Description - Chippewa River Trail extends 22 miles through Northwest Wisconsin from the city of Eau Claire traveling past Caryville and Meridean to the confluence of the Chippewa and Cedar rivers. Habitat explored ranges from prairies to oak savannas to river bottom to farmland. The region has a bounty of wildlife including white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, grouse, pheasant, songbirds, and waterfowl.
- The Chippewa River State Trail is a popular route running along abandoned rail bed. The trail extends 23 miles linking Eau Claire with the Red Cedar State Trail. Access points include Eau Claire, South 85 at Caryville, and Meridean. The five miles adjacent to Eau Claire are paved for in-line skaters. The segment from Eau Claire / Hwy. 85 Rest Area to the Red Cedar State Trail is an asphalt emulsion surface.
From Caryville to Meridean, the trail travels through mostly remote river bottom. From Meridean to the Dunnville State Wildlife Area and the confluence of Chippewa and Red Cedar rivers, the trail travels through mostly a floodplain of restored prairies and oak savannas. At this location an 860-foot planked trestle links to the Red Cedar State Trail. It parallels the Red Cedar River northbound for 14.5 miles. Trails combined, including a short link in Eau Claire, total more than 37 miles.
Notes: From Caryville to Downsville (19.5 miles) there are no restaurants or stores. Special events along the trail may be scheduled by calling the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at 715-839-1607. For more information about the trail contact the Eau Clair Parks & Recreation Department at 715-839-5032 or Chippewa Valley CVB at 715-831-2345.
Trail passes required for bikers 16 years of age and older.
Recreation - Hiking, touring bike, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling (designated portions) are enjoyed on Chippewa River Trail. In-line skaters will find the five miles adjacent to Eau Claire paved.
Climate - Northwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the single digits F (-teens C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F for several days (32 degrees C). Nighttime summer temperatures occasionally dip below freezing. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Northwest Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 20" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 200". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.
Chippewa River State Trail is located in Northwest Wisconsin running between Eau Claire and Dunnville Wildlife Area (Red Cedar Trail).