Heart of Vilas County: Bike over 50 miles of paved trail
June 14, 2020
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 Paved 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 over 50 miles, connecting Boulder Junction with Manitowish Waters & Mercer (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 west portion of the trail is host to multiple scenic bridges and crosses over the rapids of the Manitowish River and Rice Creek , through Manitowish Waters and the new addition of the trail continues on paved trails and lightly used roads to Mercer.
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: 52 miles
Location: There are many parking areas along the trail. A prime parking location in Boulder Junction is at the Sports and Recreation Park next to the Chamber office 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 to Mercer: 24 miles, continues from Manitowish Waters to Mercer on paved trails and lightly used roads
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