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Eau Claire, Downsville & Menomonie

You'll be surprised how much the landscape can change in just a few miles. Explore river bottoms, prairies, deep ravines, oxbow lakes -- and lots of local history -- on this tour of the city of Eau Claire and southern Dunn County. See old mills, ferry landings, and even the site of a ghost town. There are lots of scenic riverside stops on this tour, too, so plan ahead with a picnic lunch. Or bring a cooler and fish for your dinner at a commercial fish farm along the route! The tour ends in Carson Park, the crown jewel of Eau Claire, where you can stretch your legs or continue your history adventure in the park's two award-winning museums.

More About the Trails

Schlegelmilch House

Schlegelmilch House, 1874

Porters Mills

Porters Mills

Caryville Ferry

2 horses with wagon and family on ferry; date and location unknown (possibly Caryville)

Fall City

Fall City (contemporary photo)

Caddie Woodlawn County Park

Caddie Woodlawn home in disrepair, 1964


Downsville/Empire in Pine Museum (contemporary photo--if still included on the tour)

Devil's Punch Bowl

Upper Paradise Valley, ca. 1920s

Downtown Menomonie

Mabel Tainter Theater interior

Elk Creek Lake and Eliza Wilson Mill

Horse-drawn wagon crosses bridge over dam by Eliza Wilson Mill

Carson Park

Half Moon Lake filled with logs, 1890s, John H. Kaiser Lumber Co. mill on the bank