History of Wilderness Lakes Trails
As a result of it's July 1992 Community Economic Plan, the Town of Land O' Lakes constructed an eight mile bike and pedestrian trail as the first phase of system that would connect to other community trail systems. The purpose was to upgrade and add to existing multi-seasonal trail systems from a transportation, recreational, and an economic perspective.

In 2006, a survey was conducted by the Chamber of Commerce to determine what the residents and business owners liked and disliked about Land O' Lakes, as well as obtaining input as to what was needed to improve livability and the business climate in our area. Two needs were identified, One being the expansion of alternate transportation opportunities by expanding the current pedestrian and non-motorized trail system. Another need that was recognized was "improved recreational facilities" and the most popular facilities identified were ski trails, walking paths and expansion of the paved bike and pedestrian trails. A similar survey conducted in Watersmeet also identified the residents' desire to develop a trail system.

In the summer of 2006, the Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin and Watersmeet, Michigan Chambers of Commerce held a meeting to investigate the possibility of expanding the existing bicycle and pedestrian trail in Land O' Lakes. The initial idea was to rehabilitate and/or improve the existing Agonikak National Recreation Trail (Agonikak) from Land O' Lakes to Watersmeet, Michigan. Because this trail is located on the Ottawa National Forest (Ottawa), representatives from the Watersmeet District Office of the Ottawa were invited to the meetings.

It was evident from the start that there was significant interest in the communities of Land O' Lakes and Watersmeet, and with the Forest Service in improving the Agonikak and in developing a trail system north to the Lac Vieux Desert Casino in Watersmeet and west, around the Sylvania Wilderness, to connect to the west end of the existing Land O' Lakes trail.

Additional meetings were held, and it was determined that a non-profit organization should be established to conduct the project. This was the start of Wilderness Lakes Trails, Inc.

Trail Benefits
The Land O' Lakes portion of the trail will expand the safe and desirable walking and bicycling movement from the eastern section of town further to the west. It will remove bicycles and pedestrians from a narrow passage along a busy County road. The western trail will connect the most populous area of town with the Michigan trail, providing access to the Sylvania Wilderness. The eastern trail will provide a safe, off-highway route to Watersmeet. This will encourage the use of alternate means of transportation to reduce vehicular traffic.

By connecting to the Sylvania Wilderness, the public has easier access to 19,000 acres of virgin forest and 34 named pristine lakes. There are miles of hiking trails, a public beach, and 48 camping sites. The Michigan portion of the trail will partially follow the wilderness border providing bicyclists with many access points not previously available. This will allow people to access these facilities without using automobiles.
The eastern end of the Land O' Lakes trail will connect with the Agonikak Trail, a designated National Recreation Trail, which extends to the U.S.Forest Service visitor center in the town of Watersmeet. This trail goes through 11 miles of all three types of forests found in this region. It is completely on public property. The trail has fallen into poor condition and the plan will be to revitalize and improve the surface to allow bicycle traffic. A new trail section in Watersmeet will continue west and then south connecting with the western trail described above. This will provide more than 40 miles of biking and walking trails. The four distinct segments have multiple end and launch points, allowing users to customize their trip based on their ability and interest. Plans will include wildlife observation and picnicking areas.

Quality of Life
Providing a safe means of alternate transportation will improve health and reduce the environmental impacts of automobiles. Easy access to a top notch recreational facility will give all the residents, especially our youth, another opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. This will give our youth a safe route to access various activities in and around town.
Once completed the Wilderness Lakes Trails system will be the premier biking and hiking destination in the Midwest. It will attract outdoor enthusiasts in numbers that will have a significant positive impact on existing businesses and attract new businesses that cater to this type of customer. This asset will make locating to this area more attractive, further stimulating the overall economy.
Current plans include a bike route to Eagle River to the south, and future plans will include Iron River and Wakefield, Michigan.