The Old Abe State Trail is a 19.5-mile paved multi-use rail trail in Chippewa County, Wisconsin!
The Old Abe State Trail connects two State Parks from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, Wisconsin. The paved asphalt trail has been developed into a multi-use trail for bicyclists, snowmobilers, hikers, horseback riders and inline skaters.
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 and Old Abe Lake. 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 is the northern portion of a planned 80-mile trail system from Menomonie (Red Cedar State Trail) through Eau Claire (Chippewa River State Trail) and Chippewa Falls to Cornell. Take the paved Duncan Creek Trail in Chippewa Falls to reach the city’s various amenities from the Old Abe State Trail’s southern trailhead.
The name commemorates Old Abe, a bald eagle that was captured in 1861 by the Indian Ahgamahwegezhig near the South Fork of the Flambeau River. At Jim Falls, which is on the trail, he sold the eagle to tavern keeper Daniel McCann, who in turn sold it to soldiers of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Old Abe became their mascot, who accompanied them during many battles of the American Civil War. The lake north of Jim Falls is named “Old Abe Lake”, and a 10½ foot statue of Old Abe has been erected near the trail in Jim Falls.