Plans and Progress

Since the Great Headwaters Trails Foundation was incorporated in 2010, the organization has achieved many accomplishments. Great Headwaters Trails became a 501(c)(3), recruited talented volunteers, worked with local and state entities to develop the plans, raise funds, write grants for funding, and create a vision for the community.

To date, Great Headwaters Trails has built the Eagle River Connector Trail and is in the process of expanding the Conover-Phelps Trail. Future plans are to create the development design for the River Trail, connecting Eagle River to St. Germain. Once connected to St. Germain, bikers and walkers will be able to access the Heart of Vilas Trail and Heart of Vilas Trail users will be able to access Eagle River and the Thee Eagles Trail south of Eagle River.

The Conover-Phelps Trail

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Enjoy the first segment of the Great Headwaters Trails!!

The current Conover-Phelps trailhead is located in the Conover Town Park on Hwy K, just east of Hwy 45. Parking, water, picnic area, bicycle repair station and restrooms are available. Once completed, there will be additional trailhead areas and parking.

The 11-mile trail travels north from the Conover Town Park, through the business district of Conover and east into the Muskrat Creek marshland. The trail offers stunning views of wetlands, meadows and woodlands. Enjoy natural beauty and wildlife as you ride this trail.

Be sure to visit the Conover Chamber of Commerce and the Phelps Chamber of Commerce for local events.

Become a Friend of the Conover-Phelps Trail!!

Trail enthusiasts have an opportunity to join a group of volunteers who are willing to assist with periodic trail inspections and light maintenance to keep the Conover-Phelps Trail System a beautiful, safe and user-friendly place for hiking and biking.  If you are interested in helping to monitor the trail now and as it expands, please join us!  For more information, contact us at 715-617-0080 or ghtrails@gmail.com.

 

Construction begins on Phase 2!

The western 3.2 miles section (Phase 1 on graphic) was completed in 2015 and opened with a ribbon-cutting event at Conover’s first Ride in the Park on May 29, 2015.

The middle 5.5 mile section  (Phase 2) is in full construction mode.

Follow our construction progress and check out our photos below:
  • July 31 - Construction on the Conover - Phelps Trail began at Muskrat Creek Road. Good progress was made in this wet section, about 1500 feet. 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 is to get culverts in place up to the 4000' station.
  • Week of August 14th will be the most challenging. The trail between Stations 4000 and 5000 is the wettest. Once Station 5000 is reached, construction progress will be significantly faster.
  • Week Four - Construction work included scraping off the top level of organic matter (soil) from the railroad grade, leveling the base, adding gravel and grading. The dump trucks can now drive over the graded gravel to reach deeper parts of the trail construction.
  • Updates for Week 6 & 7 - As of September 9, the entire trail is covered with gravel. The week of September 19th final grading will begin. Once completed, the trail will be ready for trail bond. Six pass-through gates have been delivered and are now being powder coated.
  • Update for Week 12 - Over the next two weeks, trail bond will be placed on the trail.

Plans are underway to raise funds to bring the trail into Phelps’ downtown lakefront park by 2018. Overall, the trail will cost $1.8 million and 83% of that amount is in hand.

Groundbreaking
Groundbreaking
Grading gravel layer on base
Grading gravel layer on base
Truck dumping gravel
Truck dumping gravel
Eastern end by Hwy K
Eastern end by Hwy K
Base with geotextile fabric barrier
Base with geotextile fabric barrier
Eastern end with 2500 feet of base gravel
Eastern end with 2500 feet of base gravel

Eagle River Connector

PROGRESS submenu - connector 1

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.)