Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
151.00 ft (46.02 m)
Trail type
39.00 mi (62.76 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Old Abe State Trail is a 19.5-mile-long paved rails to trails trail that runs from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin to Cornell, Wisconsin. The trail is named for Old Abe, a bald eagle that served as the mascot for the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. Members of the regiment bought the eagle from a tavern owner in the town of Jim Falls and took Old Abe into many battles during the Civil War. There is a statue of Old Abe that is over ten feet located near the dam in the town of Jim Falls.

The former Chicago and Northwestern rail line is now a multi-use trail for bicyclists, snowmobilers, hikers, horseback riders and inline skaters. There are three trailheads with parking along the trail:

  • Lake Wissota trailhead (at the intersection of County Highway S and County Highway O and 97th Avenue)

  • Anson Town Park in Jim Falls

  • Mill Yard Park in Cornell

As one would expect with a converted railway, the paved trail is wide and flat making it easy to hike or bike. Much of the Old Abe State Trail follows undeveloped shoreline of the Chippewa River including the Old Abe Lake (or Flowage). South of the town of Jim Falls the trail passes by agricultural land; horseback riding is allowed on this portion of the trail. The trail also provides access between Lake Wissota State Park and Brunet Island State Park; Lake Wissota State Park is about two miles away from the Lake Wissota trailhead while the entrance to Brunet Lake State Park is very near the north end of the Old Abe Trail.

Bicyclists and inline skaters that are 16 years of age or older must purchase a Wisconsin State Trail Pass in order to use the Old Abe State Trail. No pass is required for hikers. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be on a leash that is eight feet long or less.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic views of the Chippewa River.


Portions of the trail is by farm land.

Trailhead Elevation

914.00 ft (278.59 m)

Highest point

1,039.00 ft (316.69 m)


ADA accessible
Near lake or river
Vault toilet
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Lake Wissota State Park, Wisconsin
Lake Wissota State Park, Wisconsin

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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