Tourism Recreation History

IT’S TROLLEY TIME: Chippewa River Trolley Co. Ready to Carry Passengers on the Road to Fun

just-launched traveling attraction offers historic tours, brewery and winery trips, and more

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

DING-DING-DING! The Chippewa Valley Trolley Co. is now offering trolley tours of Eau Claire, which include a tour of the city's historic homes in the Third Ward.
DING-DING-DING! The Chippewa Valley Trolley Co. is now offering trolley tours of the Chippewa Valley, including a tour of the historic homes in the Third Ward.

Nearly a century has passed since the last trolleys clattered along tracks laid throughout the streets of Eau Claire, carrying passengers to their destinations. Now, a vintage-style, 21st-century version of the trolley is ready to roll through the Chippewa Valley, beginning Saturday, Aug. 19.


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The Chippewa River Trolley Co., a new venture from Volume One and The Local Store, will offer history-themed and modern-day tours, plying the busy streets and back roads of the Valley in a custom-built, open air trolley.

The Signature Eau Claire Trolley Tour, which runs 90 minutes, carries passengers past numerous historic buildings and sites, from lumber era homes to iconic businesses to turn-of-the-century industrial landmarks. Visitors will also traverse both of Eau Claire’s rivers on foot across historic bridges and drive down a secluded forest path right in the heart of town. The signature tour is designed to appeal to locals and visitors alike, and is narrated by trolley driver George House, an Eau Claire native and veteran local radio personality.

The trolley can carry up to 22 passengers on these fun, nostalgia infused trips through Eau Claire. The trolley features wooden seating, brass finishings, and those classic trolley bells. There are options for classic sliding trolley windows, or open-air sides with brass railings and roll-down clear curtains in case of rain.

The Chippewa River Trolley Co. will also offer winery, brewery, and craft cocktail tours, which will carry passengers aged 21 and older through the countryside to many of the Valley’s unique purveyors of adult beverages. Passengers will enjoy samples and learn about the history of these establishments.

In the future, many additional trolley tours and experiences will be added, including family-oriented tours, seasonal themed tours, comedy tours, a historic tour of Chippewa Falls, and more. The trolley will also be available for custom tours and experiences, and can be rented for special events.

The trolley was custom-built by Hometown Trolley in Crandon, Wisconsin, and customized with vintage paint and hand typography by Kurt Gaber of Gaber Signs in Chippewa Falls.

Learn more about tours and ticketing options on this unique traveling attraction online at