The Best Nature Parks and Camping Spots in and Around Bayfield, WI
Frog Bay Tribal National Park
Just a few miles outside of Bayfield in Red Cliff is Frog Bay National Park, the nation’s first Tribal National Park! This beautiful park boasts a protected 300 acres of tribal lands in the watershed and stretches over 3/4 mile along Lake Superior’s shoreline on the Red Cliff Reservation.The park includes a gorgeous 2-mile-long hiking loop through a moss-covered boreal forest with a stopping point at a beautiful sandy beach. The park provides views of the Apostle Islands including Oak, Basswood, Hermit, Raspberry and Stockton. Almost all the park’s infrastructure including the trail system, interpretive signs, and bridgeswere developed through careful planning by local tribal staff. It’s a great place for any season!
Houghton Falls State Natural Area
Located just south of Bayfield, this 76-acre scenic nature preserve is named after the charming low-flow waterfall that is best visited during the spring. But even if your trekking plans fall on another season, there is plenty of natural beauty to appreciate here. Break out the snow shoes and enjoy some winter hiking.
The preserve protects Echo Dells,a sandstone gorge that dates back to the Pre-Cambrian era. The picturesque 1.5-mile trail leads to Lake Superior and is surrounded by lush growths of yellow birch, hemlock, white pine, and white cedar trees.Breathtaking views of where the lake meets gorgeous brownstone cliffs.
Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed.Bikes, horses, ATVs, and snowmobiles are not allowed.
Big Bay State Park
Hop across Lake Superior and head to Madeline Island to explore this 2,350-acre State Natural Area. With four miles of shoreline, 1.5 miles of sandy beaches, a mile-long boardwalk, more than seven miles of hiking trails, and a plethora of outdoor sports and activities to enjoy, you will likely need an entire weekend to make the most of this trip.
In addition to hiking and exploring the area, visitors can swim, kayak, and go fishing on the lake. The 60-site campground welcomes campers of all ages, with 15 sites fitted with electrical outlets. Picnics are also a great idea if you are not planning to stay on the island overnight.
Pets are allowed here, with the usual requirements to keep them on a leash and under control.
South Shore Campground
This 18-acre campground located just outside of the quaint little village of Cornucopiahas 8 pull through RV sites and 5 tent sites nestledin a peaceful forested setting. Only a mile from Cornucopia’s famous sandy beaches and Ehler’s General Store, it’s the perfect setting in which to explore the South Shore. It’s also just a quick jaunt from Meyers Beach and the Sea Caves- a great place for swimming, beachcombing, kayaking, and relaxing.
Copper Falls State Park
Ahour south of Bayfield brings you to another exceptional northern Wisconsin waterfall sightseeing area. Featuring hiking trails constructed as early as the 1920s, Copper Falls State Park has plenty of stories to tell any avid outdoor adventurer.
More than a handful of exciting discoveries await every hiker or camper here – from log buildings dating back to the 1930s, to the naturally made lava flows, gorges, and a variety of waterfalls.
Hang out at Loon Lake to go swimming, fishing, and canoeing to your heart’s content. Explore 17 miles of trails that are accessible on foot, on a bike, or in skis or snowshoes. There is just so much to experience at Copper Falls State Park that you will probably head home already planning your next visit.
Leashed pets are allowed in all areas of the State Park except the Doughboys Nature Trail.
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