Wisconsin’s answer to Minnesota’s Root River for a premier paddle-and-pedal adventure (see my article “A Root River paddle-pedal” in the previous issue of Silent Sports) is the Chippewa-Red Cedar River system.
An excursion of any duration, from a couple hours to several days, is possible here in western Wisconsin between Cornell, Eau Claire, Menomonie and Durand. The Old Abe, Chippewa River and Red Cedar state trails offer 64 miles of nearly continuous bike riding. These bike trails parallel two of Wisconsin’s finest rivers for paddlers of all abilities, the Chippewa and the Red Cedar.
A great introduction that encompasses portions of both rivers starts at Dunnville on the Red Cedar and continues on to Durand on the Chippewa. While it only includes the last mile of the Red Cedar before it empties into the Chippewa, the trip provides a good idea of what the Red Cedar offers as a paddling destination.
On a beautiful day in late May, my wife Glenda and I drove from our campsite at Tarrant Park in Durand to our put-in at Dunnville in the wildlife area of the same name. We had dropped our bikes at Memorial Park in Durand, our takeout on the Chippewa and less than a mile from our campsite.
The entirety of Dave Henning’s account of paddling and peddling the Red Cedar and Chippewa rivers and trails appeared in the September 2014 print edition of Silent Sports. To order a copy, call 888-706-4045. Or subscribe online here and never miss another issue.