Standing knee deep in the Chippewa River, awkwardly holding my blow-up vinyl tube, I think to myself “This is going to be perfect!” While visiting Eau Claire WI, I understood that it is a rite of passage for locals to tube down the river to Hobb’s Landing 3.5 miles away. Here’s how to tube the river!
I purchased my tube at Target for $10 and then drove to Hobb’s Landing which is just off Highway 12 on 10thAvenue to park my car. After arriving, I called UBER and Lulu (my driver), who drove me to Phoenix Park across from the Pablo Center. I filled my tube at a free air station beside the Royal Credit Union Headquarters building and followed the path to the river.
I applied my sunscreen and clutching my bag of adult beverages, I gently sat into my tube and begin my float down the river. I was floating alone that day, but you can tube in a group and link the tubes/rafts together for a floating party. For safety’s sake, I wore a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) although the river is fairly narrow and not too deep for much of its width.
Watch for snags from sunken trees and try to avoid the gravel bars that might ground you in the river but otherwise enjoy the hawks circling above you, the impressive riverside mansions and the bridges overhead.
When you reach Hobb’s Landing, wade ashore and reclaim your car. The entire float takes between 2-3 hours depending on the current.