Eau Claire is a city the state of Wisconsin. It is the county seat of Eau Claire County, although a small portion of the city lies in neighboring Chippewa County. Eau Claire is the principal city of the Eau Claire, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a part of the Eau-Claire-Menomonie Combined Statistical Area.
Escape to the Chippewa Valley and experience The Unexpected Wisconsin. Whatever the season, the Chippewa Valley offers history, culture, attractions, and entertainment with warm and friendly hospitality.
America’s Promise named the city as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in 2007. Eau Claire was among the first Tree Cities in Wisconsin, having been recognized as such since 1980.
“Eau Claire” is the singularized form of the original French name, “Eaux Claires”, meaning “Clear Waters”, for the Eau Claire River. According to local legend, the river was so named because early French explorers journeying down the rain-muddied Chippewa River, happened upon the Eau Claire River, excitedly exclaiming “Voici l’eau claire!” (“Here [is] clear water!”), the city motto, which appears on the city seal.
There are several large parks in the city: Putnam Park, which follows the course of Putnam Creek and Little Niagara Creek east from the UWEC campus; Carson Park, situated in the middle of an oxbow lake; Owen Park, along the Chippewa River, home to a large bandshell where open air concerts are held throughout the summer; and Phoenix Park, on the site of the old Phoenix Steel plant at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa River. Phoenix park is the host of a weekly farmers market and open air concerts during summer months. Riverview Park is also a common summer swimming destination, as well as one of the local boat landings. This park includes picnicking areas and grills, as well as public restrooms.
The City of Eau Claire also operates a public pool, Fairfax pool, during the summer months.
Eau Claire is at the head of the Chippewa River State Trail, a biking and recreation trail that follows the lower course of the Chippewa River