This popular fishing locale is also notable for the pioneers of environmental preservation it has inspired. John Muir, though born in Scotland, grew up in the Sand Counties. Aldo Leopold penned his A Sand County Almanac in 1948 at the shack he retreated to here on weekends.

The Almanac is required reading for all of us who care about how man and nature can live in harmony. In it, Leopold defines a land ethic, that "enlarges the boundaries of community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land."

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The landscape is flat to gently rolling, with extremely sandy soil, created by the terminal thrust of Ice Age glaciers. Sand county streams run deep and gin clear. Some flow over a bed of gravel, strewn with boulders rolled south by the glaciers. Some meander over outwash sand and gravel, with silt margins, while others reveal stretches of sand alternating with pitches around boulders. A few, like the Little Wolf, rush downhill among rocks and over ledges.

Many of these streams hold significant numbers of trout. Water quality is so good that there is a natural reproduction of brooks, browns and rainbows. Historically, Wisconsin DNR shocking surveys have discovered as many as 7,000 adult trout per mile. This was extraordinary; today 2,500 can be expected. There are many, many miles of trout water in the Sand Counties.

Sand Counties