Great Divide National Scenic Byway Into the Woods

Hayward, Wisconsin

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If you’re looking for a vast expanse of forest, you’re in the right place. The town of Clam Lake (blink and you’re past it) is about the only interruption of the trees on this route. The drive approximately follows a 50-mile section of the “Great Divide,” the boundary between the Mississippi Valley watershed and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway watershed. At an altitude considerably lower than that of the Continental Divide to the west, this marshy, stream-crossed lowland forest is home to a considerable number of trees and an abundance of wildlife that frolic below the boughs. This, by the way, is a fabulous drive in the fall. The Great Divide here is formed by a line of hills called the Penokee Range. According to the geologists, these hills (and the hills of the Northern Highland (Drive 7) to the east) are what’s left of a mountain range that was once as tall as the Rockies. Several million years of intermittent glaciers reduced those mountains to these hills. Approximately 23 miles out of Hayward, the Lynch Creek Waterfowl Management Area is a great spot for wildlife watching—careful observers are likely to see bald eagles, great blue herons, kingfishers, and a variety of ducks: wood ducks, mallards, hooded mergansers, and ring-necked ducks. You might also spot otters playing in the water or foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and deer in the surrounding forest.
Scenic Driving Wisconsin

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Scenic Driving Wisconsin

by Aaron Cieslicki (Falcon Guides)

If you’re looking for a vast expanse of forest, you’re in the right place. The town of Clam Lake (blink and you’re past it) is about the only interruption of the trees on this route. The drive approximately follows a 50-mile section of the “Great Divide,” the boundary between the Mississippi Valley watershed and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway watershed. At an altitude considerably lower than that of the Continental Divide to the west, this marshy, stream-crossed lowland forest is home to a considerable number of trees and an abundance of wildlife that frolic below the boughs. This, by the way, is a fabulous drive in the fall. The Great Divide here is formed by a line of hills called the Penokee Range. According to the geologists, these hills (and the hills of the Northern Highland (Drive 7) to the east) are what’s left of a mountain range that was once as tall as the Rockies. Several million years of intermittent glaciers reduced those mountains to these hills. Approximately 23 miles out of Hayward, the Lynch Creek Waterfowl Management Area is a great spot for wildlife watching—careful observers are likely to see bald eagles, great blue herons, kingfishers, and a variety of ducks: wood ducks, mallards, hooded mergansers, and ring-necked ducks. You might also spot otters playing in the water or foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and deer in the surrounding forest.

©  Aaron Cieslicki/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Scenic Drives
Nearby City: Hayward
Distance: 47
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Chequamegon National Forest
Driving Directions: Directions to Great Divide National Scenic Byway: Into the Woods

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Apr 2018