Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Kettle Moraine scenic drive

One of the many iconic Kettle Moraine scenic drive signs

The Kettle Moraine scenic drive is one of the loveliest drives in the Wisconsin and Midwest. The drive totals 115 combined miles as it meanders through all the units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The green signs are unmistakable.

One of the highlights of the drive through the North Kettle Moraine unit is the Parnell Tower. These towers were once used as fire towers, but now they are merely for the pleasure of adventure travelers who cruise down the road looking for beauty.

Parnell Tower

Beautiful view of the lush green North Kettle Moraine unit from the Parnell Tower

The tower is easily accessible from the road as the trail is less than a quarter mile long hike to get there.  Check the North Kettle Moraine website to get directions to the tower.

The northern end of North Kettle Moraine is heavily wooded, so getting above the tree tops affords a beautiful view of the forest and the glaciated hills in the distance. The distant kame field is a highlight here. They resemble hershey kisses and were produced by melting deposits left from the glacier. The kames are named Dundee Mountain, McMullen Hill, and White Kame.

Parnell Tower Kettle Moraine

Stunning views from the Parnell Tower

Parnell Tower Dundee Kames

Close up of the Dundee Kames from Parnell Tower

The Parnell Tower is near Long Lake, which has a campground and a swimming lake for those planning to stay for longer than a drive by.

The Kettle Moraines are part of the Wisconsin State Park system. There is a fee system to enjoy all of these parks. For more information on the fees click here.

Parnell Tower Kettle Moraine

Green forest of North Kettle Moraine from the Parnell Tower

Parnell Tower Wisconsin

Beyond the forest is the rolling Wisconsin countryside seen from Parnell Tower


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