If you find yourself in the vicinity of White Lake, Wisconsin, be sure to make a stop at the Bear Paw Outdoor Adventure Resort and get a ride in at the Nicolet Roche Trails in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The Bear Paw boasts great camping facilities, along with very nice cabin accommodations for those looking for a more pampered experience. The grounds also include clean shower facilities, kayak rentals and lessons, campfire pits, hammocks, a shop, and a pub with outstanding food for your belly after a day of outdoor fun. And, of course, beer and such. The land immediately adjacent to the Bear Paw also has miles of trails open to the public.
Ok, so that sounded more like a vacation brochure than a Trail Care Crew blog, but we so enjoyed our stay at the Bear Paw, we felt it deserved mentioning. It was a perfect setting for a great trailbuilding school weekend. The weekend was hosted by the Langlade Area Mountain Bike Association (LAMBA), a chapter of the Wisconsin Off-Road Bicycling Association (WORBA). IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director, Hansi Johnson, gave a Better Living Through Trails presentation, expounding on the economic and community benefits of having accessible mountain biking trails. For our trailbuilding school, a gung-ho group of 23 folks cut in 700 feet of brand new singletrack to add to the trail network at the Bear Paw.
The weekend also included several group rides on the Bear Paw trails as well as the Nicolet Roche trails right across the road. The Nicolet Roche, built entirely by members of LAMBA, has a number of automobile-sized boulders along the trail that those so motivated can roll over triumphantly. There are lines to easily go around them as well, for those not in the mood for such triumph. Either way, a good riding experience to be had.
Even more impressive is that these folks have come back in a big way after a devastating tornado tore through the area in June of 2007. The tornado cut a ½-mile-wide path of destruction 38 continuous miles long. In that path were the Bear Paw and a portion of the Nicolet Roche trails. The tornado’s corridor is evident from certain points along the Nicolet ride – a sobering reminder of the 2007 event.
Big thanks to the Bear Paw for hosting the weekend with great accommodations and food, to Charlie Johnson of LAMBA for putting the weekend together, to all the locals for their hospitality, and to all attendees for their enthusiasm and hard work!