Heavy Use Reported On Vilas County Trails

Oct 22, 2019

Credit Pixabay Pamjpat

Vilas County ATV and off highway motorcycle trails are very popular with visiting public according to reports recently from the county recreation officer along with the new Tamarack dual sports track use.

Deputy Jason Molle, county recreation officer, in checking ATV trail users indicated he “was very surprised how many people came to Vilas County just to ride our trails.” Molle did indicate there is some confusion at times, even for him, knowing which town roads are open and closed to ATV use and which towns have town roads open all year. “I need a cheat sheet on which are open and closed,” Molle said, with county recreation administrator Dale Mayo saying “we need a copy of the actual town ordinances” which will be provided to the Sheriff's office and state DNR.

The popularity of the Tamarack dual sports tract is increasing according to track administrator Tom Timken. “Use of the 15 mile system has increased beyond our expectations and is now a destination but it has attracted a new user group that we didn't expect to increase so fast – fat tire bicycles – and it can cause some safety concerns,” Timken said, “but we are very pleased with the high use.”

He indicated bicycle use is average  when the ground is frozen and snowcovered but right now there is no ordinance on active use with dual track cycles which are licensed for both on and off highway use. Timken added the present county Tamarack campground “needs to be expanded.” He is also a town supervisor and related comments from the town road crew working in the area indicating “those bikers actually stop at stop signs and are the most respective user group out there.”

Preliminary design work on Phase 3 to expand the system have already started.