Have you ever lived somewhere and have always wanted to visit some sight nearby but never did? Well for me one of the places I've always wanted to go to is "The Dells Of Eau Claire". I saw so many beautiful pictures of this place and told my husband multiple times, "Someday we have to check it out". Well, after living in the same area for over 25 years, my wish finally came true and we took a day trip to see the dells!
Now, even though the dells are named "The Dells of Eau Claire" they are not actually located in Eau Claire but in a small town about fifteen miles from Wausau. It is a county park, so you don't need a pass. My husband could not believe this beautiful area was a county park and not a state park. He said, "This is the prettiest county park I've ever seen!"
If you just want to see the dells, there is a parking lot nearby, and it's just a short walk from the lot to a scenic overview of the dells. We however, decided to walk the Ice Age Trail, and boy we're we glad we did because it was one of the prettiest trails I ever did see.
The entire trail runs alongside the river, so you constantly have gorgeous river views and you're always hearing the soothing sound of water. There are multiple bridges that add to the scenic beauty too!
You can leave the scenic view area and scramble down to the rocks, but there are lots of warning signs about swimming. We did see one person swim in what appeared to be an area that did not have rapids, but most people stayed on the rocks.
If you look at the bottom, right hand corner of the picture below you can see someone swimming.
I loved that we could be up high and get a scenic view of the dells before going down into them to explore some more.
The trail leading to the dells was so peaceful and beautiful. It meandered along the river, through a forest covered in moss and ferns. My husband found this unique tree on our way to the dells.
There were also plenty of spots where you could get off the trail and meander into the river a little bit.
All the bridges also provided lots of opportunity to get up high and see the river from the middle of it instead of the side.
My daughter and son-in-law gave me these walking sticks for Mother's Day. I was so elated! I've been wanting a pair ever since hiking in Zion National Park. They are so helpful to me, I can keep up with "the boys" better with my walking sticks...especially when rock scrambling.
The Ice Age Trail is on one side of the river and the South River Trail is on the other. I found the Ice Age Trail to be the prettiest trail, but the South River Trail is where you get your gorgeous, high up views of the dells. We did them both as a 2.5 mile loop. We started on the Ice Age Trail, the crossed a bridge to the other side when it came to an end and got onto the South River Trail to the dells and it eventually led us back to where we started.
I've always loved moss and ferns and there were plenty of both on this trail. Look at how the bank of this river is covered in moss. So pretty!
And I love this moss covered rock and tree. Can you see the ferns growing on top of the rock? Amazing! No soil whatsoever, just growing in the organic matter on top of the rock.
Here is a close up of this beautiful moss covering the rock.
I hope you enjoyed reading about day two of our staycation. If you're ever in the Wausau area, be sure to check out this pretty little county park. You will be very pleased!
Have A Great Day! Amy
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