The Old Abe State Trail, a 19.5-mile abandoned railroad grade, connects two State Parks from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, Wisconsin. This old railroad grade has been developed into a multi-use trail for bicyclists, snowmobilers, hikers, horse back riders and inline skaters.
Starting at the parking lot, located at the junction of Highway S and Highway 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 State Trail
) and Chippewa Falls to Cornell.
Begin your trail experience at either the trail head on 97th Ave (junction of Hwy S & Hwy O), or in Cornell at the Mill Yard Park, or at the Town Hall parking lot in Jim Falls. Development of the trail from 97th Ave South to the City of Chippewa Falls, has been completed, including the replacement of the railroad trestle over Lake Wissota.
No parking fees, but a State Trail Pass is required.