The wonderful word of Instagram connected Ryan to Lake Effect Co. earlier in the year, and I could not be more thrilled that he reached out to join the team. He's a photographer, adventurer, and artistic eye behind much of the content you see on our social channels. Ryan wears many hats and is anall around crucial component of the team. Today he shares a recent adventure Up North!
A close friend of mine, Danny, and I decided it was time for a trip up north. Originally we were planning on going to Door County but after some phone calls it looked like most campsites were booked for Memorial Day weekend. We took one of the last spots at Perrot State Park just north of LaCrosse, WI. The weather looked promising, we packed our gear and headed off. Perrot State Park is just over 3 hours northwest of MKE.
First things first, food. Are you even in Wisconsin if you're not eating cheese curds? Arguably the best spot in Wisconsin in my personal experience for those oozing beer battered nuggets of goodness. Located in Onalaska, WI with outdoor seating right on the Mississippi, and a variety of fresh fish, this place is hard to beat. We stopped here for lunch before getting to Trempealeau.
We arrived at around 2PM, set up camp and cooled off for a bit (it was a sweltering 95 degrees most days). We looked at our park map and decided Brady's Bluff for sunset was a good bet as it's over looking the Mississippi and boy was it worth it. The map said it was about a 45 minute hike but it took us only around 20-25 minutes. The climb was quite steep but the summit is well worth it. Standing at about 500 feet, we cooled off again at the top under the shady shelter until golden hour and watched the sun pass below the horizon before heading back down.
Our plans of cooking our own breakfast onsite was quickly shutdown by buying the WRONG fuel for the camp stove. Oh well, if it wasn't for that we would've never found the most friendly, quaint and delicious breakfast spot. River Cafe was THE spot to be in Trempealeau. The staff was super-friendly and welcoming, making us feel like family. They recognized us as we walked in for breakfast when we returned the next day.
Canoe Around Trempealeau Bay
Our second night at Perrot State Park we decided to hit the water for sunset. $15 gets you a canoe (or kayak), oars, and 3 hours on the bay. After learning how to keep the canoe straight (which took longer than I'd like to admit) we floated along through Trempealeau Bay just off the Mississippi. Surprisingly only one other party was out on the water that night. We saw Bald Eagles, River Otters and Sandhill Cranes up close and personal. We got a view of Trempealeau Mountain from the water after seeing it atop Brady's Bluff the night before. Shop the Up North tee here.