La Crosse Nature Guide

A one-stop resource of outdoor places for nature connections in La Crosse County


This page provides information in regards to terminology used throughout the guidebook. Please consult these definitions to help you better plan for your adventure!


Trail Access

  • Trailhead: start/end point of a trail and/or locations where kiosk or additional information is provided; Often a designated parking area

  • Alternative Trail Access: mid-point entry to a trail; Locations where no kiosk or additional information is provided; May or may not include a designated parking area

  • Park: broad indicator of location where outdoor activities can occur. Parks may include walking paths, playgrounds, and multiple access points. Where possible, pathway access points to the park are indicated. Note: you may be able to gain access through non-pathway points, i.e. grass.

  • Park Access Point: a designated entry point to a park, denoted by either a path or a road. Note: you may be able to gain access through non-pathway options, i.e. grass


  • Uneven: grassy, gravel, or dirt trails where rocks, holes, mounds, tree roots, and branches tend to be present on the path

  • Paved: trail is paved

  • Unpaved: grassy, gravel, or dirt trails

  • Flat: there are no noticeable inclines on the path (unless otherwise noted)

  • Moderate: the trail is not completely flat; it contains occasional, brief inclines and declines

  • Steep: the trail contains persistent inclines/declines; these are quick changes in elevation


  • Easy: suitable for all ages and fitness levels; an overall unobstructed trail

  • Moderate: trail contains terrain that may limit those with restricted mobility; best suited for those who can comfortably climb a flight of stairs

  • Hard: trail conditions require unrestricted mobility, proper hiking apparel, and is best suited for those who can comfortably climb several flights of stairs and/or who are in good health



  • Parking lot: designated parking stalls

  • Roadside: parking available along curb or grass, no designated parking stalls

  • None: no designated parking stalls and/or roadside parking is not permitted/safe

This creation of this Guidebook was a collaborative effort, led by the Nature Connections program of the La Crosse County Health Department. The program is currently funded by Mayo Clinic Health System and the Paul E. Stry Foundation. Thank you to the following organizations for their support:

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