Wisconsin May 24, 2019
You’ll Never Run Out Of Things To Do In This Overlooking Lakeside Park In Wisconsin
The western part of Wisconsin is chock full of some of the most gorgeous parts of the state. With tons of state parks, gorgeous bluffs and the Mississippi River, it’s easy to see what draws folks out that way. But if you’re looking for a spot that doesn’t require an entry fee and isn’t full of weekend campers, you might want to give Eau Claire’s Carson Park a try. This park is full of things to see and do and that’s before you treat it like the gorgeous, tree-filled, lake-adjacent outdoor playground that it is!
Located on a peninsula in the middle of Half Moon Lake, this is the former course of the Chippewa River, which now flows a bit more to the east. Isolated in the middle of this lake, the park is a unique escape and offers all kinds of amazing recreation opportunities on its 134 acres.
The park is home to both a baseball stadium and a football stadium. Local high schools use both and the UW-Eau Claire football team plays there. In the summer, Eau Claire's Northwoods League team, the Express, plays home games there. Both stadiums date back to the park's opening in 1937, though both have undergone a series of renovations since then.
The baseball stadium was home to the Eau Claire Bears, who later changed their name to the Eau Claire Braves and served as a minor league team for the MLB Milwaukee Braves in the 1950s. The most famous alum from that time is Hank Aaron and there's a statue honoring him out front. Joe Torre, Bob Uecker and a number of other future MLB players spend time in Eau Claire.
The Northwoods League is a summer baseball league for college players and there are a number of teams, most of which are in Wisconsin. There are also teams throughout the Midwest and one in Canada. Express games are a fun, low cost option for families that can't make it to Milwaukee to see the Brewers and the access to the players is tremendous. A number of former Express players now play in the majors.
Within the park you'll also find the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum, which captures the history of logging in the area. They have seven different original logging camp buildings on site and provide an interesting look at the industry that dominated this part of the state for many years.
The museum covers an important part of our state's history and does a great job of appealing to visitors of all ages to tell the story. Admission is $4 for children and $7 for adults.
The Chippewa Valley Museum in the park serves as a compendium of the history of the area. It contains an old-fashioned ice cream parlor; the one-room Sunnyview School, dating to 1882; and the Anderson Log House, a Norwegian log house built in about 1866. Admission is $4 for kids and students and $7 for adults.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can take a ride on the 16-inch gauge Chippewa Valley Railway. This wooden 1880 passenger-style train is pulled by coal fired, steam locomotives. One of them will turn 100 in 2020. Train rides are $3 and the track is about a half mile long as it winds through the park.
Once you've exhausted visiting all the amazing historic and educational parts of the park, you can kick back, relax and enjoy all the amazing outdoor spaces. Get in and on the water, hike through the park and enjoy being in an awesome park right in town that feels much more remote. Boat, fish, swim, hike, play and fall in love with this really great city park that provides a totally unique recreation area.
Address: One Carson Park Drive, Eau Claire, WI, 54701.
While you’re in Eau Claire, check out this
amazing sunflower field!