The all-ages Don Gillum Memorial Bike and Hike will be held Saturday, July 20, on the Conover-Phelps Trail.

“We had a great event last year,” said event co-chair Joy Turpin, from Relay For Life of the Northwoods. “It accomplished everything we hoped, showing off the Conover-Phelps Trail and honoring the memory of Don Gillum, a valued part of the eastern Vilas community and one of the volunteers who helped get the bike trail developed.”

The event was put on by Relay for Life and Great Headwaters Trails, a local, nonprofit bike-trail development group. It raised $3,000 each for the Conover-Phelps Trail and Relay For Life of the Northwoods. 

“We wanted to make it an even bigger success this year,” said Turpin. “Our two groups have partnered with the chambers of commerce in Conover and Phelps and added new activities, but our plans may be handicapped by trail repairs that still need to be made.”

Serious water damage on the trail just east of Muskrat Creek Road was reported to Conover town officials May 12 by a volunteer trail monitor. As of its June meeting a few weeks ago, the Conover Town Board indicated the town may not have the trail repaired for the event.

Due to the water damage the center part of the trail is currently closed. If it is still closed on July 20, the day of the Don Gillum event, those who are biking won’t be able to ride the whole nine miles of completed trail from Conover to Song Hill Lane and Highway K in Phelps.

“We’d been planning to have a scavenger hunt and geocaching as part of the event this year, and we can do that in a modified way whether the trail is repaired or not,” said Rollie Alger, the event co-chair from Great Headwaters Trails.

People will be able to participate in the scavenger hunt or geocaching as individuals or in teams of friends or families. Those who just want to walk or ride the trail are welcome to do that as well.

By earning points in the scavenger hunt or geocaching, participants will earn extra chances to win this year’s bucket raffle prizes which include two youth bikes, and a range of prizes and gift certificates from Hiker Box, Forest Lake Country Store, Lake of the Torches Casino, Gateway Lodge and other sponsoring businesses. 

A separate Grand Prize raffle for a hybrid adult bike will also be held as part of the event. Tickets cost $2 each or three for $5 and can be bought from any event organizer. 

As in the past, the drawings for the Grand Prize and bucket raffles will be held at lunch in Conover’s Community Park. Wild Turkey in Conover will provide lunch, while the Boathouse, also in Conover, will supply ice cream for dessert. The Car Shop in Eagle River is underwriting the cost of soft drinks. Live music will be provided by MeMo, a popular local duo.

“We are very grateful to all of our sponsors,” said Turpin, “and to all those who have been supportive of the Don Gillum Memorial Bike and Hike.”

To register online or to get a registration brochure, visit ghtrails.org/dgmbikehike. For more information, call (715) 617-0080 or email dgm­bike­­hike@gmail.com.