|Buffalo River State Trail, courtesy Wisconsin DNR|
Sitting in the county’s northwest corner along the Chippewa River, Eau Claire is the county’s most populous city and the region’s economic center. At one time, Eau Claire ranked as the nation’s lumber capital, but in the 20th century that role gave way to manufacturing. Today, it’s best known as the home of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and as a regional government and retail center. Recent efforts to make the city trail-friendly, and a number of excellent walks, particularly the Chippewa River State Trail, are found there.
The rest of the county also offers several great day hiking opportunities. The majority of them run along or near the Eau Claire River, which flows from the county’s eastern side into Eau Claire. The eastern terminus of the Buffalo River State Trail also is in the county.
Five great trails to hike in Eau Claire County include:
• Eau Claire River Route
• Putnam Trail
• Chippewa River State Trail
• Interior Loop
• Buffalo River State Trail
Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.