Red Cedar State Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Menomonie, Wisconsin. It is 14.6 miles long and begins at 730 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 29.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 638 feet. Along the trail there are parking, drinking water, restrooms, and parkings.
Red Cedar State Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"One of Wisconsin’s earliest rail-trail conversions, the 14.5-mile Red Cedar State Trail is built on the former corridor of the Red Cedar Junction railway, which served Knapp, Stout & Co. in the 1880s—then the world’s largest timber producer. Since the late 1970s, the trail has offered a serene experience for trail users from Menomonie to Peru, where it meets with the southern end of the Chippewa River State Trail, just south of the Dunnville State Wildlife Area.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the 2 miles of the trail between the Chippewa River State Trail and County Road Y. Hunting is also permitted along a 4-mile section through the Dunnville State Wildlife Area."
--Various Authors, Rail-Trails: Michigan & Wisconsin (Wilderness Press).
"Bald eagle sightings are common throughout the year. Great river scenery and an 860-foot long trestle are highlights of the trail, along with the historic city of Menomonie, two quaint small river villages, and a ghost town"
--Phil Van Valkenberg, Best Rail Trails Wisconsin (Falcon Guides).
"Bald eagle sightings are common throughout the year. Great river scenery and an 860-foot-long trestle are highlights of the trail, along with the historic city of Menomonie, two quaint small river villages, and a ghost town.
Surface: Crushed limestone with wood-planked bridges; groomed and tracked for cross-country skiing from Menomonie to Downsville."
--Phil Van Valkenberg, Rails To Trails: Wisconsin (The Globe Pequot Press).
"This is one of a few state trails that are detailed in this book. While all state trail/regional corridors in Minnesota and Wisconsin offer many more miles of hiking and biking opportunities, those in the Twin Cities area either run along busier highways, cut through backyards, or are part of former railroad rights-of-way. These are wonderful pathways in their own right. However, I think this one deserves special mention because of its remoteness and beauty. Facilities: Picnic pavilion, rest center. The path heads down to the small pond-like body of water called Thompson Lake. Bathroom, playground, and telephone are also available."
--Tom Watson, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Minneapolis and St. Paul (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Sleepy little Downsville seems little changed since the days when it thrived as a way point for rafters floating great quantities of rough sawn timber down to the Chippewa River. You have to wonder if the town could have held on today without the business brought in by the trail. On the trail south of town, skis or snowshoes are your ticket to beautiful, tranquil rambling along the meandering Red Cedar River. The trail is maintained for hiking and snowshoeing by the ski trail groomer, which packs it down after a heavy snow. No ski tracks are set, so you’ll make your own unless others have skied it first. The first 2 miles of your journey takes you away from the river through flat bottomland. This offers a nice perspective of the river bluffs in the distance. It is a good place to catch a glimpse of a soaring red-tailed hawk on the lookout for small rodents. Surface quality: Mechanically packed."
--Phil Van Valkenberg, Winter Trails: Wisconsin (The Globe Pequot Press).
"Menomonie may be a small city, but it is a city nonetheless. You will be amazed at how quickly you can escape it on the Red Cedar State Trail. The abandoned railroad grade runs within sight of its namesake river for most of the distance to Downsville. It is a fast flowing river that freezes only in the coldest part of winter. You’ll have a good chance at spotting a bald eagle soaring above open water, hoping to swoop down and clutch an unwary fish. Between Menomonie and Irvington the two-way trail skirts rock faces dressed in frozen waterfalls from dripping meltwater. Surface quality: Groomed periodically, double tracked, skate lane. Fees: yes."
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