Trails of the North Tour

August 11-16, 2024

 More details & Itinerary coming soon

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TRAILS OF THE NORTH

About This Tour

The 2024 tour showcases the many miles of asphalt and limestone bicycle trails that Vilas and Oneida Counties have been constructing for the past fifteen years in its effort to add bicyclists to the group of sports enthusiasts who are already fans of these popular northern counties. This tour travels on 3 different trail systems, The Bearskin State Trail, The 3-Eagle Trail and the Heart of Vilas Bike Trail System. The mileage is kept around 40 miles a day and encompasses two limestone rail trails and the fully paved Heart of Vilas Bike Trail. Over 50% of this 200 mile tour is on bike 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. We energize for our bicycle adventure each day with restaurant buffet breakfasts and delicious restaurant dinners.

General Information

  • Sunday August 11– Friday August 16, 2024
  • Rider limit: 25
  • Start and finish in Rhinelander, WI
  • Five overnights, five cycling days
  • Average daily mileage: 42 
  • Difficulty: See FAQ page
  • Price before April 30: $1,250, after April 30: $1,350.
  • 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 five nights lodging in hotels and a waterfront resort, five restaurant dinners, five restaurant buffets or continental breakfast, 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, lunches, 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 $300. 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: $1,350

TRAILS OF THE NORTH TOUR

Sunday, August 11, Meet in Rhinelander

After checking in at the Americinn, we’ll gather at a local Rhinelander restaurant for a pre-tour information meeting to say hello to our new bicycle companions before enjoying a dinner. 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.

Monday, August 12, Minocqua, Approximate mileage: 40

After a continental breakfast at the hotel, we’ll ride through the downtown streets of Rhinelander on our way out of town and eventually get to the Bearskin State Trail. The Bearskin State Trail follows a route blazed into the heart of the great Northwoods, first by pioneers and loggers, and then by passengers and outdoors enthusiasts on trains with such names as the Hiawatha and Fisherman’s Special. Now it’s bicyclists who disappear into the woods on a mostly crushed-gravel trail. The trail traverses a sparsely populated area known for dense forests and a proliferation of lakes. Those lakes are a destination for fishermen as well as birders, especially during migratory season. In addition to spotting bald eagles and loons from the lakeside, you might spot deer from the trail. You’ll cross several converted railroad trestles, 8 alone spanning Bearskin Creek, the trail’s namesake. Although occasional clearings can be found next to marshes or lakes, the trail is mostly forested. Tree branches arching over the trail give the impression of passing through a tunnel.

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 for dinner at the end of the day.

Trails of the North Itinerary Image 1

Tuesday, August 13, Cycle to Boulder Junction, Approximate mileage: 38

After a hot buffet breakfast, we’ll start out heading North out of town. Once we reach St Germain, we will be riding the rest of the way to Boulder Junction on the paved Heart of Vilas Bike Trail. We’ll cycle through the tiny town of Sayner before entering the asphalt path again taking 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 will be staying at the Boulder Bear Lodge for the next two nights. Our downtown location makes it the perfect stop for souvenir shopping. We will have dinner at a local restaurant. 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.

Wednesday, August 14, Cycle on the Heart of Vilas Trail – up to 48 miles

A continental breakfast is available at our hotel, or you may choose for a more filling breakfast at the Granary Restaurant or the Boulder Junction coffee shop. Today, we will spend the day on the Heart of Vilas newest section of the paved trail, again winding through beautiful, wooded landscapes eventually returning to Boulder Junction. The trail extends 24 miles north to Mercer as well as having a new spur loop. You can choose how far to ride this day.

We will ride through Manitowish Waters and by the beautiful Rest Lake where we will have a rest stop. Options for lunch will be available as well. We will end the day at a local establishment.

Thursday, August 15 Cycle to Eagle River – 44 miles

A continental breakfast is available at our hotel, or you may choose for a more filling breakfast at the Granary Restaurant or the Boulder Junction coffee shop. Shortly after breakfast, we will head out of town on the asphalt path that we traveled on Tuesday leading us back 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 of its well-known cafes. Once back on the route we’ll find ourselves circling Big St Germaine and ending at our final night stay at the Hiawatha Lodge and Resort on Duck Lake. A campfire down by the lake will conclude our day after dinner.

Trails of the North Itinerary Image 3

Trails of the North Itinerary Image 4

Friday August 16, Cycle to Rhinelander, Approximate mileage: 42

After a continental breakfast at the lodge, we’re on our way back to Rhinelander. We will ride on the 12.7 mile limestone Three Eagle Bike Trail to Three Lakes and then on to shaded backroads through the woods past lakes dotted with tourist cottages 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.

Our Tours

Current Tours

Trails of the North

Cycle five days at our newest bike tour on the many beautiful limestone and paved trails of  beautiful Northern Wisconsin.

Northern Woods & Waters

Cycle for six days on lightly traveled back roads through the woods of northern Wisconsin past numerous quiet lakes.

Escape to The North

Cycle five days on rural roads and by numerous lakes. Wildlife sightings are common on this tour.

Small Private Tours

Try one of our shorter private small group bicycle tours. We can design a private bike tour of various sizes.

OR, you may want to  check out tours by our friends at Bike Tour Vacations.

Testimonials

What People are Saying

So relaxing! Beautiful roads and trails, rivers and lakes. It wasn’t long enough! First trip in a long time that I wasn’t eager to get home.

Leslie from Missouri – 2023

This is a great tour! Mary Jo and staff go above and beyond. The scenery is beautiful and the quiet country roads are delightful. I loved everything about this tour. Put this one on your list! Very fun. ”

Candace from West Virginia – 2023

This was a fun bicycle tour in northern Wisconsin! Great staff, great meals, great sags, great lodging, fun adventures at the Lodge layover, and great route!

Connie from Michigan 2022

Mary Jo and her team really do an incredible job from beginning to end in putting on a bike tour- flexible and easy registration process, excellent pre-departure communications and preparation, detailed registration upon arrival, good hotels and restaurants, well marked routes with supporting maps and gps info, great ride support with yummy snacks and encouraging words, lots of extracurricular activities and thoughtful touches- all of which led to new friendships. I would not hesitate to recommend Around Wisconsin Bike Tours. ”

Priti from Winnipeg, Manitoba – 2022

We had a wonderful time on the Escape to the North Tour. We enjoyed the beauty of the area, the challenge of the hills, the fun people, and the great food. Mary Jo put together a fabulous route and fun after-ride activities. The team was friendly, very supportive and attended to our every need. I highly recommend this trip.
Chuck and Mary from Minnesota – 2021

The tour was the best!! Loved the food and the many, many good snacks at the water stops! The support vehicles were great also! The bike routes were beautiful too. Would do this one again! All of the other bikers were friendly and we had lots of fun being with them. Loved the pontoon boat ride. “

Gordy & Linda from Wisconsin – 2021

Thanks Mary Jo for the great tour. You and the staff were very accommodating and fun to be with. The routes were fantastic, taking us on back country roads and along lakes. It was a great way to see the area. The extra activities in the afternoon allowed us to get to know the other participants. Looking forward to next bike tour.
Susan from Wisconsin – 2021

I want to congratulate you on one of the best run bike trips I have been on. This trip had everything. On the road there were great routes with plenty of information on how to navigate them, beautiful scenery and quiet roads, conscientious and visible SAG support, and healthy snacks available at rest stops. The places we stayed were beautiful and the food was very good throughout the entire trip. You even had activities planned for us when there was time, like the Lumberjack show in Hayward and the pontoon ride. Wow! I have to admit I could get used to no tent set up and take down and the Ride with GPS! Everyone on the staff was wonderful. They really cared about our welfare and enjoyment of the trip. They were so nice to me, asking me to join them at a table when I couldn’t figure out where to sit as a solo traveler. I really appreciated that. The yoga was wonderful.
Mariette, St Paul, MN – 2021

 

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