Sunday, October 18, 2015

Brunet Island park offers variety of trails

Brunet Island State Park. Photo courtesy of
Day hikers can enjoy walks alongside scenic rivers, through old growth hemlock forests, or amid fragrant red pines at Brunet Island State Park in western Wisconsin.

The state park, just north of Cornell, sits at the confluence of the Chippewa and Fisher rivers. The most developed section is on Brunet Island. To reach the park's main entrance, from Wis. Hwy. 64 in Cornell, take Park Road north.

Among the many great trails at the state park are:
Ice Age National Scenic Trail segment – About 2 miles of the 1200-mile trail crosses the park's sparsely visited west side. Park at the trailhead off of County Road Z west of County Road CC and hike west then north to the trailhead at County Road CC.
Jean Brunet Nature Trail Day hikers can experience a river island full of giant trees on this 0.8-mile loop. Park off the road where Park Road and 255th Street intersect on the island.
Nordic Trail – The 4.3-mile loop in the park's eastern section crosses a variety of post-glacier terrain and for part of the way along the scenic Fisher River. Start from the lot at the park headquarters.
Old Abe State Trail – The northern end of the 14-mile trail starts at the park's dumping station and runs south alongside Park Road into Cornell. Use the lot at the park headquarters.
Pine Trail – This 0.6 mile consists of two forks in a red (Norway) pine plantation at the island's center. Park at the boat landing off of 255th Street south of Park Road.
Spruce Trail – The 0.33-mile trail connects a boat landing and boat landing, running alongside a back channel of the Chippewa River. Park at the same lot as for the Pine Trail.
Timber Trail – Mature hemlocks and young aspen stands line the 0.6-mile route that runs between the swimming beach and the North Camp Area. Park at the lot for the fishing pier.


Learn more about Chippewa Valley day hiking trails in my Day Hiking Trails of the Chippewa Valley guidebook.