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Red Cedar State Trail

Hiking Bicycling Pets Canoeing and kayaking Cross-country skiing Snowshoeing Snowmobiling Hunting

Aldo Leopold Legacy Trail System
Contact information
For information, contact:
Red Cedar State Trail
921 Brickyard Road
Menomonie WI 54751

Wisconsin State Park System Red Cedar State Trail

Red Cedar State Trail.

Photo © Matt Molback

Trail is in good condition. Many of the washed out areas have been repaired including the Dunnville Road crossing that was washed out from recent flood waters.

LocationThis 14.5-mile rail trail shadows the steep walls of the Red Cedar Valley from Menomonie to its connection with the Chippewa River State Trail. Along its route, the trail passes through the communities of Irvington and Downsville and the Dunnville State Wildlife Area. The trail passes by prairies, marshland bottoms, forests and farmlands, including sandstone bluffs and other unique rock formations. In the Dunnville Wildlife Area, the Red Cedar trail connects to the Chippewa River State Trail.

The Red Cedar State Trail is part of the Chippewa Valley Trail System. When completed, the trail system will feature an 80-mile network of trail stretching from Cornell, through Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire to Durand and Menomonie. Other trails in the system include the Chippewa River and Old Abe state trails.

Trail activities

The trail may bring a number of different users to the trail at the same time. It is important to use good trail etiquette to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all trail users.

Hiking Bicycling Pets Walking and bicycling

The level grade and limestone surface make this trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. Each bicyclist age 16 or older needs a Wisconsin state trail pass while using the trail. Passes are available at the Menomonie depot trailhead and in Downsville.

Pet owners, please be sure to have your pet on a leash, 8 feet or shorter, at all times. You must pick up after your pet.

Canoeing and kayaking Canoeing and kayaking

The trail is ideal for a bike and paddle trip. Sections of this former rail corridor parallel the Red Cedar River. You can paddle downstream and then bike back to your starting point or vice versa.

Cross-country skiing Snowshoeing Winter activities Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter biking

Menomonie to Downsville: In winter, seven miles of the Red Cedar State Trail are groomed for skiing from Menomonie to Downsville. Please do not hike, snowshoe, bike or walk pets on this section. These activities are permitted on the ungroomed section from Downsville to the intersection of the Chippewa River State Trail. Skiers age 16 or older need a state trail pass before using this groomed section of trail.

Downsville to Chippewa River State Trail: Winter bicyclists 16 years and older also need a state trail pass to use the trail south of Downsville. Passes may be obtained by using the self-registration stations available at the Menomonie depot trailhead and in Downsville.

Snowmobiling Snowmobiling

Two miles of the Red Cedar State Trail are open for snowmobiling from the junction of the Chippewa River State Trail north to County Road Y. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The trail also connects to county snowmobile trails.

The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails. The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report [exit DNR], and local club and county snowmobile web pages [exit DNR] and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.

Hunting Hunting

The Red Cedar State Trail corridor is open to hunting from the intersection with the Chippewa River State Trail north, approximately four miles, to the north boundary of the southeast quarter of section 11 in T26, R13W, as posted (the area where the trail goes through the Dunnville Wildlife Area). A portions of the trail property in the town of Dunn is more than 100 yards from the trail corridor. This portion is open to hunting and trapping during the Wisconsin state parks hunting time frame. For more information, please see:


Menomonie: The depot building/visitor center along Highway 29 on the west side of Menomonie serves as the northern trailhead for the Red Cedar State Trail. Parking and trail passes are available.

Irvington: Parking is available at the intersection of County Highway D and Paradise Valley Road.

Downsville: Parking is near the intersection of Highway 25 and County Highway C. The Empire in Pine Lumber Museum in Downsville traces the colorful Lumber Era of Dunn County and gives trail users a look into the history of the area.

The Chippewa River State Trail connects to the Red Cedar State Trail in the Dunnville Wildlife Area near the confluence of the Red Cedar and Chippewa rivers. Sandbars in this area offer access to swimming, fishing and picnicking. There is some parking in the Dunnville Wildlife Area near County Highway Y.

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Last revised: Monday October 07 2019