Beginning the end of this weekend’s journey starting with Little Niagara Falls. Access is quite easy – park somewhere near Putnam Hall on the UW Eau Claire campus (or walk the path along the river) and walk a short distance through Putnam Park. Today the weather was hot and thankfully in summer parking is plentiful so I didn’t have to go far.
Sign for Putnam Park. Entering from the east, you might initially think it’s a small park, however if you read closely it says the park is 230 acres of forest. Pretty cool for UWEC to have this area available so close!
Walking just a couple hundred yards down a mostly crushed gravel path leads you to our destination. The shaded forest is nice and cool – very welcoming today for sure.
The trail eventually tees into a set of wooden stairs and some other small trails. At this junction is a sign designating the area as Putnam Park State Natural Area.
Also at the junction you can look upstream along Little Niagara Creek which is what feeds the falls. The creek flows underneath the trail and eventually drains into the Chippewa River.
Just a few yards away from the junction you can walk across a large rock that sticks out into the river like a peninsula. The creek runs over it for about 20 yards like a slide chute.
Ultimately the creek falls over the rock shelf into the river in many small little ribbons. You can see why it’s called Little Niagara Falls due to a vague resemblence to the bigger one in NY state.
Here’s an alternate view looking down the main “chute” where it drains into the river. Waters seem very low on a hot summer day like this – I’d wager it’s more spectacular in the spring when heavy rains elevate levels.
Sorry, no video today. The harsh sun made all my clips look like garbage on this trip. I failed this time, photos do give a good representation though.
Super easy “hike”, very short and flat. Just about anyone can access it with just a short walk down the path.
Again as you can see very short and easy with nearly no elevation change.Lat = 44.7997742 , Long = -91.5050735 -- Show at Google Maps