Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive | Midwest Living

Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive

101 S. Webster St.
Madison  Wisconsin  53707
United States
(262) 626-2116
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    - Melanie Radzicki
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Midwest Living Review

Melanie McManus
Take two days to leisurely drive the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. You'll see picturesque forestland, farms, prairie, lakes and parks.

One of the prettiest routes in Wisconsin is the 115-mile Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. The idea for a scenic route was first hatched in the 1940s by residents eager to showcase the stunning Kettle Moraine State Forest. Formed by glaciers, the forest gets its name because of the large number of kettles and moraine terrain that lie within it. Kettles are depressions in the earth that formed when buried glacial ice melted. Moraines are clusters of hills created from glacial debris left at the sides or front of a glacier. The idea behind the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive was to create a route that passed the forest's best natural features, was easily accessible from as many large cities as possible, and led past (or near) as many state parks and forests as possible. Mission accomplished. The drive takes you through six counties and countless parks, lakes, campgrounds, historic sites and more. You also pass through quaint towns where you can enjoy a nice meal or bunk down in a charming inn should you wish to tarry a bit. While you can drive the entire route in a day, it's much more fun to plan for two full days. That way you can stop to, say, climb Bald Bluff, one of the highest points in Jefferson County, which made it attractive to Native Americans, settlers and the U.S. military during the Black Hawk War. Or shop in one of Delafield's numerous boutiques. Or dip your toes in Mauthe Lake. Or spend a few hours learning about stagecoach history at Old World Wisconsin, a state historic site. Or wander along the scenic Sheboygan County Broughton Marsh. You get the picture. The route is marked by green acorn signs prominently displayed at every intersection where you need to turn. You can also download a map and written directions from the Internet. Just don't forget your camera!

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