This 24-mile trail travels through prairies and backwaters of the upper Mississippi River valley. Built on an abandoned Chicago-Northwestern railroad line, the trail has a finely crushed limestone surface suitable for walking and bicycling for much of the year and snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. The Great River trail is within a larger area called the Mississippi Flyway and passes through two National Wildlife Refuges.
The trail is in Wisconsin's scenic Coulee Region, part of the Driftless Area that was untouched by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Visitors to the Great River trail will enjoy the changing wetlands of the Mississippi River backwaters, 500-foot bluffs, hardwood forests, unique sand prairies and oak savannahs. The Great River Trail Prairie and the Midway Railroad Prairie are state natural areas with direct access from the trail.
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