One of the state’s great rivers has its start right here in Vilas County at the top of Wisconsin. Seven miles northwest of Phelps, the Wisconsin River starts its 400-mile journey through the Badger State. The Wisconsin River gets its start at the western edge of Lac Vieux Desert, a 4,000-acre lake that straddles the border of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
At Lac Vieux Desert Reservoir Park north of Phelps, visitors can take a footbridge over the river to a historical marker at the source of the river. The scenic park is a great place for wildlife viewing opportunities and a scenic view of Lac Vieux Desert. The park also has a picnic area with tables and grills.
A parking area is located off Shore Road on the west end of the lake. To get there from Phelps, follow County Highway E north to W. Shore Road; the parking lot will be about a quarter mile down on the right (just south of Starline Ln).
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