Heart of Vilas County: Bike over 45 miles of paved trail

By Ben Jones

The Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail System

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Boulder Junction is quickly becoming one of the top destinations in the state for bicycling. Since 1994, Boulder Junction has been home to the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail. The trail began as just a short loop around the baseball park, located off Hwy M behind the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce.

Over the past several years the trail has expanded to nearly 50 miles, connecting Boulder Junction with Manitowish Waters (west) and Sayner and St. Germain (south). The Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail is fully paved and appropriate for all types of bicycles. The system includes the popular Crystal Lake Trail, which runs from downtown Boulder Junction past Trout Lake to the Crystal Lake Campground, where you’ll find a picnic area and beach. The new west portion of the trail is host to multiple scenic bridges and crosses over the rapids of the Manitowish River and Rice Creek.

Also along this part of the trail system is Nichols Beach, a great place for picnicking and swimming. Downtown Boulder Junction is the heart of this expansive trail system. There is no fee or trail pass required.

Length: 47 miles

Location: There are many parking areas along the trail. The main trailhead in Boulder Junction is next to the Chamber of Commerce on Hwy M. Please refer to the map for additional parking areas.

Specific mileage for segments of the trail is as follows:

Boulder Junction to Nichols Lake Road: 2.2 miles, flat terrain

Boulder Junction to Manitowish Waters: 15.8 miles, flat terrain with several bridges crossing wetlands

Boulder Junction to Manitowish Waters Chamber: 17 miles, flat terrain crossing Hwy 51

Boulder Junction North on Hwy M to Dairyman’s Road: 2.5 miles, flat terrain

Boulder Junction to North Trout Lake: 3.1 miles, rolling terrain with some steep hills

Boulder Junction to Cathedral Point Lane: 5 miles, rolling terrain with some steep hills

Boulder Junction to Hwy N: 9 miles, rolling terrain with some steep hills

Hwy N to Crystal Lake Campground: 2.2 miles, flat terrain

Crystal Lake Campground to Sayner: 4 miles, flat to rolling terrain

Sayner to St. Germain Chamber: 8.5 miles, rolling terrain with some steep hills

St. Germain Chamber to Hwy O: 5.5 miles, flat terrain

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