Chippewa County Attractions
Chippewa County, located in northwestern Wisconsin's Chippewa River Valley, was once the heart of a dense forest of white pine, and today features beautiful wooded scenery and is rich in wildlife and fish. Connected by the Chippewa River to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico; and north to Lake Superior via the St. Croix and Brule River, Chippewa County features some of the best fishing in the country as well as some of the best outdoor recreational adventures!
With 450 lakes, 21 trout streams, 321 miles of rivers and streams totaling 21,037 acres of water teeming with northern, walleye, large-mouth and small-mouth bass and panfish, 10 lakes with abundant muskies, four flowages with plenty of catfish, and three with sturgeon, Chippewa County is one of Wisconsin's hottest sports fisheries. Most lakes and streams are accessible by one or more boat ramps. Others are right at the roadside or can be reached by walk-in trails. Area bait, boat and tackle shops provide everything needed for fun on the water, from rods and reels to pontoon party boats and serious fishing craft. Many great fishing spots also provide parking, camping and picnic areas for vacationing anglers and their families.
Chippewa County offers more than 33,000 acres of public land for hiking, camping, snow-mobiling, sightseeing, hunting and wildlife photography. Squirrel, rabbit, hare, turkey, grouse, pheasant, ducks, geese and one of the largest concentrations of white-tail deer in Wisconsin provide plenty of gun and camera action year 'round.
More than a dozen State, County and Municipal Parks, multi-use trails, rivers, lakes and streams offer Chippewa County visitors a great variety of outdoor family fun. These year 'round recreational opportunities include camping, hiking, nature study, scenic and wildlife observation, biking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, swimming, boating, fishing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The county's eight public golf courses provide 99 uncrowded and challenging holes along lushly wooded riversides, overlooking crystal clear lakes. Municipal parks offer tennis, basketball and volley ball courts, children's playgrounds, campsites, picnic facilities, and restrooms.
Chippewa County offers a wide variety of dining experiences, including family operated drive-in meals, outdoor dinners on the banks of an historic stream served to stage coach passengers, full-menu supper clubs, ethnic German, Bohemian and Norwegian restaurants and authentic Southern cuisine, hickory smoked ribs and steaks, family restaurants, cozy delicatessens and ice cream parlors, and exceptional selections served in the quiet elegance of waterfront resort dining rooms.
Chippewa County also offers many different types of lodgings available for a single night or a month or more, including primitive forest campsites, housekeeping cottages for eight or more, full-service RV parks, campgrounds and resorts, luxury resort hotel suites, economy priced motel rooms, and romantic, rustic cabins in the woods.
For unlimited outdoor fun, adventure and sport, Chippewa County offers plenty to do for the entire family. Whether it's a quick visit or a long leisurely stay, Chippewa County should be included in your getaway plans!
Parks and Nature Centers
Brunet Island State Park
This picturesque 1,030-acre park is located where the Fisher and Chippewa Rivers meet just north of Cornell. The main park development lies on an island in the Chippewa River, and is open seasonally through the summer months. Facilities include 69 campsites, picnic areas, electricity, shelters, flush toilets, playgrounds, athletic field, swimming beach and hiking trails. In winter, the park maintains four miles of cross-country ski trails for more outdoor adventure.
Ice Age Trail: Chippewa Moraine Unit
One of nine units of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve Park, the Chippewa Moraine Unit contains a segment of the National Ice Age Trail. There are 37 miles of trail on Chippewa County Forest, state, and private lands for hiking and nature study. The Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Interpretive Center, located in northwest Chippewa County east of State Hwy. 40 on County Hwy. M, features exhibits, displays and films providing a unique glimpse into Wisconsin's glacial past. Overlooking South Shattuck Lake, this beautiful center is open to the public from 8:30 am. to 4:30 pm. Visitors should call ahead on holidays for any changes.
Lake Wissota State Park
Located six miles east of Chippewa Falls on the north shore of Lake Wissota, this state park is noted for its camping and boating activities. The park's amenities include 81 well-spaced campsites, flush toilets, showers and electrical hook-ups, and two group campsites for up to 80 tents, boat ramp, and hiking trails. The park is open all year and offers a variety of winter activities including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing and skiing over 7 1/2 miles of well-groomed cross - country ski trails across varied terrain.
Pine Point County Park
Located on a peninsula surrounded by 3,900-acre Lake Holcombe, this park offers 48 wooded campsites, many with scenic vistas of the lake. Plenty of trees, a nice swimming beach, boat launch, and good fishing make Pine Point a popular vacation spot. The park is located 2.5 miles west of the junction of County Hwy. M and State Hwy. 27.
Otter Lake County Park
Situated in a forest on the shores of one of the finest fishing lakes in Chippewa County, Otter Lake Park has 22 rustic campsites, an excellent swimming beach, picnic area, boat launch and plenty of pan fish, bass and walleye. For scenic beauty, this park is hard to beat. To find it, take Cty. Hwy. H 7.6 miles north of Stanley to Otter Lake Road and then 2 miles west to the park entrance.
Morris-Erickson County Park
Located on the shores of Long Lake, this park's 28 well-manicured campsites, boat launch and open setting offers a beautiful view of Long Lake. The lake's exceptionally clear waters make it a popular swimming, boating and fishing site, with excellent populations of walleye, small mouth bass, and muskies. Located 9 miles northeast of New Auburn on State Hwy. 40, Morris-Erickson County Park is a great place for a family outing or extended fishing vacation.
Old Abe State Recreation Trail
Cornell is the trailhead for the new Old Abe Trail, a 20-mile long multi-use trail designed foe hiking, biking and snowmobiling. Winding along the Chippewa River from Brunet Island State Park to Lake Wissota State Park, this trail provides scenic wonder along the way and plenty of recreational opportunities at either end.
Over 280 miles of groomed trails provide exciting snowmobiling in Chippewa County, through farm woodlots, across fields, and through the Chippewa County Forest. The trail system travels through most county communities and connects with thousands of miles of other Wisconsin trails. The more scenic sections of the trail include the segment from Jim Falls north through the county forest, from Holcombe to Stanley, and from State Hwy. 40 west and north.
Hickory Ridge Ski Trail
Winding through scenic oak and northern hardwood timber, this cross-country ski trail passes by more than a dozen lakes and ponds in the County Forest. The trail has two loops, 4 miles and 6.75 miles, for intermediate to expert skiers in the more remote parts of the forest for a true wilderness experience. Shelters provide resting places and wildlife is abundant.
River Road Ski Trail
Located several miles north of Cornell and Cty. Hwy. CC, the River Road cross-country trail includes beginner and advanced loops winding through a scenic hardwood forest bordering the Chippewa River. The beginner loop is about 1.5 miles long and features rolling hills and gentle slopes. The advanced loop travels through more challenging terrain for 2.5 miles.
This canoe trail, located in the western portion of the Chippewa County Forest connects canoeists to nine separate lakes, all within one square mile, in kettles and depressions formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago. Many of the lakes host good populations of bluegill, large mouth bass and some northern pike.
Museums and Historical Sites
Chippewa Valley Museum of Industry & Technology (website)
21 E. Grand Ave., Chippewa Falls
Currently open by appointment only.
Rural School Museum
State Hwy. 27, Cadott
Located in Riverside Park
Stanley Area Historical Museum
A surprising and unusual collection located in two buildings, the museum's collection includes: the Northern Lumber Company display, children's toys, the Stanley Fire, military displays, the Dr. Mathwig wildlife display and more. Open 1 pm. - 4 pm., Memorial to Labor Day.
Sunny Valley School House Museum & Norwegian Log Home
Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls
Open Sundays and Holidays.
State Hwy. 178, Chippewa County
Cobban Bridge and others span the scenic Chippewa River on State Hwy. 178.
Another unique and historic structure, the Rainbow Arch Bridge, spans Duncan
Creek in the City of Chippewa Falls.
Cook Rutledge Mansion
505 W. Grand Ave., Chippewa Falls
This showpiece offers tours at 2 & 3 pm., June through August, and group tours by appointment year 'round.
Historic Downtown Chippewa Falls
715-723-6661 / 715-723-7858
The Main Street Association historic district features many outstanding examples of diverse 19th and early 20th century architectural styles, and includes the Rainbow Arch Bridge and the Northern States Power Company and Dam. Self-guided walking tour brochures are available from the Chippewa Falls Main Street Association and downtown businesses.
Points of Interest
The Stacker in Cornell is the only known mechanical pulpwood stacker in the world. Built in 1911-12, this impressive, 247 ft. long, 175-ft. high, counter-weighted piece of machinery is the sky-piercing forerunner of today's monster lifting cranes. Today it still towers over the community's Mill Yard Park as a reminder of the booming mill town days.
State Hwy. 124, Chippewa Falls
This historic brewery is open Monday through Friday throughout the year, and Saturdays, April through December. Brewery tours Monday through Friday by reservation.
Special Things To Do
Trail riders will enjoy riding the 8.75-mile equestrian trail located in the southwest section of the Chippewa County Forest. Trailhead, parking area and pit toilets are located about one mile north of the Bob Lake Road on the Hay Meadow Trail. The rolling glacial moraine in this area of the forest offers constant changes in terrain and landscapes as it passes lakes, ponds and woodland streams.
Chapman Park/Wild Game Park
Enjoy elk and other native wildlife at the Wild Game Park that compliments beautiful Chapman Park. Just blocks away from downtown on Stanley's west side.
Bridge St., Chippewa Falls
Find "Picked Fresh Is Always Best" produce, "Warm From The Oven" baked goods, "Break Your Heart Beautiful" flowers, "Hardy As They Grow 'Em" nursery stock and tips on planting, growing and serving - all at the Chippewa Falls Farmers Market, Thursdays, 2 pm. - 6 pm. from the end of June through October in the Cobban Block lot on Bridge Street.
Rose and Lily Gardens
State Hwy. 124, Chippewa Falls
Enjoy over 500 rose bushes in the only public rose garden between Madison and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Lily Garden features more than 300 Asiatic, Trumpet and Oriental Lilies. Next to Irvine Park and across from Leinenkugel's Brewery.
State Hwy. 29, Chippewa Falls
View this colorful hand-painted mural of Chippewa Falls scenes, outdoors, on "The Wall."