Eau Claire is a place defined by the rivers that flow through it. Our city logo features river and the bridges that carry us over them. Our parks and recreation center around them. If you visit from out of town, it wont be very long until we take you to “the river” and treat you to a formal introduction, as if you’re meeting a good friend of ours for the first time.
The Chippewa River flows south-westerly though northwestern and west central Wisconsin with the northern most reaches of it’s watershed near the border of Michigan’s upper peninsula. The Chippewa starts in pine barrens and swamp and meets farm country and mixed forests a little ways up stream of Eau Claire. The last 50 miles or so of the river between Eau Claire and the Mississippi runs slow and lazy and used to be traversed by paddle boats.