Together with you, we protect rare plant communities, threatened wildlife species, top-notch cold-water trout streams, archeological resources, scenic beauty, and land for sustainable agriculture – many of the best features of the southwestern Wisconsin landscape. Our nature preserves provide opportunities for people to get outdoors, connect with nature and develop healthy habits of good exercise. Please review the safety and trail condition notices below.
Your support is needed to help ensure the nature preserves will be healthy and beautiful for today and forever.. Please consider a donation or become a member of our community-supported organization today.
Descriptions and maps for the individual nature preserves are further down on this page.
The trail maps list activities allowed/not allowed on each nature preserve. Please review those when planning your visit.
Indigenous Land Acknowledgment
Mississippi Valley Conservancy acknowledges that we conserve land which is the ancestral and traditional home of several Indigenous peoples, including Ochethi Sakowin, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Myaamia, Kikaapoi, Wahpeton, Sauk, and Meskwaki. The Conservancy recognizes that Indigenous peoples were forced to leave this region, primarily by settlers of European heritage.
It is part of our mission to conserve land for the health and well-being of current and future generations of all people and all the life we share it with. To accomplish this, the Conservancy will recognize and respect the full history of land stewardship within Wisconsin’s Driftless Area and will endeavor to protect our common home in a collaborative, inclusive, and equitable way.
We encourage public use, and we ask that our recreational use policy be followed as well as all state laws, local ordinances and our hunting guidelines. The downloadable Trail Guides for most of the properties below also contain details regarding activities allowed/now allowed on specific properties. When visiting protected lands, please be careful to avoid trespassing onto the lands of neighboring property owners.
Stay aware of hunting dates!
We advise you to wear bright colors and be aware of the possible presence of hunters when visiting the nature preserves, as hunting is allowed on most of them (subject to state and local ordinances). Turkey hunting happens in April and May (see link below for specific dates).
Click to see the Wisconsin DNR's 2023 hunting season dates.
Trail condition awareness
Please be aware that hiking on muddy trails causes permanent damage to sensitive habitats. If you come upon a muddy trail, go back – don’t go around. Going around muddy spots makes trail conditions grow worse.
Trails are currently CLOSED at Boscobel Bluffs due to tornado damage.
Hiking responsibly during the COVID-19 Pandemic
#1 RULE: Always, always practice physical distancing and follow the guidelines of your local government or the federal Centers for Disease Control CDC, whichever are more restrictive. These guidelines provided by the American Hiking Society provide some important considerations for planning outdoor activities and visiting parks and preserves.