Color Tour 3
This is a 70 mile tour that passes through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest east of Hayward. The majority of the tour is on paved roads however 8.5 miles are on gravel road.
From the Hayward Information Center building drive north on Highway 63 one half mile to the intersection with Highway 77 and turn right (east). The route follows Highway 77 east over the Namekagon River and up O’Brien Hill which is the hill on the east edge of the Namakagon Valley about 2 miles into the tour. In the logging days around the turn of the century O’Brien Hill was famous for the dangerous trip down the steep grades with heavily loaded sleighs – many were wrecked and horses and drivers injured or killed. At 21.9 miles on the tour turn left (north) on Forest Road 203.
Forest Road 203 is blacktopped for the next 2 miles and passes through a tunnel of hardwoods that overhand the roadway. Shortly after turning on FR 203 you pass Two Deer Lake on the left and then Perch Lake on the right. At 27.9 miles FR 203 intersects with FR 622. Here you can turn left to take a short side trop to look at an impoundment on Lynch Creek and hike a short trail to a viewing platform.
The color tour continues on FR 203 and at 31.2 miles Crystal Springs overlook in the right. Crystal Springs is a bog dotted with small potholes. It is especially scenic in the fall when the bog is framed by the reddish brown color of the oaks and yellow of the birch. The colorful foliage contrasts nicely with the patches of water that reflect blue sky. In another mile FR 203 intersects County Highway M. Turn left (west) on M and drive 9.8 miles to the village of Cable.