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A JOURNEY INTO THE PAST ON THE OLD ABE TRAIL
 
 
 

Trail MapThe Old Abe State Trail is a cooperative effort between the State of Wisconsin and Chippewa County.  I was fortunate and proud to be a major part of this development.  This paved 19.5 mile trail connects Lake Wissota State park in Chippewa Falls  and Brunet Island State park in Cornell.  The trail, an abandoned railroad grade has been developed into a trail for bicyclists, snowmobiles, hikers, horse back riders, and in-line skaters.  In addition, the trail meets all accessibility standards.   The trail winds through agricultural and forest land  while following the undeveloped shoreline of the Chippewa River.

 It is truly an adventure into the past because it is the route for nearly all of the early commerce in the area and gives insight as to how the communities along the way looked in those early years.  Eventually, the trail will connect with the Chippewa River Trail in Eau Claire and the Red Cedar Trail in Menomonee making this a 70 mile trail system.

For more information:

1-800-866-6264
http://chippewa-wi.com
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OLD ABE TRAIL DEDICATION

The trail was officially opened in the spring of 1999.  We had a ribbon cutting ceremony and a re-dedication of the statue of OLD ABE THE WAR EAGLE.  The majestic statue of  "Old Abe" was vandalized a few years ago and the Jim Falls LionsClub took on the project of restoring the statue.  Since the the recreation trail is named after the eagle that originally made its home along the banks of the Chippew River, it was logical to combine the events. Click on this for more on Old Abe

I have captured the event with some pictures:

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I was asked to be a part of the dedication ceremony filling the role of emcee and addressing the history of the trail development process and extending a very greatful thank you to all of those who were involved.  This project was truly a good example of "unity" as in the word community.  Here I am introducing the speakers.  Dr. Richard Zeitland gave the keynote address.  He holds a doctorate degree in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museums for the Wisconsin Department of Veteran's Affairs.  He is an expert on the Civil War days and an authority on the history and legend of "OLD ABE".

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Here I am getting the people lined up for the ribbon cutting. 
  

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This is a good picture of how nice the trail has been constructed.  This was taken at the ribbon cutting site where the trail crosses county highway "S" in Jim Falls.  This 19.5 mile trail follows the Chippewa River from Cornell to Chippewa Falls, linking the communities of Cobban and Jim Falls.

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The big event - cutting the ribbon officially opening the OLD ABE MULTI-USE TRAIL.  Joining me in doing the honors are:  Tom Goetl, Chairman of the Chippewa County Board of Supervisors, Dorothy Sommerfield, trail supporter and tireless worker in raising the awareness and support for the benefits of having the trail, Robert Thorson, President of the Friends of the Old Abe Trail support organization (FOAT),  Kent Pickergn, Board of Director for FOAT, Jean Rygiel, Trail Coordinater for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, John Delalamater, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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