A 14-mile long loop of paved bike trail that connects two major campgrounds to the Heart of Vilas County Trail. That’s the goal of the latest trail expansion project in Boulder Junction.

The Heart of Vilas County Trail is more than 50 miles of paved trail.

It connects five different communities from St. Germain to Mercer as it winds through forests and around lakes.

Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Theresa Smith says people locally and those vacationing take advantage of the trail system.

“People can come up to our area, stay in one community and spend multiple days riding the trail system because of its length,” said Smith. “Because it’s paved it makes it user friendly to all different skill levels along the trails.”

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Many local outdoors outfitters face a good problem.

Demand in bicycles, kayaks, and other outdoor equipment is so high, they can’t stock enough new products.

These days, for example, Al Jozwiak often has to work weekends just to keep up with bicycle repairs and sales.

Jozwiak owns Bikes-n-Boards in Rhinelander and said the interest in biking during the COVID-19 pandemic has been overwhelming.

“I’m seeing bikes that I haven’t seen, and I’m sure haven’t seen the light of day, in 30 years,” Jozwiak said.


If this were a normal spring, people would be starting to travel to the Northwoods to enjoy the outdoors. The state, however, is encouraging people to stay in their own communities and avoid travel for recreation. But for those of us who live up here, the Northwoods offers hundreds of miles of biking trails and country roads that make great cycling routes.

Jamee Peters, vice president of the Langlade Area Mountain Bike Association (LAMBA) describes the type of trails available in eastern Langlade County.

Conover-Phelps Bike Trail Gets Closer to Reality

Apr 6, 2015
Pete Rondello

A plan for a bike trail to connect Phelps and Conover has gotten a financial boost.

The DNR’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund is awarding the project $120,000.  That's about $40,000 more than it initially gave. 

Great Headwaters Trail spokesperson Jeff Currie says it will help fund the second portion what should eventually be 11 miles of trail. 

“The section it was applied for is the middle section that goes from Muskrat Creek Road, to where Songhill Lane meets County Highway K, on railroad grade that runs north of Highway K.” 

Northwoods Author Tours Book By Bike

Jul 4, 2014
Andrew Dressel

Brian Benson grew up in the Northwoods and has written a memoir about a bike trip he took from Wisconsin to Portland Oregon.  Now he’s touring with his book around the Midwest…also by bike. 

In his book Benson describes how after college, unable to decide on the one thing he wanted to do with his life, he took a backpacking trip through Central America.  As he tells WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski, in Guatemala he fell for a woman named Rachel…who led him down the cycling path. 


The Answer Is to Just Keep Pedaling

Mar 8, 2014
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

With winter still holding the Northwoods in its icy grip, most of us try to avoid going out in the cold for longer than we have to.  So you might be surprised to find that one commuter relies on his bicycle to get to work all winter long, even refusing offers of car rides and choosing instead to brave the icy streets of Stevens Point.

It’s 7 a.m. on a clear morning in March, and 20 degrees below zero outside.  Rich Sweet is in his kitchen, in the process of what he calls “gearing up.”

Bike Path Expands to 33 Miles

Sep 2, 2013
Pete Rondello

Cyclists can now enjoy over 30 miles of paved bike trails in Vilas County.  

The town of Boulder Junction has finished an expansion of the bike trail system that connects Boulder Junction, Sayner and St. Germaine.  Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Theresa Smith is hoping the expanded trail will be a boost for tourism.