“A mellow jaunt through the forest and prairie at Great River Bluffs State Park.”
— Kenny Slocum
Birding · Fall Colors · Wildflowers
This trail system can be a little confusing, but don't worry; a "wrong" turn won't take you significantly off course as the park is not very big.
This trail connects the headquarters/fee collection area with the "main" portion of the park.
Starting from the headquarters, a wide lane heading south for a few hundred feet eventually turns left; from there the trail is bordered by tall prairie grasses making it easy to follow the route, paralleling the road.
After a few tenths of a mile, the trail turns right and makes its way into the forest edge.
The main users of this trail system are cross country skiers, and numerous signs with directional arrows point out other trails, but most are not well maintained in the summer. Stay in the short grass, and eventually the trail will connect with the overlook area.
Flora & Fauna
While much less traditionally dramatic, this trail is a great demonstration of the historic ecosystem of the blufftops surrounding the upper Mississippi River. Tallgrass prairie dominates the landscape, in a rare setting where no other signs of humanity are obvious. Taking a break on a run through here, one is treated to the sound of gentle waving grasses and grassland birds like bobolink and meadowlark.