Great Headwaters Trails

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The Great Headwaters Trails Foundation develops trails – for bicycling and walking – in Vilas County.

The foundation was just named Business of the Month by the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation.

Listen to the full interview with Executive Director Jeff Currie to learn about the organization’s current and future projects, and how developing trails can help the local economy.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Jeff Currie and his wife Ann took advantage of the early snow melt to get a look at the latest progress on the Great Headwaters Trails.

“I must say this is the first time we’ve taken a look at it,” said Jeff. “It’s definitely dramatic.”

They’re exploring the corner of Song Hill Lane and County Highway K, west of Phelps. That’s where the 8.5 mile stretch of trail from Conover ends and the work on the last segment of trail is beginning.

Over the winter, loggers came through and took down trees that are still strewn over where the path will wind through the woods.

Great Headwaters Trails

The Conover-Phelps section of the Great Headwaters Trails is in the home stretch.

The goal is a 10.7 mile paved bike trail connecting the towns of Conover and Phelps in Vilas County.

The Great Headwaters Trails is 1.9 miles away from reaching that goal.

“Biking of course has become on even bigger thing this year and just being outside. The trail certainly allows people to continue to do those things,” said GHT Executive Director Jeff Currie.

To build the final stretch of the trail, the GHT is looking to raise a total of $200,000.

Eagle River Chamber of Commerce

Bicycle rides this weekend will provide a chance to help fund more bike trails in the Northwoods.

The 5th annual Septimber Ride Saturday is a scenic trail ride on the beautiful Three Eagle Trail or a 50K Northwoods Road Ride on country roads. The ride will start and finish at the Tribute Brewing Company near Eagle River. Food and refreshments will be provided at the end of the ride. The southern terminus of the ride is at the Three Lakes Winery.

Great Headwaters Trails Executive Director Jeff Currie says riders of different abilities have an option..

Great Headwaters Trails

A fundraiser coming soon highlights the final push to build a bike-hike trail between Conover and Phelps.

Nine miles of the eleven mile trail have been completed with two miles leading into Phelps to be built. Jeff Currie is president of Great Headwaters Trails.

He says the Town of Phelps is working to improve a park where the trail head will be..

VC Trail Gets Committee Approval; GHT Seeks Final Money To Finish

Dec 20, 2018
Great Headwaters Trails

The location of the last segment of the Conover-Phelps bike trail into downtown Phelps was approved by the Vilas County Highway committee Tuesday along Highway K with a number of safety concerns expressed by the committee and a private landowner.

Great Headwaters Trails originally wanted the trail on the south side of Highway K rather than the north side which they indicated would cross less private driveways but be more expensive. That cost could be mostly eliminated if a grant application of $150,000 would be approved.

Great Headwaters Trails

Spurred on by a $15,000 challenge grant, the developers are hoping to raise the final dollars needed to complete the Conover to Phelps biking and hiking trail.

Great Headwaters Trails President Jeff Currie says there are two miles left to build, so it was appropriate to have a "finish up the trail' fund raiser. Currie says they need about another $30,000 to reach full funding of $400,000. The challenge grant will match funds raised dollar-for-dollar.

Two more miles need to be built to finish the trail. If they get the money, construction will commence in a few months...

Great Headwaters Trails

A long-time Great Headwaters Trails volunteer who died in 2016 will be the focus of a memorial ride Saturday beginning in Conover.

The Don Gillum Memorial Bike and Hike event is set for Saturday.

Great Headwaters Trails President Jeff Currie says the bike and hike will benefit others.... ermakovasve

The City of Eagle River has joined other local governments to put together a biking and walking trail to St. Germain.

The city council this week approved joining with the towns of St. Germain and Cloverland to form a commission to move forward on getting the 10-mile trail developed known as the River Trail, near the Wisconsin River.

Great Headwaters Trails

A $15,000 challenge grant has been received by a group hoping to complete a bike and walking trail between Conover and Phelps in Vilas county.

Jeff Currie of the Great Headwaters Trails says the anonymous donor is hoping to have the grant matched.

He says the initial 3.2 miles of the nine mile trail was opened last summer, but the final fundraising and work is moving forward. He gave a status update...


A recent donation by River Valley Bank has helped move the construction of a biking and walking trail between Conover and Phelps forward. River Valley Bank donated $5,000.

Brian Blank is the Great Headwaters Trails capital campaign coordinator. He says the donation helps move trail completion forward...

"We're hopeful and optimistic that in 2016 we'll be able to do section two which is 5.5 miles and then do the remaining 3.5 miles will bring the trail into downtown Phelps. Funding for that will be received in 2017... "

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.” 

Eagle River Considers ATVs Downtown

Oct 20, 2014
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Eagle River is looking into a plan to allow ATVs on some downtown streets.

Eagle River Mayor Jeff Hyslop says a committee is figuring out a proposal that would detail specific routes.

“At this point no decisions have been made except coming up with a plan for it, and at that point people will have something to vote on.” 

The town of Lincoln is also looking into allowing ATVs on town roads.  

Trail Groups Land $15K Grant for Bike Path Segment

Mar 19, 2014
Used courtesy of the Eagle River Historical Society.

A bike trail project has netted a $15,000 matching grant to complete a short stretch of trail. 

The Three Eagle Trail runs from Three Lakes to Eagle River.  It’s being extended by less than a quarter mile through a congested part of Eagle River to the old train depot.  The grant comes from Tara Lila, a company that specializes in land conservation and trail construction.  It will match community donations up to $15,000 in hopes of covering the $30,000 cost of the construction.