- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Maiden Rock Bluff (No. 410)
Pepin County. T23N-R16W, Sections 1, 2. 248 acres.
Maiden Rock Bluff protects one of Wisconsin's most notable limestone cliff faces on a bluff high above the Mississippi River overlooking Lake Pepin. Extending for nearly a mile, the 400-foot high bluff is especially noteworthy for the presence of nesting peregrine falcons, a state-endangered species. The cliff is one of only six bluffs on the Mississippi River where peregrines are successfully nesting on natural substrate. Representative cliff species include red cedar aged at 250 years of age, hairbell, slender lip fern, smooth cliff brake, slender cliff brake, white-flowered leaf-cup, and plains muhly grass. The open cliff and adjacent narrow band of dry prairie provide habitat for several rare plant species including cliff goldenrod (Solidago sciaphila), dragon wormwood (Artemisia dranunculus), and prairie sagebrush (A. frigida). Many dry prairie species are also present including little bluestem, wild bergamot, columbine, leadplant, mountain mint, alumroot, pasqueflower and silky aster. Larger blocks of restorable oak savanna are found on the deep soils of the lower slopes and support such species as arrow-leaved aster, zigzag goldenrod, bare-stemmed tick-trefoil, round-leaved shinleaf, sweet cicely, and wild yam. The rocky bluff provides hunting perches and habitat for a variety of other raptors including gyrfalcon, golden eagle, bald eagle, and turkey vulture. Situated along the Mississippi River flyway, an important migration corridor for raptors and neotropical songbirds, protection of Maiden Rock Bluff will also provide important habitat for other migrating birds. The surrounding uplands including existing agricultural fields will be restored to prairie with skiing and hiking trails for the public. Maiden Rock Bluff is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2004.
From the intersection of State Highway 35 and County J in Stockholm, go north on J 0.73 miles, then northwest on County E 1 mile, then west on Long Lane 0.7 miles into the site.
Maiden Rock Bluff is owned by:
The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.
The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.
Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.
In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.
- Cross country skiing
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
- Collecting of animals, non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
- Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
- Camping and campfires
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]