Description - Red Cedar State Trail follows an abandoned railroad bed from Lake Menomin (Menomonie) to the Chippewa River Valley connecting to the 22-mile Chippewa River Trail. The shady trail parallels the Red Cedar River offering sights of rock formations and historic communities. Comprised of a crushed limestone surface the trail accommodates riders and hikers of all ages.
- The Red Cedar State Trail heads south from Menomonie shadowing the steep walls of the Red Cedar Valley. Six miles south of Menomonie the trail courses through Downsville home of the Empire in Pine Lumber Museum. Here visitors can tour a historic stone structure depicting the rich logging history of Red Cedar Valley. Exhibit includes the blacksmith shop, muzzle-loading bunks, 1865 post office, and the village jail. There is a small admission fee. For more information call 715-232-8685. Eight miles south of Menomonie is the home of Caroline Augusta, who became "Caddie Woodlawn" in a 1935 Newberry Award-winning children's book written by her granddaughter, Carol Ryrie Brink. Admission is free. For more information call 715-644-8452 or 715-235-2833. At 14.5 miles riders can cross a classic iron bridge to the 22-mile Chippewa River State Trail affording an interesting route paralleling the Chippewa River. Various habitats range from prairie to oak savanna 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 Trail is an asphalt emulsion surface up to the Hwy. 85 Rest Area where it becomes paved up to Eau Claire. The paved portion affords in-line skating recreation. Trails combined, including a short link in Eau Claire, total more than 37 miles. Trail passes are required for bikers and skiers 16 years of age and older.
Automobile travelers enjoy the scenic area by tooling along Rustic Road 89, a parallel route of the Red Cedar State Trail.
Recreation - Red Cedar State Trail is open for hiking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. A designated snowmobile segment is in Pepin County.
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.
Red Cedar State Trail travels from Menomonie to the Chippewa River Valley.