Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area
Circle Trail

North of North of Shattuck Lake

Have you dreamed of walking along a secluded shoreline, fall hardwoods in flaming color reflected in the lake? How about following the edge of a quiet pond with reeds whispering in the light breeze, feet treading soft on a bed of pine needles.

I lost track of all the different shoreline types this trail offered. Over and over I would find a breathtaking image taking shape through the trees. The small lakes and ponds are sheltered in deep hollows, near perfect mirrors to reflect the surrounding trees beneath the blue sky.
I feel like this is the quintessential fall hike. When the next blue sky fall day comes around, I know where I will be.

From the junction of US-53 and Wisconsin Cty Hwy M just west of New Auburn Wisconsin, head east on Cty Hwy M 0.6 miles to Cty Hwy SS.
Take a left on Cty SS/Cty M and head north 0.5 miles to where Hwy M breaks with Cty SS and heads east.
Follow Cty Hwy M 7.6 miles to the entrance for the Chippewa Moraine interpretive center. Follow the entrance road up the curve to the parking lot at the top of the hill.
Coordinates for the hike: 45.2237200,-91.4135500
Parking / Trailhead amenities
The parking lot is paved, large, and level. The interpretive center beside the parking lot has clean flush toilets, and there are faucets and a drinking fountain inside. It is worth spending some time in the visitor center as there is much to see and learn.
Trail observations
The Circle Trail leaves directly from the parking lot between a large ice age trail map and a brochure stand. Almost immediately after leaving the parking lot the trail comes to a tee. Head left to start along the Circle Trail.
All of the junctions have excellent signs, and the trail is in great shape. This is an easy trail to follow.
Trail statistics
The trail is 4.95 miles long. The sum of all the uphill climbs is 319 feet.
Trail waypoints
0.00 miParking Parking lot
0.03 miTrailheadTrailhead
0.05 miTee - go leftTee - go left along the Circle Trail
0.28 miGo leftGo left to follow the Circle Trail
0.42 miGo rightGo right to follow the Circle Trail
0.50 miBenchBench
0.70 miBridge/BenchBridge and bench
0.90 miStay leftStay left to follow the Circle Trail (map)
1.02 miBenchBench
1.40 miCross HwyCross Cty Hwy M to the trail on the far side
1.68 miBenchBench
2.62 miBenchBench
3.38 miBenchBench
3.56 miGo leftBranch - stay left (bench)
3.92 miRecross HwyCross Cty Hwy M to the trail on the other side
3.97 miStay leftBranch - stay left on the Circle Trail at the campsite
4.04 miGo rightStay right and continue on the Circle Trail
4.13 miBenchBench
4.40 miBenchBench
4.51 miBridgeBridge
4.60 miBridgeBridge
4.62 miHead leftHead left to continue on the Circle Trail
4.83 miGo rightTee - go right, then left at the next junction to the parking lot
4.95 miEnd of trailEnd of trail
Trail map - Circle Trail
Altitude chart - Circle Trail Go left Go right Bridge/Bench Bench Cross Hwy Bench Recross Hwy Go right Bench Bridge Bridge End of trail
Difficulty: Easy
Terrain: Hilly
Trail surface: Dirt
Trail surface: Gravel
Type: Loop
View: Enclosed
View: Shoreline
View: Wooded
County: Chippewa
State: Wisconsin
Country: United States of America
Chippewa Moraine interpretive center site
Overview map
Printable trail map in PDF format (35 Mb download)
Printable trail map in PNG format (4 Mb download)
Waypoints in CSV format
Waypoints in KML format
Instructions on using a trail description page
Instructions on using a trail map printout
Trails in the surrounding area
Trailheads for Minnesota and Wisconsin (5 additional trails)
Trailheads for Michigan Minnesota, and Wisconsin (No additional trails)
Trailheads for Iowa Minnesota, and Wisconsin (10 additional trails)
Trailheads for Iowa Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (4 additional trails)