Dewey State Park in Wisconsin

by Jennifer Sobek

Nelson Dewey State Park, located in Cassville, Wisconsin, is a 756-acre park overlooking the Mississippi River. The park is rich in history, full of scenic views and offers opportunities for many activities, including hiking, birdwatching and visiting historic sites.

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Camping

Dewey State Park includes a family campground as well as a group camping area situated 300 feet above the Mississippi River. The family campground consists of 45 individual sites, including 18 with electrical hookups. There are 16 tent sites, four of which are walk-ins. The group camp area has three sites with electrical hookups; each of the sites can accommodate up to 40 people. Each group site features a large camping area, picnic tables and a fire ring. Water, toilets and showers are available in the campground and other facilities include a dump station, handicap access and a recycling station.

Trails

The park has six trails that provide scenic views of the surrounding area, including the Mississippi River. The Cedar Trail is 0.2 miles and gives walkers a slight challenge, as it has a slope and some rocky terrain. This trail provides a view of the Mississippi River and the Stonefield State Historic Site. The Mound Point Trail is 0.6 miles long and features a steep slope with some steps. It provides a scenic view of the Mississippi River, passes by some Indian mounds and features a wildlife observation area.

Nature and Birdwatching

In 2000, the 27-acre section of Dewey Heights Prairie was dedicated as a state natural area. This is a remnant of the extensive prairie system that once stretched across southern Wisconsin. The plants and wildlife in this area are protected and you are asked not to leave the trail in this section of the park. Dewey State Park is located in the Mississippi Flyaway, one of the North American bird migratory routes. Pick up a copy of "Birds of Nelson Dewey State Park" at the park office to help you identify the birds you see. If you visit in the winter, you can often observe bald eagles in the bluffs.

Park History

Named after Nelson Dewey, the park is located on part of Dewey's 2,000-acre estate. Dewey was elected Wisconsin's first governor in 1848. While visiting the park, you can tour the Stonefield State Historic Site, which is located just outside the campground. The site includes the State Agricultural Museum, a recreated village and farmstead from the 1900s and the Dewey summer home, Stonefield.

About the Author

Jennifer Sobek has been a writer since 1993, working on collegiate and professional newspapers. Her writing has appeared in the "Copperas Cove Leader Press," "Fort Lewis Ranger," "Suburban Trends" and "The Shopper News," among others. Sobek has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Rowan University.