Bike trail bridges Northwoods communities - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Bike trail bridges Northwoods communities

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VILAS COUNTY (WAOW) -

Communities in the Northwoods are a little bit more connected, thanks to bike paths.

A 45-mile continuous trail system now stretches from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters. It's called The Heart of Vilas County Trail System.

"There's so much to look at, you know different trees, there's some nice water features along the way, too," said Pete Rondello, a cyclist from Boulder Junction.

Two weeks ago, workers finished paving the 8-mile link between Manitowish Waters and Boulder Junction.

That addition cost $2 million, which was all raised from private donations.

On Saturday, community leaders and politicians held a ribbon cutting ceremony.

"We had some delays with weather, the late winter, the rain in the spring, so we're all really excited that it's finally done," said Theresa Smith, Executive Director of the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce.

But Smith says, the trail system isn't just a recreational gain, but an economical one as well.

"It brings business to our lodging facilities, people stop and eat they shop," said Smith.

She says businesses in Boulder Junction are already seeing an impact with cyclists making plans later this summer.

"They've booked a hotel, one hotel fully and they have a part of another one already," said Smith. "So there's groups coming as well."

Cyclists say the paved path makes it more accessible for everyone to enjoy.

"I've seen people of all ages and all abilities on the trails and it just warms my heart," said Rondello.

Community leaders say they hope to connect the Mercer to the trail system within the next few years.

 

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