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Perrot State Park Nature

Perrot State Park's rivers, wetlands, upland fields, steep wooded slopes, deep valleys and bluff tops are home to hundreds of kinds of plants and animals. Both Brady's Bluff Prairie and Trempealeau Mountain are designated as state natural areas.

The Nature Center has displays created by the Mississippi Valley Archeological Center about the Native American cultures that have lived here. Naturalist programs may be offered in the summer.

Animals

Many large and small animals inhabit the park.

Insects

Many colorful butterflies and moths spend time in the prairies searching for that perfect flower. Big blue and green dragonflies and dainty damselflies will keep you company as you walk along the river or canoe in Trempealeau Bay.

Mammals

Beaver, muskrats, mink and occasionally otters are found in wetland areas. Deer, raccoons, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, fox, weasels, many species of mice, shrews and bats live here too.

Birds

More than 200 species of birds could be recorded here in a year's time. Migrating birds such as warblers, vireos, thrushes, flycatchers, waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds and hawks come through in great numbers in spring and fall. Tundra swans are the first migrating birds to come through in the spring. They will often stay a few weeks in Trempealeau Bay. Once they show up in November you know that the cold is soon to come.

About 100 kinds of birds can be seen here in the summer. The numerous songbirds and waterfowl found in the area make Perrot State Park a popular stop along the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail [exit DNR].

Amphibians and reptiles

Child and butterfly
Meet a monarch butterfly up close at Perrot State Park.
Photo by Scott Maurer, courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Tourism

The bottomlands are home to many kinds of frogs and toads including the spring peeper and American toad.

Snapping, painted, false map, soft-shell and wood turtles and brown water snakes and garter snakes live in the rivers and wetlands. The bluffs have hog-nosed and fox snakes, bullsnakes and blue racers. Timber rattlesnakes, a species of special concern in Wisconsin, live in the rock cliff areas in the bluffs.

Plants

In spring, the woods offer blue, white and yellow violets, hepaticas, Dutchman's breeches, woodland phlox, wood geraniums, bellworts, jack-in-the-pulpits and graceful ferns. Spring also brings shooting stars which carpet the woods with purple and fill the air along the west Brady's Bluff trail with their wonderfully sweet aroma. Oaks, hackberries, black walnuts and shagbark and bitternut hickories are found in the woods.

In Brady's Bluff Prairie, pasque flowers, bird's-foot violets, puccoon and lead plant bloom in the spring. In late summer and fall this prairie turns into a blaze of color with blazing stars, compass plants, big bluestem, Indian grass, sunflowers and coneflowers.

Last revised: Tuesday December 29 2015