Wisconsin has endless wellness opportunities. Another one of my favorites is what I call “Glide the Anvil”. This has been my favorite exercise, and a part of my holistic lifestyle for more than 30 years.
And just what “anvil” am I referring to? It’s the pristine 12 mile long Anvil Trail system in the Chequamegon/Nicolet National Forest on Hwy 70 just East of Eagle River, WI. And just how am I gliding? Well, most of the time I’m gliding, but sometimes falling as I enjoy that beautiful trail on my cross-country skis.
Constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps CCC workers in the early 1930’s, this is one of the oldest and most popular cross-country ski trails in the Eagle River area. Trails are groomed for traditional style-skiing as well as ski-skating. Several loops are available over varied terrain from easy to difficult. It’s one of the top ranked cross-country trails nationally. The system has been expanded and was made part of the National Recreational Trail System in 1978. The Anvil Trail system is adjacent to Anvil Lake Campground and also connects with the Nicolet North Trail system and to the Franklin Lake Campground via a connector trail. The Anvil is also excellent for hiking and mountain biking in summer and fall. It is also a designated watchable wildlife area, especially for Woodland Warblers, Fishers, White-tailed Deer, and Wolves. A trail map is available at the trail-head.
Be sure and pace yourself as even the green (easiest) loop has some challenging hills. And be sure to make a pit-stop at the charming yet rustic log warming shelter at the South end complete with wood-burning fireplace. Have your camera ready, stand outside the shelter with your arm extended and hold a piece of bread or some bird seed. Shortly you’ll have “bird-in-hand” as Veery, Pine Siskin, Evening Grosbeak, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Nashville Warbler, Black-Throated Blue Warbler, and Yellow-Bellied Flycatchers may come roosting. It’s a bird-watcher’s paradise. Rumor has it the CCC workers started this Avian restaurant!
If the spectacular scenery of old-growth forest, crystal clean air, deafening silence, well marked and expertly groomed trails are not enough of a thrill, consider the Devils Run segment (marked in black appropriately). But use caution and better yet, a helmet as the trees will be only 4 feet from your head as you scream down that roller-coaster type terrain.
You’ll likely have the munchies so make a stop at Grass Roots Health Foods, located about half-way between the trail and Eagle River at 3440 Hwy 70 East (open 6 days a week year round 10 AM to 6 PM). And contact the owner Dave for snow conditions – PHONE: (715) 479 6299, EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other details like lodging, contact The Eagle River Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-359-6315.
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