The Chippewa River State Trail runs for nearly 40 miles between Eau Claire and Durand, with plans to extend the trail farther north. The route partly follows an abandoned railroad corridor of the Milwaukee Road. Much of the trail is urban and suburban, with shorter segments passing through Wisconsin's bucolic farmland. The trail meanders along its namesake Chippewa River through a region that is rich in logging and railroad history. Interpretive signs depict some of the history, while remnant prairies dot the trail's landscape.
You'll find 10 public campsites along the trail and plenty of services in the city and in towns along the way.
The Chippewa River State Trail is open in winter to cross-country skiing (ungroomed) and snowmobiling (Short St. to Durand). The trail surface is asphalt between Eau Claire and near Caryville (near the 11-mile marker). Between Caryville and the trail junction of the Red Cedar State Trail, the surface is chip-sealed with oil and asphalt—which isn't suitable for inline skating.
A state trail pass is required on certain segments for cyclists and inline skaters (16 years and older). You don't need a pass on the city trail portion in Eau Claire in the village of Lake Hallie, or on the Pepin County/Durand section. For more information on passes, visit Wisconsin DNR.
You can access the trail from many places along its route. Parking is also available in many places, including at least four places in Eau Claire, as well as near Cooley Lake, Caryville and Tarrant Park in Durand.