There is an annual trail closure from March 15 until May 1 to minimize erosion potential on the soft, moist soils. Trail maps are available from the Eau Claire County Parks and Forest Department and the Chippewa Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The county sponsors 30 miles of ATV trail and routes. Parking is available in the city of Augusta and there is also a lot located on CTH G at Channey Road. There is also a parking lot on the southwest side of the village of Fairchild. Clark County trails are linked with this network of Eau Claire County ATV trails and routes.
The county maintains 7 boat landings on county land for access to area lakes. These include one at Lake Altoona county park, one on the Eau Claire river just upstream of Lake Altoona, two at Coon Fork lake (one on the dayside and one on the campground side of the lake), and three on Lake Eau Claire. Daily/annual vehicle entrance passes are required.
With dense stands of pine along its banks, with great opportunities for fishing and abundant wildlife, the Eau Claire River has a wilderness atmosphere as it flows through an almost uninhabited portion of the Eau Claire County Forest. In times of high water, its rapids give a challenge to even the most experienced canoeists. In summer months, periods of low water make it necessary to "walk" canoes through some rapids which may become too shallow for navigation. During these periods of low water canoeists may want to check water levels in advance to see if there is enough water in the river for good canoeing.
The current ranges from quite fast in the rapids, to medium in the more calm stretches, to quite slow near the headwaters of Lake Eau Claire.
Coon Fork Creek from below Coon Fork Lake Dam to the river can be canoed, but is best when the level is 4 to 6 inches above normal.
At Big Falls, the river drops approximately 15 feet over granite rocks and ledges, making it extremely hazardous to run with canoe. This area is considered the most scenic on the river. The north channel is possible to run in medium to high water, but is very difficult and not recommended except for expert canoeists.
Muskellunge, walleye, and smallmouth bass are game fish commonly caught in the river. Whitetail deer are commonly seen along the banks. Eagles, woodchucks, porcupines, ruffed grouse, and various types of waterfowl often can be observed.
Cross Country Ski Trails
TOWER RIDGE RECREATION AREA - Tower Ridge is the largest cross-country ski trail complex in both Eau Claire County and in west central Wisconsin. It is located on Eau Claire County forestland in the town of Seymour off CTH L. It has approximately 12 miles of trail with terrain of varying degrees of difficulty offering something for all levels of skiers. The ski trails include wooded, rolling terrain, and are groomed and tracked on the highest priority basis of the four ski trails offered by the county. The recreation area includes a Chalet with flush toilets, additional pit toilets, approximately 3 km of lighted trails and a snowshoe trail adjacent to but separate from the lighted ski trails. Tower Ridge requires a winter vehicle entrance pass. Fees are $60 for an annual pass and $6 for a daily pass and are required January thru March and December of each year. Both daily and annual vehicle passes can be purchased on a self-served basis at the trailhead. Annual winter passes can also be purchased from the County Parks and Forest office in the Agriculture and Resource Center, 227 1ST STREET WEST, ALTOONA.
Lake Altoona Boat Landing
Canoe Portage Sign
Coon Fork Park and Harstad Park campgrounds both have access by canoe to their campsites.
Canoeists on the Eau Claire River
Tower Ridge Ski Area
Lowes Creek Bridge
Daily/annual vehicle entrance passes are required for the following ski trails and are separate from the Tower Ridge Winter Recreation pass:
Coon Fork Ski Trail is located on the dayside of Coon Fork Park. This 3.2 mile trail is level to rolling and best suited for the beginner to intermediate level skier. The trail meanders through both open and wooded areas of the park. Pit toilets and a picnic shelter are available for use. Tracks are set on a regular basis for the diagonal strider. Only diagonal striding is available as trails are not wide enough to groom for skate skiing.
Evergreen Ski Trail is located on county forestland near the Coon Fork campground entrance off CTH CF. This 2.2 mile trail has long rolling hills and is suited best for the intermediate to advanced skier. Trails are all wooded, groomed, and tracked for both skating and striding.
While the Eau Claire county forest is open for horseback riding, horses are not allowed in county parks with the only exception being a horse hitching area at the Coon Fork dayside. Two signed riding trails are in the forest, one east of Lake Eau Claire off CTH G and the other in a portion of Tower Ridge Recreation Area.
|Mountain Bike Trails
Three mountain bike trails currently exist. The trails at Lowes Creek Park include approximately 5 miles of the double-track cross country ski system utilizes the hiking, ski, and fitness trails and over 6 miles of technical/ challenging narrow single track. . Access to these trails is from the parking lot off South Lowes Creek Road. A second bike trail is a 7 mile loop that starts at the Coon Fork campground, goes east on Rustic Road, south on Black Creek Town Road, and west on CTH M, then right on N. Center Road, then onto a forest trail to the dayside entrance road, then onto CTH CF and back to the campground entrance. There is also a trail from Coon Fork campground going west and then north of CTH CF onto county forest land.
In general, mountain biking is allowed on county forest land, but only on trails that are not gated, posted as closed, or bermed to restrict vehicle travel.
Bicycling is not allowed off the pavement in the other county parks
The Eau Claire County-Wide snowmobile trail travels 181 miles across the county linking to snowmobile trails in adjacent counties. The trail crosses both private and public lands and offers a scenic ride. Oak ridges, pine stands, the Eau Claire River, and some rolling farmland are among the variety of terrain the trail crosses.
Parking lots to gain access to the trail are located on CTH G at its junction with Channey Road. From Augusta this lot is located five miles north on US HWY 27, then five miles east on CTH GG/G. The other parking lot is at the Seymour Town Hall, three miles east of the city of Eau Claire at the junctions of CTH QS and Tower Drive.
There are designated snowshoe trails on county land. These include Lowes Creek Park and Tower Ridge Recreation Area (adjacent to, but separate from the cross-country ski trails at these two ski areas), and at the Guettinger Woods and Wildlife Area on Sandberg Road, off CTH 37, in the town of Brunswick approximately 7 miles south of the city of Eau Claire.
|Tower Ridge Disc Golf Course
This course was established on county forestland through an agreement between the members of the Chippewa Valley Disc Golf Organization, (CVDGO) and Eau Claire County. The CVDGO donated the "holes" (baskets) and installs and removes the baskets seasonally. The course is open from late spring to around November 1 each year. The 36 hole course utilizes portions of the cross country ski trails at Tower Ridge.
Vehicle entrance passes are required from April 1 until December 1 for the Disc Golf Course.
Take US HWY 53 north from Eau Claire to North Crossing/CTH Q, go east on CTH Q to CTH L, turn right and proceed 0.5 miles to parking lot
Disc Golfer at Tower Ridge