Chippewa Falls was once a lumber town founded in 1869. While lumberjacks worked tirelessly, they enjoyed their time off with local outdoor activities and local cuisine, like Leinenkugel beer. Today’s guests find a population of over 14,000, and outdoor activities and cuisine worth the trip. Only a short distance from the 4-day music festivals, Country Fest and Rock Fest, guests can check out popular wineries, parks, and literal haunts.
1.Irvine Park Zoo
© Paul Maguire/stock.adobe.com
Always a great stop on any vacation, the zoo in Chippewa Falls, founded in 1906, is called the Irvine Park Zoo. At over 300 acres of land, the zoo houses some of nature’s greatest animals, like the white Bengal tiger, zebra, capuchin monkey, and coatimundi. The Friends of Irvine Park Zoo is a volunteer-based foundation that raises money to better the habitats for the animals at the zoo. This includes new habitats and additions for enrichment, entertainment, and education. Though donations do not go to the maintenance of the zoo, it is used to repair the actual animal habitats.
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, Phone: 715-723-0051
2.Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company has been crafting beer for over 150 years, since 1867. Jacob Leinenkugel was a first-generation immigrant from Germany, who brought with him his father’s brewing knowledge. Operating under the name Leinenkugel, the brewery now offers several kinds of year-round and seasonal beers. During the summer months, patrons can try one of the five shandy brews. A shandy is a take on a German tradition where beer is mixed with lemonade, juice, or soda. The brewery can be toured daily, with a final stop in the brewery gift shop, where apparel, glassware, and of course, beer is available for purchase.
124 East Elm Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, Phone: 888-534-6437
3.Old Abe State Trail
Wanting to experience some of Chippewa Falls’ natural beauty? Head out onto the Old Abe State Trail, a 19.5-mile trail that connects Chippewa Falls and Cornell. This old railway has two trailheads located in Chippewa Falls. While hikers can take the trail for free, those using bikes, horses, or skis must buy a trail pass from the Land Conservation & Forest Management Department located in the county courthouse. Visitors can purchase both day and seasonal passes, depending on vacation plans. Animals and wildlife can be found along the trail, but proper conservation etiquette is requested.
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
4.Lake Wissota State Park
Lake Wissota State Park stands at an interesting ecosystem – right on the edge of both a prairie and temperate forest. This means that visitors have an opportunity to see an extensive array of wildlife and animals. The park is open through the entire year, providing many outdoor activity options no matter the season. When planning a visit, be sure to look into camping reservations and picking up your hunting and fishing licenses. The park overlooks a 6,300 man-made lake that includes a 285-foot beach for swimming or canoeing. Canoes and firewood can be rented/purchased at the park office.
18127 County, Highway O, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, Phone: 715-382-4574
5.Autumn Harvest Winery
© Autumn Harvest Winery
The McIlquham family has created a legacy from the original apple orchards in 1924. John and Marykay McIlquham established the Autumn Harvest Winery in 2004, using the family orchards’ fruits to craft hard ciders and wines. Though wineries are geared toward adults of legal drinking age, Autumn Harvest Winery offers family-friendly activities to get everyone involved. Some acceptable family activities include pumpkin and apple picking, wagon rides, and a corn maze. Visitors to the winery can also enter the tasting room for sampling Grampa Mac’s Hard Apple Cider, Flight of the Kiwi, or one of the many semi-sweet wine offerings.
19947 County Highway J, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, Phone: 715-720-1663
6.Klinger Farm Market
© Klinger Farm Market
One of Chippewa Falls’ healthier offerings is the Klinger Farm Market, which is open yearlong. As the seasons change, so do the offerings at the farm market. From spring seedlings to Christmas decoration sales, there is something for every season. During the summer months, guests can purchase some of the fresh produce grown in the 120-acre garden. Those growing their own gardens may want to pick up seed potatoes and other nursery-grown perennials or bird seed for the feeders. Starting in January and going through March, there are monthly sales on different items to stock up patrons for the growing season.
12756 132nd Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, Phone: 715-288-6348
7.Sheeley House Saloon
© Sheeley House Saloon
The Sheeley House is a unique destination for visitors to Chippewa Falls. Promoted as a genuine haunted building, the building was one of the first to be built on River Street in 1896. Whether visitors will experience some of the paranormal activity said to happen throughout the building, they can definitely enjoy good food and a drink. All three floors are now serviceable, the first floor is home to the saloon, while the second and third floors house the dining room and a private banquet hall, respectively. Be sure to check out one of the house specials, like the braised beef cheeks, mole steak tip fettuccini, or pear gouda burger.
236 W. River Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, Phone: 715-726-0561
8.River Inn Bar
© River Inn Bar
Visitors should not be surprised when greeted by a 5-foot iron rooster at the River Inn Bar entrance. He has become the bar’s mascot and symbol of the signature chicken wings on the menu. Though the original building was replaced in 1968, patrons still tell tales of times bygone at the original Inn. Featuring local-brewed Leinenkugel’s beer, patrons can order fish fries on Fridays or one of the many seafood and chicken dishes on the menu. A staple for the state of Wisconsin, both yellow and white cheese curds are offered as appetizers. Monday through Thursday, guests can enjoy the all-you-can-eat jumbo, chicken wing bar.
10418 County Highway X, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, Phone: 715-723-9481
8 Best Things to Do in Chippewa Falls, WI