Plans and Progress
Since the Great Headwaters Trails Foundation was incorporated in 2010, it has become a 501(c)(3), recruited talented volunteers, worked with local and state entities, raised funds, received over $900,000 from grants, and created a vision for the community.
To date, Great Headwaters Trails has built the Eagle River Connector Trail and is in the process of completing the Conover-Phelps Trail. Future plans are to develop the River Trail, connecting Eagle River to St. Germain. That 10 mile trail would connect bike riders and walkers to the 55-mile Heart of Vilas Trail that starts in St. Germain and the 13-mile Thee Eagle Trail that goes from Eagle River to Three Lakes.
The Conover-Phelps Trail
The trail is now almost 9 miles long - 83% done and paid for.
The western trailhead is in the Conover Town Park on Hwy K, just east of Hwy 45. Parking, water, picnic area, bicycle repair station and restrooms are available.
Nine miles east is the temporary terminus and trailhead at Song Hill Lane and Cty K.
Two miles further east is downtown Phelps. GHT is working with the Town to complete the last two miles as rapidly as possible.
Once completed, the 11-mile trail will offer stunning views of wetlands, meadows and woodlands and provide a connection between the centers of Conover and Phelps.
Become a Friend of the Conover-Phelps Trail!!
Join a group that will assist the towns of Conover and Phelps in keeping the trail a beautiful, safe and user-friendly place for hiking and biking. Please join us! For more information, contact us at 715-617-0080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Construction begins on Phase 2!
The trail is being built in three stages. There’s only one left to go!
Phase 1 - The western 3.2 miles was completed in 2015 and opened with a ribbon-cutting event at Conover’s first Ride in the Park on May 29, 2015.
Phase 2 - The middle 5.5 mile section was built from July to October 2017:
- July 31 - Construction on the began at Muskrat Creek Road. Good progress was made in this wet section, about 1500 feet long. Rain late in the week forced construction to the east end at Song Hill Lane and County Highway K.
- Though August 7 - About 2500 feet of base gravel was applied on the east end of the trail.
- August 8 - Construction moved back to the west end of the trail. The goal was to get culverts in place up to the 4000' station.
- Week of August 14th was the most challenging since the trails between Stations 4000’ and 5000’ is the wettest section. Once Station 5000 was reached, construction progress went significantly faster.
- Week Four - Construction work included scraping off the top level of organic matter from the railroad grade, leveling the base, adding gravel and grading. That enabled dump trucks to drive over the graded gravel to reach deeper parts of the construction site.
- Week 6 & 7 - By September 9, the entire trail was covered with gravel. Final grading began the week of September 19th. Once completed, the trail was ready for the smooth Trail Bond top surface. Six pass-through gates arrived and were sent out to be powder coated.
- Week 11& 12 – Over two weeks in mid-October, a paving machine was used to add the final touch - surfacing the trail with Trail Bond.
Finishing Phase 3
To kick off fundraising, the “Complete the Trail” Appeal was launched in mid-November. A $15,000 challenge fund will match all donations dollar-for-dollar until the end of the year. The goal is to bring the trail into Phelps’ downtown lake front park by 2018.
Eagle River Connector
The Connector bike path was installed in 2014. It’s the first in-town bike path for Eagle River, and it lets Three Eagle Trail users pedal safely up to the doorstep of the city’s downtown. The Connector resulted from a partnership of Great Headwaters Trails, the Three Eagle Trail Foundation, Tara Lila, LLC, the City of Eagle River, the Rotary Club, Tribute Brewing Co., the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, and a number of local businesses and individuals. (View Connector details.)