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Hiking Trails WI West Central WI Hiking

McGilvray “7 Bridges” Hike

Bridge 2 McGilvray 7 bridges Rd
Looking for La Crosse WI hiking:

Consider heading to McGilvray “Seven Bridges.”  Located in Holmen Wisconsin’s Van Loon Wildlife Area.

Hiking to where the seventh bridge used to stand is a 1.8-mile hike (one way) on a hard packed easy to follow footpath.

McGilvray "7 bridges" hike bridge 1 Holmen Wisconsin

First bridge:

Only 0.1 miles, making it such a short jaunt that even on the hottest of summer days it can be easily accomplished.

McGilvray "7 bridges" hike bridge 2 Holmen Wisconsin

The second bridge:

can be seen looking down the trail from the first bridge; it’s only another 0.1-mile hike to get there, total hike distance thus far 0.2-miles.

McGilvray "7 bridges" hike - flora and snake Holmen Wisconsin

The small blue flowers are wild Forget-Me-Nots.  There was only one small patch of these flowers spotted on the hike in between the fifth and sixth bridge.  Such a lovely find, make sure to keep your eyes open for these little beauties.

The yellow Forest Sunflowers seemingly line the hiking trail during the mid to late summer season, making the entire hike a bit brighter and cheerier.

The Northern Water Snake was swimming in the shallower water under the first bridge.

Note to self: stay out of the water.

McGilvray "7 bridges" hike bridge 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 Holmen Wisconsin

The third Bridge:

(featured in the middle row: far left) is a 0.4-mile hike from the parking lot and is a bit smaller and a little different than the first two, and only 0.2-mile walk from the second one and completely worth a bit of extra effort to get there.

The fourth bridge:

Featured in the middle row: middle picture – is a 0.8-mile hike from the parking lot and 0.4-miles away from the third bridge.

The fifth bridge:

Top featured picture – is a 1.25-mile hike from the parking lot.  It has a different architecture than the other five bridges.  If you are taking portrait style photo’s, hiking to the fifth bridge for different structural backdrops is a great option.

The sixth bridge:

Featured in the middle row: far right – is a 1.5-mile hike from the parking lot.  Of course, now that you have reached the sixth bridge you must continue to see the location of where the seventh bridge used to be, totaling a 1.8-mile hike in and a round trip of 3.6 miles to get you back to the parking lot.

The site where the old seventh bridge use to stand is at the end of the hike and leaves no other option but to turn around and head back the same way you came.  There is a small wooden bench to sit down on and a sign (featured bottom picture) marking that there was once a seventh bridge here.

For Top Hiking Locations in the Area Visit:
Hiking in Wisconsin

 External Links:

Friends of McGilvray Road “Seven Bridges” 

DNR – Van Loon Wildlife Area

Map & Directions to McGilvray Road “Seven Bridges”


When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.

Always give more than you take and leave no trace. 


Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

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