout the trail.
The trail trends downhill with few sharp turns or steep climbs, and a few minor uphills are encountered. The southern terminus at Henninger Point offers a nice view of the river, but it's far from the nicest view available in Wyalusing.
On the return journey, if you're okay with a little pavement, take the road back to the Homestead Picnic Area. A slightly mellower grade has the added bonus of taking users past the Spook Hill mound group, a fantastic representation of the Native American burial and ceremonial mounds found in the area.
Flora & Fauna
The trail is fairly typical of the area's woodlands, with large maples and shagbark hickories shading out much of the understory. In the spring, ephemeral wildflowers abound, but by summer, nettles, jewelweed, and mayapple coat the forest floor in a deep shade of green. Wyalusing in general offers some of the best birding in the region thanks to a wide variety of landscapes and the confluence of two major river systems.