Welcome to the Old Abe State Trail, a 19.5-mile abandoned railroad grade connecting 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 Hwy S and Hwy 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 Trail) through Eau Claire (Chippewa River 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.
Bicycle Safety & Trail Etiquette
- Wear a helmet.
- Be considerate of other trail users.
- Ride single file and keep to the right.
- Pets must be kept on a leash. (8 foot max)
- Don't litter, and respect private property.
- Motor vehicles are not allowed on the trail, except for snowmobiles. (Dec-April)
- Obey traffic signs; stop and look before crossing roads.
- When stopping, do not block the trail.
Wisconsin State Trail Pass - Seasonal: $20.00 Daily: $4.00
A trail pass is required for all individuals, age 16 or older, who are biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing or in-line skating on certain, designated trails (trail passes are not required for hiking). Passes are available as self-registration on the trail, at the Chippewa County Land Conservation & Forest Management Department, Chippewa Area Visitors Center or from local merchants.
Facilities On The Trail
Parking and Information
- Junction of Hwy S and Hwy O (97th Ave)
- Jim Falls-Anson Town Hall
- Cornell Mill Yard Park
- Anson Town Park (one block north of the trail crossing of Hwy S)
- Mill Yard Park (Cornell)
- Brunet Island State Park