HILES - "There are only five scenic byways in the state of Wisconsin and we now have one, and it's really neat," said Forest County Economic Development Partnership Vice President Ron Krueger.
Dozens gathered at Hiles Town Hall for the dedication of the new Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway on Tuesday night.
"A dedication, but also an acknowledgement to some of the people and some of the organizations and agencies that went into this incredible project," said Krueger.
The new byway is an impressive addition to the state.
"We're the second longest--145 miles," said Forest County Chamber of Commerce President Mark Ferris.
It took years of work from a number of people to make the byway a reality.
"It's just a great feeling of accomplishment that all these different folks had. And pride is, I suppose, really the key word to finally have this come to pass," Ferris said.
Most of the Nicolet-Wolf River Byway passes through Forest County, with portions also in Langlade, Oneida, and Vilas counties.
People involved in the project are excited to showcase the beauty in the area.
"Now it's getting the kind of recognition that it deserves," Krueger said. "It's not just a pretty chunk of road that we all know about; it's being recognized as something really special."
Sarah Klavas, the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, says the project will benefit the Northwoods.
"It will definitely entice visitors to the area," Klavas said.
Larry Berg, who is from Three Lakes, thinks the byway will have a big impact.
"I could see it bringing in a lot of new tourists to this area, people that wouldn't know about it otherwise," Berg said. "I expect to see great things for northern Wisconsin out of it."
Organizers say the dedication ceremony gives them a sense of accomplishment, but they think this is really just the beginning.
"It feels to me a little bit like the end of a process, that we went through this whole thing and this is where we are, but really one of the most important things to understand is it's the beginning of a process," Krueger said. "We have this thing now and it's up to us to use it."
For more information about the byway, click on the link below.
Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway