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by the Late Eldon Marple
Lake Nelson...In the Footprint of the Great Blue Ox
The area traversed by the Totogatic River has always bourne the reputation of being a true wilderness; remote, unsettled and teeming with denizens of the forest of unique characteristics - the fattest bears and the "Tobatic" buck - the one to surpass them all!
The fabulous tales were accepted even for the big loop of the river, shaped like the footprint of Paul Bunyan's ox, which comes nearest to Hayward at a point only a few miles north of town where its waters reach within a mile of the Namekagon River at Phipps - kept apart from it by a quirk of the glacier - the inverted horseshoe valley that is now occupied by Lake Nelson.
See Wisconsin DNR information on Nelson Lake