Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge - La Crosse District
The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge is one of the largest wildlife refuges in the US with over 200,000 acres of land and water along 260 miles of river. The scenic refuge protects habitat along this important migratory bird corridor, provides places for people to recreate and leads the traveler through scenic river channels and to secluded islands. Observation decks and a visitor center welcome the public to this beautiful public resource. The La Crosse District area of the refuge is comprised of 46,608 acres of land that covers 35 miles of the Upper Mississippi River Valley and includes Navigation Pools number 7 and 8. The bird list for the refuge contains 265 species and covers everything from raptors to songbirds. You can access the refuge from many sites along the Great River Road, which is Hwy. 53. There are numerous pull-off areas along the road with interpretive signs and observation decks. Or, you can begin your adventure by visiting the visitor center to get maps and additional information on the resource.
Directions: The visitor center is located east of the Mississippi River in the City of La Crosse at 555 Lester Avenue. From I-90, exit south on Hwy 16 and travel to Theater Road. Turn right onto Theater road and continue to Rudy Street. Turn on to Rudy St. and proceed to Lester Avenue and the USFWS building.
Gazetteer: Page 40, B-1 (prior to 10th edition). | Page 74, B-1 (10th edition).
Signature Species: Canvasback Ducks and Tundra Swans.
Seasonality: Open all year.
Parking: Parking lots provided.
Nearest food & lodging: La Crosse, Alma and Trempealeau.