The Chippewa River Trail is an approximately 30-mile trail that runs from Eau Claire's Phoenix Park to the town of Durand. Along the way, it joins the Red Cedar State Trail in the Dunnville Wildlife Area near the confluence of the Red Cedar and Chippewa Rivers. The trail passes through a wide variety of habit, including sandstone bluffs, wetlands, prairies, and river bottoms. Elevation gain is 564 feet.
The Chippewa River trail, originally a railroad corridor, is an integral part of the Chippewa Valley Trail system. That system includes the Red Cedar State Trail and the Old Abe State Trail. It will will eventually encompass an 80-mile network of trails, connecting the cities of Menomonie, Durand, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, and Cornell.
The trail is open year-round for a variety of outdoor activities. Much of the trail is paved, and, in the spring, summer, and fall, is perfect for rollerblading, in-line skating, biking, and walking.
Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling (in designated areas). Snowmobiling is especially popular, as the trail connects to miles and miles of county snowmobile trails. Note that the trail is ungroomed, and skiers share the trail with snowmobiles.
Other related activities include canoeing and kayaking in areas where the trail runs parallel to the Chippewa River. Some areas along the trail are also open to hunting.
Dogs are allowed on the trail, but your dog must be kept on a leash.
Note that a State Trail Pass (currently, $25/year or $5/day) is required for some parts of the trail.
For more information, contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Friends of the Chippewa River State Trail.