Sure, the Bayfield Apple Festival is a major highlight during the fall season.
Our orchards are full of apples just waiting to be picked. There is live music on street corners. And the artists are lined up and ready to share their amazing talents with you.
The Bayfield Apple Festival is one of the top fall festivals in the Midwest – if not the US. But for some people, The Apple Fest just isn’t their jam.
You might be one of the folks out there who prefers to stay away from the crowds. But you still want to enjoy many of the things celebrated during the fall season.
Crisp, cold beer
The good news: Bayfield is a fantastic place to visit after The Apple Festival. And maybe even better, depending on who you talk to.
This week, I’m diving into some fall activities I think you’ll love when you visit us at Seagull Bay.
1. Hike or Bike the Trails of Bayfield, Wisconsin
Bayfield is quickly becoming a hiking and biking destination. Its rolling hills, lush forests, and sprawling views of Lake Superior are hard to beat.
Add in a little Mother Nature turning our forests into brilliant hues of red, yellow, and orange – and you have a recipe for a beautiful day on the trails.
Bayfield’s hiking trails are literally steps from your room when you stay at Seagull Bay. Each of our three properties sits right on The Brownstone Trail.
This old railway grade follows Lake Superior’s shoreline and can lead you right into town. Or, if you prefer a leisurely stroll along the lake, you can follow it to the Pike’s Bay Marina.
If you're looking for something more adventurous, the Big Ravine Trail is another favorite. The trailhead is located right in front of the historic Iron Bridge on Washington Street. It follows one of Bayfield’s deep ravines to a small sandstone waterfall. It offers multiple loops for light hikes or longer adventures.
These are just a couple of our favorite hikes. If you want a more complete guide of the best hikes in our area you can click here.
Something else Bayfield is becoming well-known for are its CAMBA mountain biking trails at Mount Ashwabay. There are now over 20 miles of trails ranging from beginner trails to black diamond.
The variety found in these 20+ miles ranges from:
Swooping flow trails
Chunky technical trails
Exciting jump lines
The trails are sure to please any shredder. And as any mountain biker knows, the fall welcomes the season of hero dirt.
Hero dirt is when the moisture in the ground creates optimal trail conditions so you can rip it up all day long.
Not only are the trails in perfect form during the fall, but the orchards are showcasing their most prized fruit of the year – Bayfield Apples.
2. Pick Apples, Sip Cider, and Eat Donuts at One of Bayfield’s Orchards
Bayfield has a unique micro-climate optimal for growing juicy berries and crunchy apples. The legacy of fruit farming is almost as old as Bayfield itself.
Many of the orchards and berry farms are family-owned. And few have been farmed by the same families for generations – like the Hauser’s and the Erickson’s.
Hauser’s Superior View Farm is located near one of the highest points in Bayfield. It dates back to 1908 when a Swiss-American horticulturist, John F. Hauser, settled here and started growing strawberries and potatoes.
Over time, he began growing perennials unique to the Bayfield climate. And later, apples and pears. Five generations later, the Hausers carry on the family legacy of growing perennials, apples, cherries, and pears.
And just as older generations adapted to changes in the world affecting their crops, so have the younger generations. Bringing in new ideas and talents, Hauser’s now offers its own hand-crafted hard cider – Apfelhaus Cider.
Another family that has made its mark on the Bayfield farming scene is Erickson Orchard. Like the Hauser’s, the Erickson family has been farming here for over a century.
Christine Erickson was once called the “Bean Queen” when green beans were the prize-winning crop during the 40s and 50s.
When her son, Jim Erickson, got a flat tire on his way to sell apples, it sparked the idea of starting the Bayfield Apple Festival – using the festival as a way to draw more people to the area and market this delicious crop.
Today, Erickson Orchard grows strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, and pears. They have mouth-watering jams and jellies at their country store and, perhaps one of their most famous items, Muriel’s Apple Cider Donuts.
But apple cider isn’t the only thing you can sip on in Bayfield.
3. Spend the Afternoon Sampling Bayfield’s Finest Brews and Spirits
In recent years, small craft breweries and distilleries have been popping up all across the country – and Bayfield is no different.
We’ve already highlighted Apfelhaus Cidery at Hauser’s Superior View Farm. But there are a couple more we’re big fans of:
Adventure Club Brewery
The Copper Crow Distillery
Adventure Club Brewery sits right behind the howling wolf at Howl Adventure Center with multiple craft brews made on-site. Owner Matt Gerdts puts his unique spin on pilsners, IPAs, stouts, and more. You can easily create your own version of Oktoberfest here.
The Copper Crow Distillery is the first Native American-owned distillery in the US. It's located just outside Bayfield in Red Cliff, a short 10-minute drive from Seagull Bay. Their hand-mixed cocktails are dangerously good, and the Bloody Marys are a meal in itself.
At the time I’m writing this, there is a brewery in the works right above Bodin’s Fish House. With a location right on Lake Superior, owned and operated by another local historic family, it's bound to be good.
For some, drinking a cold brew is the perfect way to unwind and relax. For others, getting a relaxing massage or assuming downward dog is more their speed.
4. Pamper Yourself With a Massage or Take a Yoga Class
Superior Body Massage and Spa is the perfect place to help you relax and feel refreshed when you visit Bayfield, Wisconsin.
With an extensive spa service menu, including massages, facials, nails, an infrared sauna, and other unique spa packages, you’re guaranteed to leave your stresses behind and bring you back to yourself.
Blu studio + wellness offers holistic facials, yoga, and functional nutrition therapy to help heal and nourish your body. Make sure to check out their weekly yoga and meditation schedule or book a holistic facial to start crafting the ultimate Bayfield Retreat.
If you’re someone who enjoys window shopping or likes to search the shelves for something special to buy, Bayfield’s shops won’t disappoint you.
5. Shop Bayfield, Wisconsin’s Historic Streets
Bayfield’s historic Rittenhouse Avenue is lined with vintage lamp posts and Victorian Era buildings that have a bit of a New England feel. And with Lake Superior as its backdrop, it’s no surprise that this town is repeatedly voted one of the “best little towns in the midwest.”
Our shops are filled with art created by some of the most talented people I know.
Plus, it’s got all the outdoor gear you’ll need for any adventure – and some sweet treats, too.
The shops in Bayfield feature a one-of-a-kind shopping experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Bayfield has so many things to celebrate in all seasons. And so much more even after the Apple Festival.
Cozy Into Fall When You Stay at Seagull Bay in October
We love The Apple Festival, and there are definitely some activities we wouldn’t want to miss. But even after the festival is over, there’s still so much to enjoy.
The fall is absolutely one of the most beautiful seasons here in Bayfield, but it doesn’t happen all in one weekend.
We invite you to explore Bayfield after Applefest and enjoy all that it has to offer.
BOOK NOW with us at Seagull Bay and start planning your October getaway.
Enjoy the View!
Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks