Chippewa Falls, WI

Area 178 In Chippewa Falls Offers Some of the Best Mountain Biking in the State

Walter Rhein

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Image by Walter Rhein

Visitors to the Riverview Reserve located on Beach Drive in Chippewa Falls might be intrigued when they notice the well-maintained path that connects to the paved bike trail. The path features a small sign that reads ‘The Pines.’ If you walk or ride down this path, you’ll soon discover you’re on a network of beautiful biking, running, and hiking trails.

The trails are what cyclists call single track. They’re just a little wider than a mountain bike tire, and they allow riders to navigate between trees and over rough terrain. Walkers and runners are also welcome to use these trails.

The trail system is known locally as Area 178. It has a variety of sponsors including the Chippewa off-road bike association (CORBA), Xcel Energy, The City of Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, and St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The trails allow sports enthusiasts to explore shorelines where Lake Wissota meets the Chippewa River. It’s an area of stunning beauty. Of particular note is the spillway channel in front of the hydroelectric power plant.

Riding single track allows cyclists to get a tremendous workout beneath a shaded canopy. Many riders have given up on road riding because of the dangers associated with cell phone usage, distracted drivers, and texting.

Mountain bike riding on single track is a more technical form of cycling than road riding. Area volunteer groups maintain the trails, but some cyclists prefer having to navigate over roots and stumps.

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Area 178 has a good combination of easy and challenging trails. It’s an ideal place for cyclists to learn about the sport because all of the single track trails are relatively close to the paved bicycle trail. If at any point a rider, young or old, decides he or she has had enough, it’s possible to return to the paved trail and get back to the parking lot.

Area 178 can be accessed at a variety of locations. The Riverview reserve has a small parking lot and is located just beyond the intersection of Seymour Cray Senior Boulevard and County Highway I.

There’s another parking lot just to the North of where Seymour Cray Senior Boulevard crosses the Chippewa River. You can also access the area from the parking lot off 74th Avenue.

The trails continue along both sides of the Chippewa River.

Single track riding areas are popular tourist destinations and very beneficial to the commerce of a community. They are a lot of work to maintain, and anyone who is interested in lending a hand is encouraged to reach out to Chippewa off-road bike association (CORBA).

Mountain biking is often referred to as a life sport because it does not have the logistical limitations of team events. You do not have to align the schedules of twenty or more individuals. All you have to do is grab your bike and hit the trails.

But even if you’re not a cyclist, the Area 178 trails offer a wonderful escape from the doldrums of a regular work day. It’s very taxing on your eyes to spend all morning staring at a computer screen. A fifteen minute walk on beautiful trails beneath a green canopy of leaves helps you shake off work fatigue and get to the end of your day.

If you visit Chippewa Falls, make sure to schedule a few hours to take in the wonderful trail system of Area 178.

Riverview Reserve access point address: Beach Dr, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI
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