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Explore the best rated trails in Eau Claire, WI. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Duncan Creek Trail and Wildwood Trail. With more than 10 trails covering 261 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I have to confess I didn't do much research ahead of time for trail conditions and usage. So I was a bit surprised when I discovered it was a atv/utv trail. I started in Fairchild and everything looked promising. A nice firm trail surface, little to no traffic, beautiful landscape...until I hit the quick sand. Well, that's what it felt like on my gravel bike. Maybe 5 miles into my ride the trail went from nice hard packed to loose sand where I could not pedal. I bailed onto the adjacent paved road and considered quitting for the day. However the road I jumped onto paralleled the trail so I decided to explore a little. This worked out very well as I continued West on the paved country road until I hit a trail crossing where I was happy to discover the trail was back to a firm surface. I stayed on the trail all the way to Strum (20 miles?) where I turned back and started making stops at the local food and drink establishments I had passed along the way.
Overall the trail was mostly firm and great for my gravel bike. A couple sections in the open heat were dry and loose but rideable. I noticed many a paved country road that paralleled the trail so there were options out. The motorized users I encountered were all very polite and slowed down when passing.
Some of my Favorite stops included: Northwoods Brewpub in Osseo, the Tin Tiki at Trails End near Price and Blooms Country Inn in Price.
3 Stars for excellent conditions at times. A unique adventure on a well maintained surface. One local told me they grade and care fore trail system quite regularly so you don't see giant mud holes or bumpy washboard sections. And I can verify that.
A very good and scenic route to follow. If you’re starting down at the far end in Chippewa it is a little bit boring to start until you get north of the lake. Once north of the lake things get very scenic and beautiful especially between Jim Falls and Cornell. The trail is very well-maintained, however you do need to pay to use it. If you’re walking the trail is free, however bicycles must pay a five dollar daily use fee. You can also purchase a year-round pass at local stores. Overall an excellent trail it’s flat for the most part but still excellent exercise
As a nearby resident I’ve been walking and biking this trail for many years. Overall the trail is in very good shape and has been maintained fairly well. There are some sections along the Chippewa River Crossing that are a little bit rough. However if you know the side roads you can easily get around these points. There are some areas where you will need to be part of traffic so you need to be careful with those. Otherwise a well thought out a nice loop.
A beautiful, peaceful, and flat ride on smooth pavement. It is a little less than 20 miles from the Old Abe Trail Anson Station on 97th Ave to Cornell. Part of the ride is under tree cover, while the rest is more exposed as it passes farmland and a couple of small towns.
We actually rode the entire trail but this is the part we thought was worth riding. But, if you want to ride the entire trail, it is complete from Eau Claire to Cornell (the map above shows a gap which no longer exists).
Only 4 stars due to the surface not being what we expected due to the app saying it is asphalt.
We started from our hotel on Mondovi Road and Short Road heading south. At this point we were 3 miles in from the trails start. At our 8 mile mark (11 miles from the start of the trail) the surface changed from clean asphalt to what is more like a "rail trail", with crushed black stone, only it was over the asphalt. There were low weeds in the center of the trail, with points where there was only a small path to ride along each edge of the trail. It is mostly wooded and relatively low grade. We went as far as the trailhead on 730th street. 31.88 miles round trip.
The next day we started at the 730th street trailhead where there is an outhouse and a picnic table. We went as far as Durand where the trail ended at a trailhead. The last 6.5 miles (as per signage) is maintained by a different county and was in excellent condition with smooth asphalt. 23.31 round trip.
The total one way of this trip is closer to 30.5 miles. Approximately 17 miles is fairly good asphalt, and 13 miles with crushed black stone, more consistent with a rail trail.
Only 3 stars due to 18 miles being largely on an open road along a busy highway or county road.
We started the ride from our hotel on Mondovi Road & Short Road (south of Phoenix Park), heading north. It is in an open trail, adjacent to a county road or 4 lane busy street. Mostly industrial, not wooded. The first three miles of our ride were on the Chippewa River State Trail. (due to our starting point) Be aware there is NO signage for this trail. It is very easy to take a wrong turn as we did on the trip out and back. We ended up on the city streets and used google maps to find the trail again. We encountered road construction twice, where roundabouts were being added. We had to get off our bikes to lift them over the concrete curbing. Mile markers on this trail ended after 5 miles. At this point you had no idea if you were even on the right trail. At the northernmost point, where we should have turned around to head back, the trail continued on the other side of a 4 LANE ROAD, continuing north. There is NO sign to indicate which way to go at that intersection, and the trail itself was not visible, diagonally across the 4 lane highway. There is no GAP in the trail. It is relatively flat with some small inclines. Our round trip was 35.6 miles.
The second leg of this trail was much better. This portion I would rate 5 STARS. We started where we left off the previous day, parking at the Riverview Reserve only a short distance from there. Heading north the trail is wooded and a low grade. We didn't go as far as the county park. At about 13 miles in there is an outhouse sponsored by a local scouting group. There are frequent markers with the trail name and distance to locations ahead. We road 40.18 miles.
The entire trail is asphalt in fairly good condition. It is closer to 38 miles one way.
Brewery tours are now $12.50 with on line booking.
We road from Menomonie to Downsville and back. Parking and restrooms at both places. Flat, shady, and scenic ride along the river. We only wish we had time for the whole trail.
Born and raised in Eau Claire, 36 years in Mississippi. I grew up riding the streets of EC. Today was the first time on trails. If you can’t appreciate the trails of Eau Claire, go to north Mississippi and ride only the Tanglefoot for a few years. Then return and you will say, “Fabulous!”
Rode this trail starting at Carryville towards Durand in early May. The services were not yet open. You can park, but the toilets were closed and the water fountains were decommissioned. The path was bumpy and poorly maintained. I was riding on 700x32 tires- passable, but be sure to bring a repair kit as there is a high risk for punctures. It would have been a much more comfortable ride on either a gravel bike or a hardtail.
I had a hard time reconciling the $5 registration fee for this path. I understand that services (toilets, water) cannot operate year round, but this should be made very clear on the WI DNR site- and would be even better if they didn’t charge the fee until the services were in operation. Hailing from MN where many well-serviced and well-maintained paths do not incur a registration fee, it was very disappointing to pay $5 to ride on a cruddy path without open facilities. I had a much more enjoyable ride on the Old Abe trail.
We started in Durand and rode north about 10 miles. We were disappointed that we didn’t see the river at all for 7.5 miles and then we were beside it for a mile at most. So that end of the trail is a ways from the river, FYI, but it’s still very pretty. The trail is very smooth asphalt for the first six miles, right up to the junction with the Red Cedar Trail. After that is was rideable but more bumpy. If you do this section, do yourself a favor and take the ten minutes to ride up the Red Cedar Trail about a quarter mile and check out the great trestle ridge that spans the Chippewa River.
Great sunshine, lots of greenery providing shade, relatively flat on a smooth surface…. A perfect day and a fantastic ride. I just wish there would have been more views of the water from behind the trees.
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