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THREE LAKES (WAOW) -
Oneida and Vilas Counties have officially reached the peak point of the fall foliage season according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
And that means right now is the time to take advantage of trail systems like the 12.7-mile Three Eagle Trail between the Northwood communities of Three Lakes and Eagle River. The repetitive sound of leaves crunching beneath bike tires makes for the perfect soundtrack for an autumn bike ride, and creates the right background for a great afternoon for Tom Rulseh.
"I've been biking since I was a little kid, and hopefully I'll be able to keep it up for another 40 more years," Rulseh said smiling.
Rulseh volunteers his time helping to maintain the nearly 13-mile crushed limestone stretch of the trail linking Three Lakes with Eagle River.
"We wanted something that would allow people to get from one community to the other without having to compete with cars on the highway," Rulseh said.
Capitalizing on a pleasant October days, Rulseh often rides back and forth on his recumbent bicycle beneath the colorful tapestry of a Northwoods autumn.
The trail uses a combination of flat straight-a-ways and bending curves to keep scenery changing and miles moving. It also has tucked-away features like a solar-powered water fountain near mile 8, clearly marked maps and parking areas, plus ample opportunities for seeing wildlife.
"The other day I saw three otter playing in the creek, a few weeks ago we saw four bears, this morning I saw a porcupine," Rulseh said. "There's a lot of wildlife to see and that keeps it interesting," he continued.
Beyond biking, the trail is also frequented by walkers and runners, and during the winter snowshoers, cross county skiers and snowmobilers.
"It's an awesome trail to run on," Jayme Wyss said.
Wyss is a triathlete. She often utilizes the trail in her training with husband Andy and 7-month-old daughter Baya.
"I usually push her in the stroller for all my miles out here because it's just really gorgeous," Wyss said.
The Three Eagle Trail offers an in-depth website with more information including printable maps, photos and volunteer opportunities. For more, follow this link.
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