Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge

Steve and I love visiting National Wildlife Refuges, there is something about the “possibility” of seeing wildlife that keeps us visiting every one we find.

While out for an afternoon drive, we stumbled on the Trempealeau NWR. We hadn’t planned to do any hiking, so we opted for the Prairies Edge Loop Tour. This self-guided, 4 mile drive takes you through sand prairies, backwater marshes and hardwood forests. This year, spring made a late appearance in Wisconsin and we’ve had copious amounts of rain, so our early June visit was filled with wildflowers high water.

We picked up a brochure at the entrance and began the drive. I was amazed by the riots of yellow and purple flowers…

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The brochure pointed out a number of invasive species which have found a home in the refuge. One of these plants is called Leafy Spurge and while it looks pretty, it is taking over large areas…

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Wild prairie roses and berry bushes compete for space…

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When we saw a gentleman with a very large lens on his camera, we stopped to see what he was looking at. High up in a dead tree was a red-headed woodpecker…

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The rains have flooded low lands and the calm winds that day ensured lovely reflections…

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We stopped at the visitor center and talked for quite a while with one of the rangers. She was incredibly knowledgeable and gave us ideas for other places to visit while we are here. Afterward, we walked to the observation deck and I knew, we would have to come back one day with our kayaks…

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It was neat to try and identify all of the turtles we saw, this plaque was a big help…

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I think we saw at least 4 of the varieties!

As we rounded a bend in the road, we were happily surprised to see a deer grazing in the field…

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And a thirteen stripe ground squirrel bid us adieu at the end of the loop drive…

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It was a peaceful way to spend the afternoon and thanks to the ranger, we now have lots of suggestions for places to explore!

Do you like visiting NWRs? What is the most exciting animal you’ve encountered?

17 thoughts on “Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge”

  1. Beautiful photos! Love all the colors and those turtles look like they’re enjoying working on their tans. 🙂 We’ve always had good luck chatting with rangers and visitor center employees to get recommendations for local places to check out. They are almost always a great resource for tips about the locale. You guys continue to amaze me with all the cool places you find!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful and peaceful place. We enjoy visting NWRs. Two of our favorites are close to home here in Georgia. Harris Neck NER is a great place to see nesting birds and baby alligators in the spring. The wildest would be the giant gators in Okefenokee NWR

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the curious deer, “What ya lookin’ at, Lady?” Looks like it’s a beautiful drive and maybe Mike and I will get a chance to drive it before we leave beautiful Wisconsin. Those squirrels are the weirdest (and cutest) little things. You caught some not-so-scared turtles, too. Great photos, as always! So thankful we at least have a couple more days (maybe more–who knows?) to spend with y’all! Happy manatee hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The wildflowers are incredible. Even if you had not seen a single animal the vibrant scene would have been well worth the visit.Its always special to see animals in the wild. Here in the Rockies it is often mountain sheep and seeing the new lambs is fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For some reason I’m not able to post comments to our mutual friends (Dawn) blog. I keep getting “You sent an invalid security token” message back. Since you also use WordPress (as do I) … I am leaving this comment here to see if I get the same error message back from your blog. If this comments sticks without error seen on my end … feel free to go ahead and delete it. If I get the error message, you will never see my comment. Thanks for letting me experiment


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