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DOT: Conover's Bike Trail Can't Allow ATVs, But Could Share Space With Second Trail

The town of Conover has about three weeks to decide whether to accept federal funding to build a bike trail.

After Vilas County officials asked the town to allow ATVs on a short stretch of the silent sports and snowmobile trail, state officials have clarified that it’s too late for changes to the project proposal. 

But DOT North Central Engineering Chief Brian Gaber says ATV groups could apply to build their own trail on the railroad grade, which is about a hundred feet wide.

He says ATV use would need to be separated from the silent sports portion. 

“It can either be a manmade or natural barrier. But we do think a barrier is going to be necessary for a short section of shared corridor use.”

Gaber says to share the corridor, ATV groups would need to prove that it provides crucial access to the rest of the trail system. 

Conover has been under pressure to allow ATV use on the proposed bike trail near downtown. 

If the town backs out of the bike trail plan, it will have to pay back design fees and lose almost 700-thousand dollars in grant funding.  

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