"Mountain Soaking in Water"
The village of Trempealeau sits on high rolling banks at the edge of the Mississippi River, smack in the center of a stretch of the Great River Road, voted one of the ten most scenic drives in America. A broad prairie stretches from the village to the east, scoured by the restless meanders of the ancient Black, Trempealeau, La Crosse, and Mississippi rivers. A giant marsh and seven lakes surround the village which, thanks to its natural scenic beauty and abundant wetland resources has become a Mecca for a variety of recreational activities.
Trempealeau offers several bicycling routes that will appeal to all types of riders. Seven days - Seven Trails. Whether you ride them all on your first visit or ride them one at a time, you won't be disappointed. The routes range from 10 to 40 miles long. There are box lunches, refreshments, picnic areas and bathroom facilities located along the routes. The Chamber of Commerce offers an annual Spring Bicycle Tour with a 10-mile fun ride and 25 or 50 mile tours. Trempealeau is your starting point to enjoy Western Wisconsin's State Bicycle Trail corridor which includes the LaCrosse River, Elroy-Sparta and the "400" State Trails to the south.
The Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, five miles northwest of Trempealeau, offers a unique opportunity to explore a variety of river, prairie, and bottomland forest habitats. There are numerous interpretive hiking trails and a five-mile self-guided circle drive thought the refuge that is convenient for autos and bikers. In the forested portion, look for hawks, ruffed grouse, cuckoos, yellow breasted chat and bluebirds. Grebes, bitterns,rare double-crested cormorants, geese, ducks, and osprey all nest in the refuge. There is access for canoers who will enjoy very quiet wetland passages. Only hand-powered boats or those with electric motors are allowed in the refuge.
The Great River State Bike Trail passes directly through Trempealeau. North takes you to the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge; south takes you all the way to LaCrosse. A parking lot and facilities make Trempealeau a great place to start your trek. This trail offers a unique opportunity to bike through the Black River bottoms. Listen for sandhill cranes. Birding and wildlife watching opportunities abound. Bring your binoculars! There are nearly 140 miles of level, well maintained bike paths located within the interconnecting trails of Western Wisconsin and the Mississippi River Valley. Several small villages are located along each of the trails. During the winter, most trails are open for x-country skiing.
Here is bike touring as you've seldom seen it, in an area that explorer Zebulon Pike described as, "...altogether so variegated and romantic that a man may scarcely expect to enjoy such but twice or thrice in the course of his life!"