Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive
The Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive is a 115-mile excursion filled with breathtaking sights found in southeast Wisconsin. This scenic route leads visitors across six Wisconsin counties through natural delights and unique landmarks, like the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Cruise along local roads and county highways where you’ll find green acorn signs that mark every turn. With so many beautiful sights, you and your family will come away with loads of memories and photos.
Discover a Bygone Era
Your drive begins near Elkhart Lake in northern Sheboygan County. Before you depart, take time to indulge in the resort community’s local fare, including its golf courses and elite spas. Fans of history will be particularly interested in the Elkhart Lake Historic Depot Museum.
Once you’re on the road, it won’t be long before it’s time to stop. Located just off Highway 23 — halfway between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac — is the Wade House, a historical attraction in Greenbush. Venture into the golden age of horse-drawn carriages at what once was a luxurious stagecoach hotel established in 1851. Today, the preserved hotel is open for tours and the grounds also feature a museum, tavern and family-friendly activities like carriage rides.
The next stop along your drive is Holy Hill in Hubertus, a religious shrine that dates back to 1926. A stunning example of neo-romanesque architecture, it’s artfully positioned on the highest elevation point in southeastern Wisconsin, providing stunning views. Open to the public, the shrine attracts thousands of visitors every year and features a cafe, a gift shop and an observation tower.
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Old World Wisconsin
Next up on your journey is a visit to Old World Wisconsin, which provides a glimpse into the traditions and culture of rural life. Found off Highway 67 — south of Eagle — this unique attraction displays 60 historic structures on over 600 acres of land. Featuring buildings from the 1840s to the 1910s and enhanced with plenty of hands-on exhibits, visitors of all ages have something to learn about the old way of doing things. The assorted gardens, walking trails and livestock here only add to the experience.
When you reach Whitewater Lake, it may be the end of the scenic drive, but that doesn’t mean your journey has to end. There’s still so much to explore. Whitewater Lake Beach, for example, is a lovely picnic spot. Home to a branch of the University of Wisconsin, the city of Whitewater is a charming hub of restaurants, art galleries and boutiques.
Along the Way
Extend your time on the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive by adding a foray into the outdoors. If you enjoy hiking, fishing, camping or all of the above, you won’t find a better place than Wisconsin’s beloved state forest.
Explore the hilly terrain of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, which has both a northern and southern unit, on foot or bike along 250 gorgeous miles of trails. Trails range in difficulty from the 1.5 mile Butter Lake Loop to the adventurous 31 miles of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that run through the forest. In the winter months, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobile trails are available.
Fishing is a year-round sport there, thanks to the forest’s ponds and lakes rich with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappies and northern pike.
If you’re interested in camping, there are hundreds of campsites here. Go backpacking and camp along the Ice Age Trail. Campsites within the forest are open for reservations between spring and fall at spots like Pike Lake and Lapham Peak.
If it’s time for something different, it’s time for the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. Expand your horizons beyond Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay and let us take the wheel. There’s something for everyone along this exceptional stretch of road, which makes for great family photos and lifelong memories.