Cold Springs Boat Landing - Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge - McGregor District

This site is just one stopping point along the 261 mile long Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge established by Congress in 1924. The north end of the refuge begins at the confluence of the Mississippi and Chippewa rivers near Wabasha, Minnesota and ends near Rock Island, Illinois.


As you drive the Great River Road between Ferryville and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin  you are fortunate to view the bluffs towering 500 feet above the river. Often, there are bald eagles perched on the cottonwoods along the shorelines.

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Latitude: 43.279136 Longitude: -91.04961 Elevation: 624 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Cindy Samples

Recreational Opportunities

Boaters using this boat landing have access to a 35-acre backwater area located at the mouth of Kettle creek, approximately 5 miles upstream of lock and dam 9. Boats can travel under the railroad and enter onto the main channel of the Mississippi River.


Wildlife Observation 
Here you may spy a bald eagle perched in a tree or soaring overhead.  Great blue herons and egrets feed in  the 35 acre backwater.  Turtles loaf on logs and plop into the river when startled. There are snapping turtles, painted turtles and a couple species of softshell turtles.

This area is an excellent bluegill fishing near the railroad bridge in the fall.  In 1993 Cold Spring was rehabilitated to ensure there was dissolved oxygen so fish could survive the winter.  Ice fishing is a popular winter sport.

Waterfowl Hunting
Waterfowl use the Mississippi Flyway as their migration route.  Waterfowl stop on the refuge to rest and refuge.  Waterfowl hunters are rewarded with successful hunts.  This landing is a popular access point provides access to several thousand acres of prime habitat for diving and dabbling ducks.

Seasons Accessible

This area is accessible all year long.  Ice fisherman are quite abundant in the cold winter months.


There are no fees.

Accessibility Notes

This boat landing does not have an accessible dock.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are allowed on a 6-foot leash.  We ask that you pick up after your pet.

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