Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site

5 reasons to love the Heart of Vilas County Trail


  • Article
  • Biking
  • Trails

There are plenty of reasons to ride the Heart of Vilas County Trail in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Here are our top five.

The Heart of Vilas County Trail System is 45 miles of paved bike trails connecting four of Vilas County’s finest communities. It’s one of the best trails in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Ride quality – No need for a mountain bike on the Heart of Vilas County! Your road bike will be perfect. The trails are fully paved for a smooth ride. The terrain varies across the county, from flat to hilly, but you’ll never struggle with mud or gravel, making it easy to enjoy the journey.
  • Lakes – Vilas County is home to 1,300 lakes, and you’ll pass plenty of them on the Heart of Vilas County trail! Check out the gorgeous beach and beautiful waters of the aptly named Crystal Lake, or swing by the Conservation Wardens Memorial Wayside along the shores of Trout Lake. A little farther north you’ll pass Rest Lake and find the North Lakeland Discovery Center.
  • Picnic areas – Pack your lunch and take some extra time to stop along the many picnic areas along the Heart of Vilas County Trail! Many have restrooms and are located lakeside for a meal with a view.
  • Communities – Most trails are focused around a single community—that’s not the case with the Heart of Vilas County Trail! It’s split into several manageable sections which connect the vibrant communities of Boulder Junction, Manitowish Waters, Sayner-Star Lake, and St. Germain. In most cases, you’ll find yourself right in the heart of downtown areas with easy access to fun attractions, delicious restaurants, and unique shops
  • Scenery – Some of the nicest views in northern Wisconsin are on display along the Heart of Vilas County Trail: deep forests, charming downtowns, beaches that line crystal clear lakes. You’ll encounter wildlife and cross rivers on scenic bridges, so don’t forget your camera.