Saturday, April 23, 2016

How to reach Chippewa Valley hiking trails

White pines on the Bjornson Education-Recreation
Center Loop
Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley – loosely defined as Chippewa, Eau Claire, Dunn and Pepin counties –boasts a number of parks and trails ideal for hiking. Several major highways offer access to the valley.

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, take Interstate 94 east. Trails in Dunn and Pepin county trails can be accessed by exiting on Wis. Hwy. 25, while many trails in Eau Claire and Chippewa counties can be reached by exiting onto U.S. Hwy. 53 or U.S. Hwy 12. An easy to reach Chippewa Valley trail from I-94 is the Bjornson Education-Recreation Center Loop.

From northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, take Hwy. 53 south into Chippewa County. Continue south into Eau Claire County or take Wis. Hwy. 29 west into Dunn County. A good valley trail close to northern Wisconsin and Minnesota is the Circle Loop.

From southern Minnesota and Iowa, either Interstate 35 can be taken north to Minneapolis-St. Paul and then I-94 east into Dunn and Eau Claire counties or U.S. Hwy. 63 can be take north to I-94, which then is traveled east. A fun valley trail that is close to southern Minnesota and Iowa is the Silver Birch Park Trail.

From eastern Wisconsin, either U.S. Hwy. 10 or Hwy. 29 can be driven east to I-94. A good trail for visitors from that area is Lake Wissota State Park's Lake Trail.

From the Upper Peninsula, take U.S. Hwy. 8 west then Hwy. 53 south. Some excellent valley trails along this route are those at the Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area.

From southern Wisconsin and Illinois, head north on I-94 into Eau Claire County. Among the first trails visitors from that area can reach is the Coon Fork Lake Trail.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.