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Wisconsin > Wisconsin State Parks, Forests, Recreation Areas & Trails > Old Abe Trail
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Old Abe Trail

Lake Wissota State Park- Created by Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company in 1918, the 6,300-acre lake attracts anglers after walleyes, muskies and bass. Scenic trails edge the shoreline and wind through woodland, prairie and marsh.

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General Information

Description - Old Abe Trail is a 19.5 mile abandoned rail corridor connecting Lake Wissota State Park (Chippewa Falls) and Brunet Island State Park (Cornell). This old railroad grade has been developed into a multi-use trail for bicyclists, snowmobiles, hikers, horseback riders and inline skating. Starting at the parking lot at the junction of Hwy. S and Hwy. O, the trail is flat and easy going, it winds through agricultural land into the community of Jim Falls, where the horseback riding portion of the trail ends. Continuing north from Jim Falls the trail follows the undeveloped shoreline of the Chippewa River (The Old Abe Flowage), solitude and wildlife are abundant. Five miles north of Jim Falls, you will arrive in historic "Cobban," site of the Cobban Bridge. North of Cobban the trail leaves the Chippewa River for several miles before joining back up to the river just south of Cornell. The Old Abe State Trail will create the northern portion of a 70-mile trail system from Menomonie (Red Cedar State Trail) through Eau Claire (Chippewa River Trail) and Chippewa Falls to Cornell.

Attractions - Trailheads are offered on 97th Ave (junction of Hwy. S and Hwy. O), in Cornell at the Mill Yard Park, or at the Anson Town Hall parking lot in Jim Falls. Development of the trail from 97th Ave South to the city of Chippewa Falls continues as monies become available for the replacement of the railroad trestle over Lake Wissota.

Restroom facilities are available at the Anson Town Park, (one block north of the trail crossing of Hwy. S), Mill Yard Park, and the state parks. Trail passes are required for bikers and horseback riders 16 years of age and older.

Recreation - Trail users include hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, in-line skaters, and snowmobilers.

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.

Location - Old Abe Trail is runs between Lake Wissota State Park and Brunet Island State Park at Cornell.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Old Abe Trail, c/o Chippewa County Forest and Parks, 711 N. Bridge Street , Chippewa Falls, WI, 54729, Phone: 715-726-7880

Additional Information:
Lake Wissota State Park - Created by Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company in 1918, the 6,300-acre lake attracts anglers after walleyes, muskies and bass. Scenic trails edge the shoreline and wind through woodland, prairie and marsh.
Northwest Wisconsin - Wisconsin's least populated region, Northwest Wisconsin, invites you to explore its gently rolling terrain punctuated by scenic landscapes that are rich with wildlife.
Wisconsin State Trails -

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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