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New Thrive! Park
Open for Public Hiking and Walking

Leave no trace. Please take out what you bring in. Thrive! Park of the Village of Nelson and donated by Gary “Chris” Christopherson.

Thrive! Park, a public park, of the Village of Nelson. The Park is unique in that it consists of over 25 acres of Mississippi River bluff top and bluff side. The primary bluff is the Sisters (northernmost Sister is private land) and Lost Brother. The three southernmost bluff tops (two of the Sisters and Lost Brother) are in the Park and accessible via hiking roads and trails. Photos. On the bluff tops and bluff sides are “goat prairies” that have recently been cleared as part of a larger prairie restoration effort around Nelson. The prairie restoration removes invasive and non-prairie plants and releases prairie plants to flourish in their native habitat. Thrive! Park background information:

  • Public, open to all visitors.
  • Bluff tops, sides, prairies. Donor hopes two primary prairies that were restored will be sustained.
  • Includes roads and paths for hiking/walking and prairies for restoration.
  • Hunting and trapping not allowed a) because it is in the Village of Nelson and adjoins private property and b) to not endanger other users, and c) because it is a wildlife safety area.
  • No vehicles (motorized or non-motorized) except for handicapped access and park maintenance.
  • No fires.
  • Out of respect for the Park's neighbors, please do not trespass on their land. Their land is marked Private Land.
  • Leave no trace. Please take out what you bring in.

As shown on map, Thrive! Park consists of hiking roads (dash-dotted lines) going along bluff side and back through valley). Hiking roads are generally about 6+ feet wide and were primarily made from old logging and farm roads. Also, there are several hiking trails (dotted lines) that go to restored bluff and prairie areas and can be accessed off the main hiking roads. Hiking paths are generally about 3 feet wide and were created by Donor using existing deer trails and creating new trails. Eagle Trails, light slope loop trails, were added through efforts of Max Benish and Boy Scout Troop 54 members and supporters. Thrive! Park is east of Highway 35 in Nelson (WI). Take Cleveland Street toward bluffs. As you enter woods, turn left on Christopherson Road. Just after turn, there is a parking lot on right to park. Park entrance and road/trail markings are just left of parking lot. There is also parking up the paved road below the Fish Pond. Free maps are generally available at the Park entrance.

To visit, best to contact Chris first at or 301.318.3760. More at and

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