You might not think of Downtown Eau Claire when you think about getting out and celebrating Mother Nature; but with two rivers, a lake, connection to nearly 70 miles of trails and 150+ (!!) acres of parkland, Downtown Eau Claire is a fantastic place to celebrate Earth Day, or any day! We've put together a list of spots that encourage us to get off the couch and go enjoy the outdoors.
BRIDGES AND TRAILS
The City of Eau Claire boasts the second-longest trail system of any city in the state, many of which connect to Downtown Eau Claire. Add that to the miles of state trails you can connect to via the Old Abe State Trail and the Chippewa River State Trail, and you have access to nearly 70 miles of trails for running, walking, biking, and hiking. Connecting many of these trails are scenic pedestrian bridges that afford beautiful views, great photo opportunities, and even light shows on a few!
Phoenix Park Bridge
Overlooking Phoenix Park, this bridge is arguably the most iconic in Eau Claire and makes for a great spot to stop and take photos. It's also where the Chippewa and Old Abe state trails connect you to miles of trails in Eau Claire and beyond. Make sure to catch the bridge at night as it lights up in a multitude of colors!
Celebrate this Earth Day with amazing views from The High Bridge. Dating to 1898, (the oldest in Eau Claire), this former railroad bridge soars above the Chippewa River, offering some of the best river views in the city.
Haymarket Plaza Bridge
Connecting Phoenix Park to Haymarket Plaza, this newest pedestrian bridge gifts you views of Phoenix Park, Pablo Center, and the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. Much like Phoenix Park's bridge, at night it lights up in color, making for a perfect spot to take pictures. Plus, it's a little bouncy, so that's fun!
Also known as the Soo Line Bridge, this national landmark provides great views of Downtown Eau Claire and the Eau Claire River. Take a walk or take your bike to this unique bridge on Earth Day!
Come see what makes UW- Eau Claire students say "brrrr!" in the winter and "wow!" in the summer and spring. The UWEC footbridge gives gorgeous views of the UWEC campus and the Chippewa River.
Three major parks provide a ton (150+ acres worth) of green space for residents and visitors to enjoy & Earth Day is a great reason to check them out! Each park has its own personality, from relatively laid-back Owen Park with lots of shade and plenty of good trees for putting up a hammock, to bustling Phoenix Park, to the expansive Carson Park that balances museums, stadiums, recreation of all sorts, and still has space for quiet corners to just enjoy nature. Our parks make it easy to find your favorite outdoor spot right in the center of our city.
Set up your hammock here for relaxing with nature. Being close to UWEC's campus allows this park to be a perfect place to de-stress from college life.
The park is also home to the Sarge Boyd Bandshell that plays host to a number of outdoor performances and events, including the ever-popular Tuesday Night Blues.
Looking for some fun with friends? Tennis courts and pickle ball courts are the perfect place to unwind with some pals!
Make sure to visit what has been named "the hub for all things Eau Claire," this Earth Day.
Wind through the native perennial plantings, enjoy the river views, connect to miles of trails, relax and have a picnic, or do the Eau Claire Planet Walk. Things really get busy in the park during warmer months, with the Downtown Farmers Market, Artists Market, Sounds Like Summer, Food Truck Fridays, and a long list of other community events.
It's no secret that Phoenix Park is the place to be for Earth Day!
By far the largest park in Downtown Eau Claire, Carson Park has something for everyone!
Pay a visit to Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox at Carson Park while you explore the Chippewa Valley Museum and Logging Museum. In the summer, you can catch an Eau Claire Express Game at the historic Carson Park Stadium or in the fall, you can cheer along at a high school or UWEC Blugold football game! The summer months also bring the fun of the Chippewa Valley Railroad, a 1/4 size working railroad featuring coal-fired steam and diesel locomotives.
Surrounded by Half Moon Lake, with hiking trails to explore, and a playground to let the kids get some energy out, this park is the perfect place for any family this Earth Day.