Area Trails

Anvil Lake Trail

anvillakeTerrain varies from mostly level to hilly. Trail difficulty is marked (beginner, intermediate, expert). The trail showcases the many opportunities provided within the National Forest. Parking area (sticker required) is located just east of the Anvil Lake Campground entrance and south of Hwy 70. Part of the National Recreation Trail System. Designated watchable wildlife area.

Length: 12 miles Location: From the intersection of Hwy 45 and Hwy 70 on the east side of Eagle River, continue east on Hwy 70 approximately 9 miles to a parking area on the south side of Hwy 70 just past Military Road. Click here for map (pdf)


Franklin Lake Trail

franklinlakeTake the time to stroll along the “Avenue of the Giants.” Enjoy northern hardwood, pine and hemlock forests with some trees over 400 years old. A short loop at the start of the trail is wheelchair accessible. Parking area (sticker required) is located beyond the Franklin Lake boat landing off Forest Road 2181 on the right. Part of the Nicolet National Forest, Franklin Lake Trail is the trailhead for Hidden Lakes Trail.*Pets not allowed on groomed ski trails.

Length: 1 mile Location: From the intersection of Hwy 45 and Hwy 70 on the east side of Eagle River, continue east on Hwy 70 about 9 miles to Forest Road 2178. Turn south on Forest Road 2178 and continue about 3 miles to Forest Road 2181. Turn south on Forest Road 2181 and continue about 5 miles to the campground. Click here for map (pdf)


Hidden Lakes Trail

hiddenlakesThis long distance trail provides the chance for an overnight campout by a small remote lake. Starting midway on the Franklin Nature Trail, the Hidden Lakes Trail loops south around Butternut Lake, passing several small lakes with scenic vistas and a remarkable stand of old hemlock trees, then back west and north to the Franklin Lake Campground. Several sections of the trail follow other trails and old roads so be sure to have a map handy. *Pets not allowed on groomed ski trails.

Length: Approximately 13 miles Location: From the intersection of Hwy 45 and Hwy 70 on the east side of Eagle River, continue east on Hwy 70 about 9 miles to Forest Road 2178. Turn south on FR 2178 and continue about 3 miles to Forest Road 2181. Turn south on FR 2181 and continue about 5 miles to the campground. Park at the Franklin Lake Nature Trail parking lot and follow the trail approximately .5 mile to the Hidden Lakes trailhead. If you take the entire 13-mile loop, the trail ends at the Franklin Lake boat ramp. Click here for map (pdf)


Mud Minnow Lake Trail

mudminnowThis segment of the Vilas County Forest Trail System winds through a variety of timber types including oak, pine, and aspen/birch. Although the trails may be enjoyed through the winter season, the Sunken Lake Road and Mud Minnow Lake Road are not plowed. Furthermore, Mud Minnow Lake Road serves as a segment of the Vilas County Snowmobile Trail System.

Length: 2.8 miles Location: From the intersection of Hwy 45 and County Hwy G, continue west on County Hwy G approximately 7 miles to Mud Minnow Lake Road (south side of the highway). Watch for sign. Click here for map (pdf)


Nicolet North Trails

nicoletnorthThese trails offer a favorite spot for cross-country skiers, hikers and mountain bikers. A parking lot (sticker required) is located on the west side of the trailhead. Part of the Nicolet National Forest, these trails connect to the Anvil Lake Trail. *Pets not allowed on groomed ski trails.

Length: 15 miles Location: From the intersection of Hwy 45 and Hwy 70 on the east side of Eagle River, continue east on Hwy 70 approximately 8.5 miles to Military Road Turn south on Military Road and continue to Forest Road 2181 (Butternut Lake Road). Continue on FR 2181 to the intersection with Forest Road 2425. Turn south on FR 2425 and continue about 1.5 miles to a parking area on the west side of the road. Click here for map (pdf)


Ski Hill Trails

skihillAs part of the Vilas County Forest Hunter/Hiking Trail System, this trail is mowed on a three-year rotation to maintain access and improve wildlife habitat. Gently undulating terrain is featured on this trail system which meanders through stands of aspen, pine, oak, and hardwoods. The first .25 miles of the Ski Hill Road is a Town of Conover Road and is plowed during the winter season, making the system accessible for winter enjoyment.

Length: 5.1 miles Location: From the intersection of County Hwy G and Hwy 45 north of Eagle River, continue north on Hwy 45 approximately 5 miles to Ski Hill Road. Turn east on Ski Hill Road and continue about .25 miles to the parking area. From the intersection of County Hwy K and Hwy 45 in Conover, continue south on Hwy 45 about 4 miles to Ski Hill Road. Turn east on Ski Hill Road and continue about .25 miles to parking area. Click here for map (pdf)


Snipe Lake & Ewald Lake Trails

snipelakeThis extensive trail system treats the user to rolling terrain and a variety of wildlife habitats and timber types. The Vilas County Forest Roads are not plowed during the winter and several segments of these roads serve as snowmobile trails. However, the Hunter/Hiking Trails can be accessed during the winter from Wilderness Trail, a Town of Cloverland Road.

Length: 16.4 miles Location: From the intersection of Hwys 17 and 70 west of Eagle River, continue west on Hwy 70 approximately 6 miles to Wilderness Trail. Turn north on Wilderness Trail and continue approximately 1 mile to the Snipe Lake Fire Lane or continue on Wilderness Trail to the Snipe Lake Boat Landing for additional parking and trail access. Click here for map (pdf)


Spectacle Lake-Kentuck Lake Trail

spectaclekentucklakesYou will feel like you’ve stepped back in time as parts of this level terrain trail follow the old Thunder Lake Railroad bed used in the early 1900’s to transport logs to the sawmill. Get up early for birding or try your hand at identifying wildflowers along the trail. Great route between the Kentuck and Spectacle Lake Campgrounds. *Pets not allowed on groomed ski trails.

Length: 2.5 miles Location: From the intersection of Highways 45 and 70 (east of Eagle River), continue east on Highway 70 approximately 7.5 miles to FR 2178 (Military Road). Turn north on FR 2178 and follow the signs to Spectacle Lake Campground. The trailhead is located near campsite #30 and parking is available at the boat ramp parking lot. Parking is also available at the boat ramp at Kentuck Lake for the Kentuck Lake end of the trail. Parking lots require a daily use fee. Click here for map (pdf)


Three Eagle Trail

Click here to view website

The Three Eagle Trail is a non-motorized biking and walking path connecting the communities of Three Lakes and Eagle River. The basic route is described below. In the winter ski season part of the trail is groomed for cross country skiing as described farther below.

From the Historic Rail Depot in Eagle River the Trail heads south past the Dairy Queen and follows a ten foot wide, crushed limestone path along the former Chicago & Northwestern Railroad grade for about 1.5 miles. The Trail then leads through a mix of open land and forest to an impressive, 660 foot long boardwalk and bridge. Beyond the boardwalk the trail continues on to a wooded upland, terminating at a rustic rest area almost 3 miles south of the DQ near Section 9 Road. This trailhead, marking a break in the non-motorized part of the Trail is about 1.5 miles north of the Sundstein Road Trailhead where the non-motorized pathway continues for another 8.4 miles to Three Lakes. This part of the Trail winds through a beautiful landscape of woodlands and wetlands. Features along the way include a bridge and two scenic boardwalks. The terrain is level to gently rolling. The area is quiet and remote. Be prepared with water, a first aid kit, insect protection and bike repair tools. You may also want to bring a camera. The southernmost stretch of the Trail follows the former Chicago & Northwestern Railroad grade for 3.5 miles to Don Burnside Park in Three Lakes.

In the winter season, the middle 5 miles of the Trail are groomed for cross country skiing with a skate lane and classic tracks. The ski trail can be accessed from a small parking area on the west side of Highway 32/45, just 3 miles north of the Three Lakes business district, or from the Sundstein Road parking area, about four miles south of Eagle River. Also in winter, there are marked snowshoe trails at both ends of the Cross Country Ski Trail and near the Section 9 Road Trailhead Rest Area, about 3 miles south of Eagle River on Sundstein Road and then east on Section 9 Road about ¼ mile.

Length: 8.5 miles (southern segment); 2.75 miles (northern segment)

Location: Southern segment: From Hwy 70 and Sundstein Road on the west side of Eagle River, continue south on Sundstein Road approximately 4 miles to a parking area. Additional parking at Don Burnside Park in Three Lakes. Northern segment: Trailhead located at Hwy 70 and Railroad Street in Eagle River (Dairy Queen) with parking in lots on the north side of Hwys 70, 45 and 17 (West Pine Street). Click here for map (pdf)

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