Northern Woods & WatersAugust 12th - 18th, 2023
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!
NORTHERN WOODS & WATERS
About This Tour
The 2023 tour showcases the many miles of asphalt bicycle trails that Vilas County has been constructing for the past fifteen years in its effort to add bicyclists to the group of sports enthusiasts who are already fans of this popular northern county. Over 75 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. We stay overnight in popular tourist towns at locations offering swimming opportunities, and in Eagle River on days four and five we are spending two days in the deluxe lake front condos at the Wild Eagle Resort on the Eagle River chain of lakes. There we will have the free use of canoes, kayaks, and rowboats and take a boat tour of Duck Lake. We energize for our bicycle adventure each day with hearty restaurant buffet breakfasts and delicious restaurant dinners.
- Saturday August 12– Friday August 18
- Rider limit: 40
- Start and finish in Rhinelander, WI
- Six overnights, six cycling days
- Average daily mileage: 47
- Difficulty: See FAQ page
- Price before April 30: $1,350, after April 30: $1,450
- Deposit to hold place in tour: $100 within 10 days of registration, 2nd payment due of $600 by March 15th , and the final payment due by July 1st .
Tour includes six nights lodging in hotels and a waterfront resort, six restaurant dinners, three restaurant buffet breakfasts and three hotel continental breakfast, boat tour, watercraft fees on days four and five (luggage handling, SAG, maps, cue sheets, RidewithGPS, 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, most lunches, dinner one night, 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 $500. 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.
Tour price for registrations received after April 30: $1,450
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 bedrooms and have their private bathroom located next door to their room rather than within it. We try to place couples in king or queen bedrooms and friends in the twin rooms. However, couples who sign up later will be placed in twin bedrooms. We believe this small inconvenience is more than made up for by the outstanding quality of this resort.
If you wish to have a single condo for 2, add $124/per person for the two nights. A limited number of single condos are available.
NORTHERN WOODS AND WATERS DAY BY DAY
Saturday August 12, Meet in Rhinelander
After checking in at the Americinn, we’ll gather at Hodag Park, a large park along the shore of Boom Lake (Wisconsin River) for a pre-tour information meeting to say hello to our new bicycle companions before enjoying a catered dinner. For those of you who wish to take a dip, our pavilion is near the beach. Those who arrive early in Rhinelander may want to swim 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 might suggest a possible route or stop at the Chamber of Commerce Office for a bike route map.
Sunday August 13, Cycle to Land O Lakes, Approximate mileage: 55
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. A second rest stop will give us energy to finish the last five miles on a paved bicycle path which passes a small local beach. We might want to take off our shoes and wade in the clear water before entering the tiny village of Land O Lakes. From there it’s less than a mile 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 dinner in the hotel’s dining room.
Monday August 14, Cycle to Boulder Junction, Approximate mileage: 38 to 69
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. After a rest or lunch in Boulder Junction, you may choose to stay and relax in or 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. The trail extends 40 miles North to Mercer. You can choose how far to ride this day. 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. We will have a catered dinner at the Community Park.
Tuesday August 15, Cycle to Eagle River, Approximate mileage: 45
Breakfast this morning is also on our own, perhaps at the Granary Restaurant or the Boulder Junction coffee shop. Very light continental breakfast is also available 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 its well-known cafes, The Red Canoe, or grab dessert at Cathy’s Ice cream and Candy. Once back on the route we’ll find 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? A trainer and yoga instructor 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! Dinner will be at the Blue Heron Restaurant at the Resort. A campfire down by the lake will conclude our day.
Wednesday August 16, Layover Day, Approximate Mileage, 0, 16, or 25
After 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. Late afternoon, we’ll have the option to board the ship of the the Pirates of Eagle River or a pontoon boat ride for a tour of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. In the evening we’ll gather at the Blue Heron to discuss the day’s activities and enjoy another delicious dinner.
Thursday August 17, 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 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 18, Cycle to Rhinelander, Approximate mileage: 38
After a hot continental breakfast at the hotel, we’re on our way back to Rhinelander. We’ll be riding on shaded backroads through the woods past lakes dotted with tourist cottages. We’ll have a rest stop at the Rainbow Flowage Dam Park. 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 goodbyes 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.
Small Private Tours
Try one of our shorter private small group bicycle tours. We can design a private bike tour of various sizes.
Escape to The North
What People are Saying
“The tour staff were numerous, and the absolute best of all the several dozens of tours I have been on thru the years. The Northwoods is one of my favorite locations, beautiful scenery, quieter roads, rural, attention to detail, stayed at upscale hotels/condo’s, best food in area, great choice of routes, nice sized group so got to know the various fellow bikers. Bottom line is absolutely best bang for the buck, or should I say best bang for the bike…………..“
Pat from Iowa -2022
Susan from Menasha, WI – 2022
Laurie from Chicago, Illinois – 2022
Steve from Illinois – 2021
Duane from Michigan – 2021
Ann and Steve from West Virginia – 2021
Cynthia and Bill from California – 2021