Brunet Island State Park

Brunet Island State Park

Brunet Island State Park is mostly located on an island in the Chippewa River. The entrance to the park is on the eastern shore of the river. The park there is adjacent to the small city of Cornell.

When you cross a narrow section of the river to get onto the island, you don’t feel like you’re on an island. You might just as well have crossed over onto the western shore of the river.

I don’t know what would really make you feel like you’re on an island, but Brunet Island is large enough that you don’t notice that there’s water all around.

Man vs Nature on Brunet Island

There are several manmade features on the island that have been put there to increase your enjoyment while visiting for the day or while camping over several days.

There is a baseball field that seems nicely kept up. I assume you need to bring your own equipment, including enough people to make the two teams. I’m guessing this doesn’t get used all that often.

Baseball field on Brunet Island

There’s a sand volleyball court. My comments about the baseball field would apply to the volleyball court as well.

Volleyball court on Brunet Island

The sandy beach was much more heavily populated, since it was a warm day. (There really were more people there than this picture shows.)

Swimming at the Brunet Island beach

Near the beach is a well-like shelter over a bubbler. A bubbler is what most of you from outside Wisconsin would call a water or drinking fountain.

Bubbler on Brunet Island

And there’s a playground, intended for the youngsters.

Brunet Island playground

Nature vs Man on Brunet Island

There are several short trails on the island itself. There’s also a longer Nordic Trail on the eastern shore. We covered the Timber Trail and the Pine Trail in a kind of loop that included a short stretch of road to complete the circuit.

Timber Trail on Brunet Island

We only found one informational sign along the way.

Ojibwa People sign

There were several fallen trees though.

Fallen tree on Timber trail

Wildlife was fairly plentiful, if you looked closely. Here’s a dragonfly on a tree root.

Dragonfly on tree root

I’m not sure what caused these unusual holes in this tree. Animal? Disease? Man? Something else?

Holes in tree

Speaking of man, there were some of these lean-to skeletons along the way. I can’t say whether anyone actually ever covered them and used them for shelter.

Pole shelter

This tree had some very colorful shelf fungus attached to it.

Shelf fungus
Shelf fungus close up

Many trees had growths on them of one kind or another.

White shelf fungus
Shelf fungus near root

Someone had built a home in this trunk. It was too high for me to see if there was a nest inside.

Tree nest

Along the road, you can see a sort of quiet lagoon (one of two or more, depending on how you count them) formed by the curvature of the island.


So Brunet Island is a nice place to visit for an afternoon – or longer, if you’re a camper or a fisher. The Nordic Trail (over 3 miles long) that we skipped this time is probably quite good for hiking or skiing. It should be rather flat and is mostly forested which normally makes for good travel.

Even if you ignore the Nordic Trail too, I think you’ll have an enjoyable time visiting Brunet Island State Park.


Nearest City

Cornell, Wisconsin (1 mile)

Nearest Emergency Facility

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (25 miles)


6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, year-round


Vehicle admission sticker is required

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