Northern Woods & Waters

Dates for 2020: Saturday Aug. 8th to Friday Aug. 14th

 

Cycle for six days on lightly traveled back roads through the woods of northern Wisconsin, past quiet lakes too numerous to count. Paddle a kayak on a quiet lake and enjoy a group boat tour on the Eagle River chain of lakes!

 

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NORTHERN WOODS & WATERS

About This Tour

The 2020 tour showcases the many miles of asphalt bicycle trails that Vilas County has been constructing for the past fifteen years in it’s effort to add bicyclists to the group of sports enthusiasts who are already fans of this popular northern county. Over 50 miles of this 300 mile tour take place on paved trails, which wind through the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest past campgrounds and lakeside beaches. Wildlife sightings are common each day. Once again we are offering the the pedal and paddle option on day three. This option allows you to bike a shortened route in the morning and kayak a northern lake in the afternoon.*  We stay overnight in popular tourist towns at locations offering swimming opportunities, and in Eagle River on days four and five, the free use of canoes, kayaks, and rowboats. We energize for our bicycle adventure each day with hearty restaurant buffet breakfasts and delicious restaurant dinners. We are spending two days in the deluxe lake front condos at the Wild Eagle Resort on the Eagle River chain of lakes. This allows us a day to enjoy the free watercraft, swimming beach and indoor pool at the resort after a shortened morning ride. Around noon we’ll take a boat tour of the lake with the Pirates of Eagle River.

Paddle Option

*Paddle option available for $35 additional fee and must be elected at time of registration. Transport of kayaks and cyclists to the lake is provided. The kayak activity (limited to first 24 people to sign up) is not a guided tour. It is assumed that those choosing this option will have kayaking experience as no instruction will be given. Due to the kayak rental business’s policies, no refunds are available in case of cancellation for bad weather.

General Information

  • Saturday August 8 – Friday August 14
  • Rider limit: 55 , Pedal & Paddle option limit: 24
  •  Start and finish in Rhinelander, WI
  •  Six overnights, six cycling days
  •  Average daily mileage: 47 
  •  Difficulty: See FAQ page
  •  Price before April 30: $1,045*
  •  Deposit to hold place in tour: $495
Northern Woods & Waters Rest Stop
Northern Woods & Waters Bike Tour

Tour includes six nights lodging in hotels and a waterfront resort, five restaurant dinners, three restaurant buffet breakfasts and two hot hotel continental breakfast, pirate boat tour, watercraft fees on days four and five (Pedal and Paddle Option on day three, add $35), luggage handling, SAG, maps, cue sheets, marked routes, well stocked rest stops, and all the pampering that only small group tours can provide!

Optional airport pick up and drop off in Rhinelander, WI is available free of charge. We will help you arrange bike rental at a local shop (bike rental fee not included). Please call or email to discuss these services.

Tour does NOT include transportation to/from start of ride, lunches, dinner one night, breakfast one morning (light hotel continental is available free of charge that morning), alcoholic beverages, cost of bike rental or repairs from local bike shops.

* Price assumes double share (two sharing a room). For a private room add $450. If you are traveling alone and would prefer to double share, we will attempt to find you a suitable roommate, but we cannot guarantee a roommate for you. Without a roommate, the private room charge will be added to your balance due. Call for possible triple share (three sharing a room) at a reduced rate (limited availability).

Tour price for registrations received after April 30: $1,095

Lodging Note: All lodging is of good quality. In a few towns, however, rooms may differ slightly (i.e. location and furnishings), in which case we will assign rooms in the order in which we receive registrations. At the Wild Eagle Resort in Eagle River, two bedrooms (four people) will be located within one deluxe waterfront condo. Half of the group will be in twin bed rooms and have their private bathroom located next door to their room rather than within it. We try to place couples in king or queen bed rooms and friends in the twin rooms. However, couples who sign up later will be placed in twin bed rooms. We believe this small inconvenience is more than made up for by the outstanding quality of this resort.

NORTHERN WOODS AND WATERS DAY BY DAY

Saturday August 8, Meet in Rhinelander

After checking in at the  Days Inn we’ll meet for a short pre-tour information meeting at the the hotel. Then we’ll gather at the Rhinelander Cafe and Pub two blocks away to say hello to our new bicycle companions before sitting down to a  delicious hearty  dinner at this well known and popular Rhinelander restaurant.  Those who arrive early in Rhinelander may want to take a dip in the hotel’s indoor pool, visit the shops in downtown Rhinelander, or go for a short bike ride in and around this bike friendly town. Mel’s Trading Post, the local bike shop two blocks from the hotel might suggest a possible route or ask us for suggestions.

Sunday August 9, Cycle to Land O Lakes, Approximate mileage: 54

After a continental breakfast at the hotel we’ll ride through the downtown streets of Rhinelander on our way out of town. The days scenery will include no towns, almost no cars, lots of lakes and woods, and some occasional wildlife. Five miles from the hotel we’ll ride onto a paved bicycle path which passes a small local beach. We might want to take off our shoes and wade in the clear water for a break before entering the tiny village of Land O Lakes where we could grab some ice cream at the Dairy Maid or a bite to eat at Brews Pub, the local eatery. From there it’s less than a miles to the Gateway Lodge, a sprawling historic lodge, which will be our home for the night. Once there we might take a dip in the indoor pool or wander the halls to read about the famous people who have stayed there. We’ll meet in the Gateway’s lounge to share stories of the day’s ride before enjoying a buffet dinner in the hotel’s dining room.

Monday August 10, Cycle to Boulder Junction, Approximate mileage: 38 to 61

After a hot buffet breakfast, we’ll start out on an asphalt bike path heading west out of town. We’ll ride past a little lakeside beach before turning onto one of Vilas County’s beautiful, wooded bike routes, cycling the back roads of the Northern Highland State Forest passing lakes too numerous to count. We’ll come to the tiny community of Star Lake where we might stop at at the Star Lake Country Store for a snack or some ice cream. We’ll continue through the State Forest until we reach Boulder Junction.  Those choosing the Pedal and Paddle option will stop in town, grab lunch, and board the kayak bus where they will be transported to a nearby lake for the afternoon where kayaks will be waiting for them to explore the area by water.* After a rest  and lunch in Boulder Junction, those of us not kayaking will continue the route on Vilas County’s newest trail, again winding through beautiful wooded landscapes eventually returning to Boulder Junction. This town has become known among cyclists as the best bike town in the north woods. The reputation is well deserved as it has invested much time and money in developing an ever- growing system of asphalt bicycle paths which will eventually connect almost all the popular towns in the Vilas-Oneida county area.  At the end of our ride we’ll check in to the Boulder Bear or Acorn hotel where we ’ll have the opportunity to soak in the hot tub or swim in the pool before gathering at a local pub to discuss the days ride. Our downtown location makes it the perfect stop for souvenir shopping, pub visiting, and dinner on our own. Restaurant choices range from the typical up north tavern friendliness found at the Boulder Beer Bar with great casual food, to the upscale Guide’s Inn where the gourmet cuisine is worth every penny of the somewhat lofty price tag. Two other great choices include a typical up north supper club, the Headwaters, and McGann’s Café and Wine Bar, perfect for an appetizer and a glass of wine. All restaurants are within a few blocks of each other and our hotels.

Kayakers

*Additional $35 fee required

Tuesday August 11, Cycle to Eagle River, Approximate mileage: 45

Breakfast this morning is also on our own, perhaps at the Granary Restaurant, open at 6 a.m. and a two block walk from our hotel. Very light continental breakfast is also available free of charge at our hotels. Shortly after breakfast, we will head out of town on an asphalt path leading us through scenic state forest campground areas. If we are in the mood for a mid-day swim, two beautiful sandy beaches are available at campgrounds that we will pass through. We’ll cycle through the tiny town of Sayner before entering another asphalt path which will take us to the town of St. Germain where we can find lunch at one of it’s well-known cafes and grab dessert at Cathy’s Ice cream and Candy. Once back on the route we’ll fine ourselves circling Big St. Germain Lake before finally arriving at our home for two days, the upscale Wild Eagle Lodge in Eagle River. Once checked in, we’ll relax in our deluxe lodge homes that sit along the water’s edge, enjoying a spectacular view of the lake. Resort amenities include a sandy swimming beach with raft and beach furniture, free use of canoes, kayaks, rowboats, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and tennis courts. As wonderful as biking in the beautiful Northwoods will be, you may want to spend some time off your bike. What better way to do that than to help your body recover and get ready for your next day’s ride? Trainer and yoga instructor Meghan Brown will be available to lead you through an optional one-hour mobility practice designed to soothe tight and sore muscles. You’ll come away with exercises and stretches you can do on your own, to ensure you are on your bike for years to come!

In the late afternoon, we’ll gather on the patio of one of the lake homes to enjoy some beverages and discuss the day’s ride before heading to the resort’s restaurant, the Blue Heron, for a group dinner.

 Wednesday August 12, Layover Day, Approximate Mileage, 0, 16, or 33

This morning there will be an optional early morning outside Yoga class for those who would like to stretch and enjoy the morning sunshine by the lakeAfter a hot buffet breakfast at the resort, we’ll make some choices about how to spend our lay over day. Some of us may choose to rest our biking legs and spend the day enjoying the swimming beach and free use of the resort’s watercraft or bike into Eagle River for shopping and sightseeing. In the morning, many of us will choose the day’s optional circle ride which will take us through the town of Eagle River and into the Nicolet National Forest before returning to the resort. Around noon we’ll have the option to board the ship of the the Pirates of Eagle River* who’ll take us on a tour of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes before dropping us at their tiki bar for lunch, snacks, ice cream or beverages. After a short walk back to the resort, we’ll still have time to relax on the beach or take a rowboat out on the lake. Some of us may choose to rent one of the resort’s motorized watercraft. In the evening we’ll gather at the Blue Heron to discuss the day’s activities and enjoy another delicious dinner.

Pirate Ship Tour

Thursday August 13, Cycle to Minocqua, Approximate mileage: 52

We’ll say goodbye to the Wild Eagle with a hot breakfast at the restaurant and then set out on our route to the town of Minocqua, our last overnight destination.  Minocqua has a history of attracting tourists that dates from the 1880’s when Chicago residents would arrive by train to enjoy the cool lakeside resorts that began to spring up all over area. The tradition has continued to the present time. The town is filled with shops, restaurants, and a really nice swimming beach. On our way, we’ll pass again through the town of St. Germain where we may stop for a break, maybe some ice cream. Once in Minocqua, we’ll want to explore the downtown area two blocks beyond the Best Western, our hotel for the night,  where we’ll find interesting shops, museums, restaurants, and taverns. Right across the street from our hotel is a popular brewpub as well as the town beach on Lake Minocqua where we can swim or just relax and enjoy the view. Those of us who enjoy indoor swimming more than the beach can take a dip in the hotel’s indoor pool. In the evening we’ll gather at Reulands, our dinner location next to the hotel, where we’ll discuss the day’s ride before dinner.

Friday August 14, Cycle to Rhinelander, Approximate mileage: 38

After a hot continental breakfast at the hotel, we’re on our way back to Rhinelander. Again we’ll be riding on shaded backroads through the woods past lakes dotted with tourist cottages.  We’ll have a rest stop in the tiny boating village of Lake Tomahawk where pubs and a cafe are available if we’re in the mood for more than a snack. Then it’s off again on River Road all the way into Rhinelander. We’ll have a chance to shower in a couple rooms set aside for us at the hotel before saying our good byes to our new bike friends and heading home. If we’re not in a hurry to leave, we may want to explore Rhinelander a little more or take advantage of the many hiking, fishing, and boating opportunities that abound in the area.

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Testimonials

What People are Saying

"We had a great time on the Northern Woods and Waters Tour last week. The food, accommodation, roads, routes, and yes, even the weather, were wonderful. We marveled at your ability to guide us over nearly flawless roads. We enjoyed Captain Steve’s pirate cruise where we saw two eagles and three eagle’s nest. The gathering at the Minocqua Brewery on the last night was especially fun."

Rick from Wisconsin

"We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the rolling hills on the Wisconsin backroads. It was a good route. The food was great and we enjoyed getting to know lots of adventurous people. In appreciation, "

Mary & Chuck from Minnesota

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