The Announcement We've All Been Waiting For...
Phase 1 and 1.5 Are Complete and Phase 2 Is Fully Funded!
The North Creek Trail Loop Project Fundraising Committee is pleased to announce that the entire loop will be complete next season!
At the Town of Boulder Junction monthly board meeting on Tuesday, October 24 the Boulder Junction Community Foundation granted the town $266,195 to help cover the costs of Phases 1 and 1.5 of the North Creek Loop Trail - this fund balance represents the fundraising we have worked so hard to achieve!
In addition to the funding of Phase 1 and 1.5, the Foundation confirmed that a generous donation made by Liz Uihlein is being retained for the funding and completion of Phase 2, running from Ritzke Trail Road to North Creek Road.
Phase 1 and 1.5 construction was completed this fall and officially opened to trail users on September 22. Phase 2 construction is scheduled for construction and completion in Spring of 2024.
The Boulder Junction Community Foundation, an affiliate member of The Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, has been managing the North Creek Loop Trail Fund during the fundraising phase.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to each and every one of our donors. Your support has helped complete the Loop!
What is the North Creek Loop Trail Project?
The Town of Boulder Junction is overseeing the construction of 3.3 miles of paved trail that will complete the 14 mile North Creek Trail loop 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 (where it will connect to the existing bike trail between Boulder Junction and Manitowish Waters) along the east side of Highway H up to 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.
Phase 1 of the project runs from Highway K to Rudolph Lake Road, where a large private campground with 223 sites is located. Phase 2 of the project will run from Rudolph Lake Road to North Creek Road, where a state forest campground with 25 sites is located on Upper Gresham Lake.
Maintenance of the trail after construction will be conducted by the town as part of the existing town trail system.
North Creek Loop Trail Project Details
Summer 2024 - Phase 2 Construction Complete and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Be Held
Spring 2024 - Phase 2 Construction to Begin
September 2023 - Phase 1 and 1.5 Construction Complete
May 2023 - Phase 2 Grants Submitted
May 2023 - Phase 1 Fundraising Complete
May 2023 - Phase 1.5 Grant Awarded
Fall 2022 – Phase 1 Trail Construction Begins
September 2022 – Accepted Phase 1 Bid; construction timeline pending
September 2022 – Phase 2 DNR Grant denied
June 2022 – Construction Bids opened; bid due diligence in process
May 2022 – Applied for Phase 2 DNR grant
May 2022 - Phase 1 Goes out to Bid
February 2022 – Anticipate hearing outcome of Phase 2 DOT TAP grant application - delayed but still under review
January 2022 – Applied for Phase 2 DOT TAP grant
October 2021 – Phase 1 surveying to be completed
October 2021 – As of early October, all needed clearing equipment parts have been received and repairs made. Trail clearing to resume and continue through the winter.
July 2021 – Trail clearing began. Due to severe storms across the Northwoods in late July, along with the breakdown of equipment, clearing has been idle since early August. Storm damage clearing tasks became immediate priority and, due to COVID-19 issues, procuring needed parts for clearing equipment was delayed.
June 2021 – Phase 1 fundraising complete ($520,000 - THANK YOU DONORS!)
May 2021 – Phase 2 DNR grant application submitted (expect outcome September 2021)
April 2021 – Boulder Junction Community Foundation grant awarded ($5000)
December 2020 – Phase 1 fundraising begins
October 2020 – Town of Boulder Junction approves project and funding ($100,000)
October 2020 – Boulder Junction Community Foundation designated fiduciary
September 2020 – DNR grant awarded ($217,299)
May 2020 – DNR grant application submitted
February 2020 – DOT grant denied
December 2019 – DOT grant application submitted
Fall 2019 – Grant writing begins
December 2018 – Donation requests begin
Summer 2018 – Public information/awareness campaign begins
March 2018 – Verbal contact with property owners
March 2018 – Planning meetings with Vilas County Highway Commission and Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
March 2018 – Town and Country Engineering selected
March 2018 – Requests for proposals sent to seven engineering firms
September 2017 – Committee receives permission from Town Board to move forward with planning
August 2017 – Ad hoc committee formed
A National Recreation Trail
The Heart of Vilas County Paved Bike Trail System is officially a National Recreation Trail. The honor, bestowed by the Secretary of the Interior, is given to public trails which positively represent their regions, support diverse communities, and are considered among the nation’s best trails. They must be well-managed and maintained and a clear asset to their areas. The Heart of Vilas County trail system joins more than 83,000 miles of National Recreation Trails listed in an online, searchable database, easily accessible to outdoor enthusiasts looking for the best spots to explore. www.americantrails.org/national-recreation-trails