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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Trempealeau River Meadow (No. 346)

Trempealeau River Meadow

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer



Buffalo County. T20N-R10W, Sections 19, 20, 29, 30. 443 acres.



Trempealeau River Meadow is a high quality wetland complex located in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. The site features a large undisturbed sedge meadow with a diversity of species. Dominant plant species are tussock sedge, fox sedge, blue-joint grass, cord grass, fowl manna grass, and rice cut grass. Forbs include Canada anemone, marsh pea, panicled aster, swamp milkweed, spotted joe-pye weed, American water-horehound, and blunt-leaf bedstraw. Adjacent to the meadow is a shallow marsh with numerous emergent aquatics such as cat-tails, river bulrush, common rush, wool-grass, common bur-reed, swamp loosestrife, bulbet water-hemlock, wild rice, and broad-leaved arrowhead. At four locations the water deepens in old oxbows of the Trempealeau River forming deep-water marshes with an abundance of submerged aquatic species. An important aspect of these communities is the absence of invasive species. Large numbers of grassland birds, which are declining in Wisconsin, nest in the area. Additional birds include great blue heron and bald eagle. Trempealeau River Meadow is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2002.


Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highways 95 and 35 in Fountain City, go east and north on Highway 95 7.4 miles, then east on Wolfe's Dugway Road (Doelle Valley Road) about 2.2 miles to the T-intersection with River Road and park along the road. The site lies east of the road.


Trempealeau River Meadow is owned by:

  • WDNR


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.

Allowable activities

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.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), 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
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

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Last revised: Monday, June 10, 2019