Willow Falls and Nelson Farm Trail Loop

MODERATE 114 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Willow Falls and Nelson Farm Trail Loop is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hudson, Wisconsin that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.1 miles
347 feet

dogs on leash


cross country skiing



paddle sports

rock climbing

trail running


bird watching







wild flowers


Nelson Farm trail is a point to point trail in Willow River State Park. This trail is demanding in some parts with hills that are fairly steep. It is on the North side of Willow River and goes from near the waterfalls to the Bridge on the West side of the park. A wide graveled trail that is well maintained.

3 months ago

Really nice fall hike with my dog. Go there on a weekday in the morning to have the place to yourself and let dog Off-leash. The falls were very nice.

4 months ago

Made the trek from the boat launch to the falls, 3.6 miles round trip, and did the 178 steps at the falls to the overlook! Absolutely stunning views both of the falls and the overlook!

7 months ago

First off, $13 parking fee. The park was under-construction so there were areas of the trail that were inaccessible. The landscape was gorgeous. Didn’t make it to the falls but it seemed busy coming from that direction.

7 months ago

Felt like more of a walk than a hike. Either super sunny or all shade and bugs. Some steep hills which is a good challenge but since it’s all graded felt more like a walk than a hike. The falls were great to see though but PACKED with people swimming and lounging. I’d suggest a weekday.

7 months ago

There are a few steep hills but nothing crazy. Mostly out in the open, not a lot of shade and no water sources. Also the drawdown of the lake doesn’t leave you with great water views. But still a good hike.

8 months ago

Great year round!

8 months ago

If you go early in the morning on a weekday, it's very empty and peaceful. The later you go in the day, the more heavy traffic you will see. The waterfall is worth the walk. Beware of snakes, especially if you have little ones walking with you.

8 months ago

LOVE the waterfall and the scenic view points are great, especially the one at the top of the staircase. Easily a favorite and have visited many times.

9 months ago

5.8 mile hike. Well maintained trails. Excellent waterfall.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Took the clockwise 6 mile route from the nature center with our 9 year old and our dog. The route had nice undulations with a couple of steeper ups and downs (with some loose gravel so we had to be careful going down). The falls were a real treat towards the end of the hike. The nature center area has a play area, picnic pavilion and bathrooms. .

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Around this time of year (August) the weather gets kinda muggy and the weather is suitable for swimming. Lots and lots of people flood the waterfall and enjoy it's cool flowing water. Not very many people hike the trails so if you're into exploring it's the perfect time. The trails are well maintained. Definitely bring bug repellent while hiking little to no traffic hiking trails during low light periods.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Beautiful views. Wide trail, water fall views worth the trip.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Wonder day hike. Beautiful falls. Many trails at different levels.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Did the entire loop. Well marked nicely maintained trails, waterfall was filled with waders on this 90 degree Sunday. Didn't see anyone on the west trails. Short steep inclines gives you a bit of a workout. Overall easy (walk) hike.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Overall the trails were kept up and nice to walk on. Lots of small steep hills that are challenging. Not a ton of variety in terms of views on the trails, but it was a nice long hike. It's too bad the lake is no longer there. Pretty populated area with lots of great energy.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Nelson Farm trail starts off very flat through beautiful plains. The hills are what I would call severe, not moderate, so be careful on that. The falls are beautiful but FULL of kids so it's not a relaxing experience. We saw many snakes and even a rattler so watch the ground

trail running
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Fun hike with the family.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

well kept..beautiful waterfall

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Nice long walk out to cool refreshing falls, the day we went was a time crunch and we only walked to the falls and back. Definitely want to go back and do more! It can be crowded in the summer months when lots of people are camping but the trails are wide and spacious for everyone to walk.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

It was very crowded in the summer time, however the trails that lead above the falls are much more private and calm. Overall beautiful park, definitely will come back!

trail running
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

good trail run. steep hills. great vistas

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Worth the trip from the twin cities. Great area for picnicking. Tons of space. The falls area had a lot of people but it didn't feel crowded. Even on a perfect Saturday afternoon. The trail itself did have a lot of people on it so if you're looking for peace and quiet, this may not be a guest pick for that. The falls were awesome. We'd definitely go back!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

For what's around this area, this is a nice trail and the falls are nice but I wish the trail was a bit more natural and rugged instead of feeling like a city trail due to the paved sections and overly manicured trail.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Flat and wide most of the way. My mom and I parked at the nature center and walked clockwise. I'd recommend walking this way, only because it was so nice to have a cold waterfall to swim in towards the end of your hike. Bring your bathing suit! Wild flowers are great and lots of wildlife! We loved this walk!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Loved the trails here! Can't wait to come back and try more!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Super fun!! Kids had a blast playing behind the falls.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

pretty amazing sight!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gorgeous falls and stroller friendly paths. Camping sites were rustic and pretty.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

This is a good trail if you're looking for the exercise, and it does complete the loop with the other willow falls trails, but there's not much for scenery besides one overlook of the river flood plains. The trail itself has several steep hills and is mostly gravel and dirt.

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