Walking Trails


Walking trails are a wonderful ways to see the refuge.  There are several marked trails. Below are some maps to help you locate the walk for you.The Mississippi River is a migration corridor not only for waterfowl, but also for numerous other birds such as raptors, shorebirds, and neotropical songbirds. In the spring and summer, the river provides important nesting habitat for many species. Even in the coldest months, the area serves as wintering ground for northern bird populations in addition to year-round residents. Bald Eagle watching during the snowy ice covered river months is popular with winter visitors.

There are a few biking trails that wind through the refuge.

  • Winona, Minnesota area


    Bring your walking shoes and long pants for a trek through Aghaming Unit, 1,950 acres of floodplain forest a pristine destination for bird watching. Spring and fall passerine migration is spectacular. 

     How to get there: From Winona, Minnesota cross the interstate bridge towards Wisconsin. There will be an exit to Aghaming and Latch Island. Park in the parking lot and walk across the old wagon bridge or drive across the old wagon bridge and park on the side of the road and venture on one of the trails through the floodplain forest. Trails can be muddy and filled with downed trees. For the adventurous soul.

  • Onalaska, Wisconsin area


    The trails at the Visitor Center on Brice Prairie (La Crosse District Office)  offers several trails that intersect each other.  One of the longer trails is from the Visitor Center on the prairie to the Lake Onalaska overlook.  Fall and spring provide you views of migrating waterfowl and pelicans.

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  • Trempealeau, Wisconsin area


     Our sister refuge, Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge also has trails to explore.

    Trails follow wooded edges and are clearly marked on the map. These trails are accessed year round.  In winter bring your skis or your snowshoes and walk through the refuge on marked trails.  

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  • Great River State Trail, Wisconsin


    The Great River State Trail is an abandoned railroad trail that crosses over the Black River on a 287 foot trellis bridge. Specatacular views of the floodplain forest. The Van Loon Wildlife Area truss bridge is about a 45-60 minute bike ride from the Visitor Center. 

    There is 6 miles of the 24 mile Great River Bike Trail that are within the refuge from the Black River to Halfway Creek. 

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  • Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin area


    According to the locatls, there is no better place to enjoy and explore the great outdoors than Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. From wooded bluffs to the waters of the Mississippi, the area offers endless opportunities to enjoy nature at its best during any season.

    The Mississippi River serves as a migration corridor not only for waterfowl, but also for numerous other birds such as raptors, shorebirds, and neotropical  songbirds.

    Warbler migration peaks about May 4-8. The first or second week of May is the  time to come and see these colorful birds. The Sturgeon Slough Walking Trail, is accessed from the rest stop located on Highway 18 between Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and Marquette, Iowa.

  • Savanna/Thomson, Illinois area


    The Great River Trail in Illinois is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River.

    The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a stretch of road shoulder along the Great River Road. The Great River Trail begins in Savanna and travels south through many small river towns with traditions still steeped in the quintessential culture of the Mississippi River.

    Tucked away in a quiet, gentle area south of Savanna, Illinois is Spring Lake a birders paradise, along the Great River Road in Illinois. The viewing tower and walking trails are excellent access points for observation and photo opportunities.

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