ICORE has unanimously agreed to take over the management and lead of “Mercer by Bike” bike trail expansion opportunities from the Mercer Chamber of Commerce in our January 2022 board meeting. Bike trail expansion is an ideal fit to ICORE’s core mission and is similar in nature to several current trail expansion projects underway.
ICORE believes that Mercer has a great opportunity to expand the current Mercer bike trail through Mercer and along County Road J back to the “Heart of Vilas County” paved trail system (currently 52 miles) to the intersection at County Road W, near Winman Trail Park. This would create an ideal and desirable biking loop through Mercer thereby expanding the Heart of Vilas County Paved Bike Trail system which has recently been granted the official designation as a National Recreation Trail. The honor, bestowed by the Secretary of Interior, is given to public trails which positively represent their regions, support diverse communities, and are considered the nation’s best trails. This trail system is now listed in an online, searchable database which is easily accessible to outdoor enthusiasts looking for the best spots to explore. Hopefully, we can leverage this expansion and new loop to draw a whole new set of outdoor enthusiasts to Mercer.
The town of Mercer has agreed to fund and has initiated the work to extend the current Mercer trail from Snow’s IGA to Carow Park where a new trailhead will be built. The Snow’s parking spaces, bench, kiosk, and bike rack will still be available at the original trailhead. Mercer’s Friends of the Library group is planning on installing bike maintenance station at the library which will be on the new route to Carow Park.
The Mercer Chamber of Commerce will partner with ICORE on this project and has recently announced that it will fund the $13,000 for professional engineering services though Coleman Engineering to develop options and costs for the preliminary trail layout for the County Highway J Bike trail loop closure from Carow Park in Mercer to County Highway W in Manitowish Waters.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Town of Mercer, the Friend’s of the Library, and the Mercer Chamber of Commerce for their partnership and support of this project.
ICORE will be initiating a brand new “Mercer by Bike” committee and is planning the first meeting in the next few weeks. If you are interested in joining this committee please send a note to Martha Pierpont at pierponm@hotmail, or Brenda Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need lots of energy to turn this dream into a reality!