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A Road Trip for Your Up North Bucket List: The Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway

The blue skies and mild weather have us dreaming about the road trips we will take when we can safely go out and explore! Although there are more breathtakingly beautiful roads in the Northwoods than we can count, one of the most impressive and expansive routes in the region is the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway.

At 145 miles, the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway is the second-longest scenic byway in Wisconsin, named in honor of two nationally recognized resources: the Nicolet National Forest and the Wolf River (a national scenic river). About 95 percent of the Wolf River watershed is wooded and wild. The route affords the traveler outstanding views, including

  • the Wolf River
  • the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
  • numerous state natural areas
  • lakes, rivers, and waterways galore
  • and innumerable other picturesque scenes.

You will glory in the limited development along the route, excepting a few rural and tribal communities and small farms. A variety of recreational opportunities await travelers, ranging from trail activities to water sports. As Wisconsin begins to open for business, you’ll find bountiful shopping opportunities at boutiques boasting that unmistakeable Northwoods charm, as well as fun and quirky attractions to visit along the route.

Communities Along the Byway

The majority of the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway lies in Forest County, but it also extends through Langlade, Oneida, and Vilas counties. The route winds through the Nicolet National Forest and various small communities, including Langlade, Hollister, Lily, Pickerel, Mole Lake, Crandon, Argonne, Alvin, and Nelma on Highway 55; Choate on Highway 52; Hiles, Carter, Wabeno, Padus, and Laona on Highway 32; as well as the Sokaogon Chippewa and the Forest County Potawatomi communities.

To check out an interactive map, and to plan your future trips to the area, visit the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway website, nicoletwolfriverbyway.com/.

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