BATS-Crystal Lake Trail
Tiny Boulder Junction claims to be the Musky Capital of the World. With the profusion of musky lakes that pepper Vilas County, few would doubt it. Lately, the town has also been getting rave reviews for its bike trail. As a popular Wisconsin vacation destination, Boulder Junction gets plenty of summer traffic. The gently rolling B.A.T.S. - Crystal Lake Trail (Boulder Junction Area Trail System) lets bicyclists enjoy all the scenic beauty without any of the traffic hassles on the county highways.<br><br>Begun as a three-mile trail from town to the Trout Lake Campground, the B.A.T.S. Trail was such a hit it was recently extended all the way to Crystal Lake. Along the way you'll roll past some of the finest scenery and the best campgrounds in the 225,000-acre Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. <br><br>The trailhead at Boulder Junction Town Park makes a nice starting point. If you're there at the right time you can take in a local softball game. Riding south, the trail dips in and out of the pine, oak and maple forest as it parallels Cty. M. Three miles south of town, the trail crosses M and heads into the North Trout Lake Campground and Picnic Area. Trout Lake is the largest lake in Vilas County. That's saying something in a county with more than 1,300 lakes, the highest concentration of freshwater lakes in the world.<br><br>You'll get your first glimpse of Trout Lake as you follow campground roads for a short distance to reconnect with the trail. Another mile to the south, the trail uses roads through the forest headquarters area. There you can take a mile-long side trip west on a forest road to Cathedral Point. The point separates the northern and southern sections of Trout Lake. It's a fine place to take a break and listen to the wind blow through the tops of 120-foot tall white pines.<br><br>From the forest headquarters, a short trail connection takes you to Ben Bendrick Drive. This scenic road runs along the eastern shore of Trout Lake all the way to the south campground. With luck you may spot a bald eagle soaring over the lake or perched in one of the tall pines that grace the shoreline. <br><br>Leaving the campground, you'll be back on the off-road trail heading south along County M. Turning east, the trail crosses County N several times, visiting Firefly Lake Campground on the way to Crystal Lake. The beautiful beach on Crystal Lake is a fine reward for a wonderful day of bicycling. If you've brought your musky rod and reel, Big Muskellunge Lake just to the north is aptly named.
Hours of Operation
Open daily in season, daylight hours.
Dining: Near BATS-Crystal Lake Trail