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Paving an Additional 3.3 miles of Trail

Connecting to the 52-mile Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail System at the
intersection of Hwy K along Hwy H to North Creek Rd, creating a 14-mile loop.

UPDATE: 10/22/2019

At the Boulder Junction Town Board meeting on October 22, 2019 the board approved and signed a resolution authorizing grant approval. The WDOT Multimodal Local Supplement grant could be received as early as January 2020 and trail construction could begin in 2020. More updates to come!

What is the North Creek Loop Trail Project?

The Town of Boulder Junction is sponsoring the construction of 3.3 miles of paved trail that will complete the 14 mile North Creek Loop Trail of the Heart of Vilas County Trail system in the Boulder Junction area. The new trail runs from the intersection of County Hwys K and H along the east side of Highway H onto North Creek Rd.  Trail users will then be able to continue down North Creek Rd to access the existing bike trail along Highway M connecting back to Boulder Junction.

Maintenance of the trail after construction will be conducted by the town as part of the existing town trail system.

Why complete the loop and who benefits?

The scenic Heart of Vilas County trails in the Boulder Junction area are well loved by residents and visitors for their multiple healthy recreation uses (bicycling, walking, running, roller blading, etc.) and provision of a safe transportation network into Boulder Junction and to adjacent communities.


Currently residents and visitors along the 3.3 miles of proposed trail along Hwy H (including visitors to the 223 sites at Camp Holiday and 25 sites at Upper Gresham Lake State Forest Campground) have no safe access by bicycle, foot, or other non-motorized recreation into Boulder Junction or to the existing trail system east and west.  Highway H is a 2-lane county highway with narrow shoulders and curves not safe for bicyclists, walkers or runners.

14 Mile Loop

Construction of the trail would resolve these safety issues as well as enhance access to the Boulder Junction community for residents and visitors.  Construction of the trail to complete the 14 mile loop will also provide another safe and scenic riding option for the many bicyclists that visit the area to enjoy the Heart of Vilas County Trail system.

North Creek Loop Trail Project Cost & Fundraising

The Boulder Junction Town Board has approved a preliminary trail route mapped by Mark Barden, Town & Country Engineering, in consultation with Craig Dalton, DNR State Forest Property Manager, DNR regulatory staff, and Nick Scholtes, Vilas County Highway Commissioner.   The DNR and Vilas County are supportive of the project.  Based on the route, Mark Barden has provided a preliminary cost estimate of $875,000 for the project.

A two year fundraising plan for the project is in progress and has two main components – applying for grants and soliciting pledges and donations in a variety of ways from the greater Boulder Junction community and its visitors.

At the Boulder Junction Town Board meeting on October 22, 2019 the board approved and signed a resolution authorizing the town to apply for two Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) grants.

  • The first grant is the Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) program administered by the Wisconsin DOT which funds up to 90% of project costs. This grant application was submitted on December 2 and approval could come from the DOT as early as January 2020.
  • The second grant is the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) administered by the Wisconsin DOT which funds 80% of project costs. TAP grant final application submission was accomplished on January 24th.
  • The town is applying for the Stewardship and Recreational Trails grant program administered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources which funds up to 50% of project costs. We are actively working on grant application requirements, to meet May 1, 2020 grant application submission deadline.

As of 02/25/2020 donations and pledges total $47,304.81 for the project.  Fundraising for the project will continue, with more specific funding goals being established as grant awards are determined. Boulder Junction property owners will receive a donation envelope with their tax letter mailing this year and extra envelopes are available in the town office.

Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin$875,000Raised $47,305 towards the $875,000 target.$47,305Raised $47,305 towards the $875,000 target.5%
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