The Old Abe State Trail, open on a nearly 20-mile abandoned railroad grade, connects two State Parks from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, Wisconsin. This old rail corridor has been developed into a multi-use trail for bicyclists, snowmobilers, hikers, horseback riders and inline skaters.
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 is the northern portion of a planned 80-mile trail system from Menomonie (Red Cedar State Trail) through Eau Claire (Chippewa River State Trail) and Chippewa Falls to Cornell. Take the paved Duncan Creek Trail in Chippewa Falls to reach the city's various amenities from the Old Abe State Trail's southern trailhead.
Trail users should be aware that all horseback riders and cyclists age 16 or older need a Wisconsin state trail pass to use the trail.
Begin your trail experience at either the trailhead on 97th Avenue (junction of Highway S and Highway O) north of Chippewa Falls, or in Cornell at Mill Yard Park on Park Road. Alternatively, park at the Town Hall parking lot in Jim Falls.