Brady’s Bluff features a dry prairie and oak woodland on a bluff with stunning views overlooking the Mississippi River. Found within Perot State Park, this is definitely in my top 10 SNA’s visited. The SNA can be reached from several trailheads, though the most common are the East Brady’s and West Brady’s parking areas. From the West Brady’s area, the trail contains numerous switchbacks while the route from East Brady’s is more direct (based on the map).
For both of my visits, I approached from the west. The trail here is well-marked but the terrain is steep in some areas, consisting of stone steps and wooden stairs in some spots, as well as very uneven with rocks, roots, and worn dirt along the way. That said, I highly recommend a visit here. There is a tremendous variety of species in the prairie and in the forest on the way up from the west. Jeweled shooting star and showy orchis were noted near the trail with large-flowered trillium, wild geranium, and various anemones being quite abundant. At the top of the bluff, the views open up and are simply breathtaking. The Mississippi River flows below and turkey vultures were observed soaring on thermals. Trempealeau Mountain (stay tuned in mid-June for that blog post) can be seen as well. That site too is an SNA within the park, but requires a canoe/kayak and some decent paddling skills to visit due to the strong current. Perot State Park in general is one of my favorite state parks and I fully intend to make many return trips here.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Brady’s Bluff can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology
||Dry Prairie, Bluff, Oak Woodland|
|Parking||Parking Areas (paved)|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Located Within||Perot State Park|
|Dates Visited||5.16.10 / 7.30.11|