Heritage Drive Scenic Byway
Heritage Drive is 20 miles northeast of Rhineland in northern Wisconsin. The byway begins in Three Lakes and travels north to WI 70. A spur road travels east to Franklin and Butternut Lakes. Heritage Drive is 21 miles long and follows WI 32, FSR 2178 (Military Road), and FSR 2181 (Butternut Lake Road). The roads are narrow, two-lane paved roads suitable for all vehicles. The byway's roads are usually open all year.
Heritage Drive crosses the Nicolet National Forest, following portions of the Lake Superior Trail used by the Menominee for trading with the Winnebago and Ojibwa Indians. By 1861 the trail was improved a bit and used as a mail route. Shortly following the trail's initial service as a mail route, the military improved the trail to a roadway transporting supplies, ammunition, and mail from fort to fort. Today the road is a scenic byway through old-growth pine and northern hardwoods, and is used to access outdoor recreation activities.
In 1937 the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed eight stone buildings in the area of Franklin Lake Campground. One building has been renovated into an interpretive center where exhibits provide information on the area's geology and history. The campground and its historic stone structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will find 81 campsites suitable for tents and RVs up to 22 feet long. A nature trail and swimming area are also found here. The lake yields good walleye and bass fishing.
Seven Mile Lake Campground sits on a bluff overlooking the lake. The campground is two miles northeast of the byway on FSR 2435. It has 27 RV and tent campsites. There is boat access to the lake, a swimming area, and good musky, walleye, and bass fishing. A two-mile hiking trail heads east and circles two wetland lakes.
Anvil Lake Campground lies just to the east of the byway's northern terminus. There are 18 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. Drinking water, a swimming area, and boat access are among the facilities available. Anglers will find walleye and bass inhabiting the lake.
Information: Nicolet National Forest, Eagle River Ranger District, PO Box 1809, Eagle River WI 54521 / 715-479-2827