The 6 Best Summer Hiking Trails in Bayfield, WI.
Here at Seagull Bay Lakeside Motel, my husband Isaac and I (Mollie) work hard to keep things simple, clean, and fuss-free. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to find the Bayfield adventure your looking for.
If you Google things to do in Bayfield one activity that’s sure to come up is hiking. Bayfield is a destination hiking town. And you can hike these 5 scenic trails all within a 30-minute drive or less from Seagull Bay.
Here are the 6 best hiking trails in Bayfield, that our visitors love:
The Brownstone Trail
The Big Ravine Trail
Frog Bay Tribal National Park
Apostle Island’s National Lakeshore Meyer’s Beach Trail
Lost Creek Falls
Houghton Falls Trail
The Brownstone Trail
If you’re looking for a hike right outside your door, then our location couldn’t be more perfect. The Brownstone Trail graces the border of our property and creates easy access into town.
It also offers a leisurely 4-mile hike along an old Lake Superior railroad grade that once carried passengers, lumber, sandstone, and produce such as apples and beans. It currently connects Bayfield’s historic downtown to Port Superior Marina in the town of Bayfield.
DISTANCE: 4.2 Miles round trip
GEOCACHES: GC5Y68Y—N 46° 48.513, W 090° 49.194
GC5Y69R—N 46° 47.822, W 090° 49.852
DIRECTIONS: Walk out your motel door through the backyards of Seagull Bay and Bay West
Bayfield’s Historic Big Ravine Hiking Trail
Bayfield’s Big Ravine Hiking Trail has recently been revitalized and offers a tranquil hike along Bayfield’s infamous ravine that flooded in 1942 taking out the bakery.
A cool piece of trivia is that the iron bridge was once a wooden bridge that collapsed after Mrs. Jelinek lead her cattle across. Mrs. Jelinek is actually Isaac’s great great grandmother. And don’t worry all cattle made it across before it collapsed.
The initial function of this bridge was to provide the children living on Catholic Hill an easier path to school. Isaac’s grandmother also tells stories that under the bridge was a place where many teenagers met to engage in activities that would not be approved by their parents. We’ll let your imagination finish this part, but remember we are talking about the 1940s and 50s. The bridge and this beautiful trail are now historical destinations perfect for a family hike.
The Big Ravine Trail winds north and scales up the side of the ravine through a series of switchbacks. Solid hiking shoes with good treads are a must, especially if the trail is wet. Trekking poles will also be helpful for this moderate to difficult trail.
There are many routes to pick from with the longest extending to almost 2.5 miles.
The Big Ravine Trail is a migratory bird haven. It is also home to massive white pines and slabs of sandstone that'll make you feel as though you are walking back in time.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate to Difficult
DISTANCE: 1.8 - 2.45 miles (smaller loops are available)
GEOCACHE: GC5ZP7J —N 46° 49.063, W 090° 49.422
DIRECTIONS: The ravine trail has two trailheads. The first is located right in the heart of town on the corner of N. Broad St. and Washinton Ave. There are parking lots located on both sides of Washington Avenue. The trailhead is located on the north side under Bayfield’s historic iron bridge. You can also access the Big Ravine hiking trail off of Martin Rd. outside of town or by the old soccer field.
Hike in Frog Bay Tribal National Park
Other historic hiking trails near Bayfield are the trails found within Frog Bay Tribal National Park.
Frog Bay is the first tribal park in the United States. This 88-acre park includes 1.5 miles of hiking trails and is owned and cared for by the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
Be sure to bring bug spray as the first residents to greet you will be mosquitoes. But don’t let that scare you off because you’re about to:
Wander through primordial boreal forests
Learn Ojibwe words for native plants and animals
View 5 of the 22 Apostle Islands from the ¼ mile of sandy Lake Superior shoreline included in these trails
Also, be sure to bring your suit and towel to cool off after your hike or enjoy a picnic while sitting on the beach.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy to Moderate
DISTANCE: 1.5 miles
GEOCACHE: GC5ZP9Y —N 46° 54.598, W 090° 47.161
DIRECTIONS: The trailhead and parking area are found at the end of Frog Bay Road. The address is 92310 Frog Bay Road. And is a 15-20 minute drive from Seagull Bay. There are vault toilets located at the entrance and information including maps.
The Meyers Beach Hiking Trail on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Do you want to get a flavor of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – but you don’t have access to a boat? No Problem. Visit Meyers Beach on North Highway 13 towards Cornucopia, WI. about a 20 to 25-minute drive from Seagull Bay.
Meyers Beach is part of the National Park Service and is the trailhead to one of the most popular hiking trails in the area.
This rugged trail meanders through hardwood forests and ventures up and down steep ravines along the shores of Lake Superior. You’ll need good hiking shoes for this one. Flip-flops or sandals are NOT a good idea. The trail is often slippery and has some steep descents. Trekking poles will be helpful but are not necessary.
There are 3 portions of the trails. The first is a 1.8-mile hike to a 100-yard crevasse dipping down into the emerald green waters of Lake Superior. You may even catch a glimpse of a kayaker gliding through the water right underneath your feet. Turn around here and you’ll have a 3.6-mile hike round trip.
The second leg of this hiking trail extends past the crevasse. The trail leads you above the infamous mainland sea caves that stretch a ½ mile along the lakeshore. Turn around here and you’ll have almost a 5-mile hike. This really is a must-see and will be well worth the extra energy spent. Plus, there are flat areas where you can enjoy your lunch or a snack before heading back.
What could be a better picnic spot than the red cliffs of Lake Superior? With its blue and green water slapping against the caves, the wind blowing your hair back, and a view of a never-ending horizon? These views truly make this a one-of-a-kind hike.
The last leg – and least traveled – part of this trail takes you back along the hardwood forests and to a reservable backcountry campsite. The campsite is located 5.2 miles from the mainland trailhead making this option a 10.4 miles round trip.
DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Difficult
DISTANCE: 3.6 miles - 10.4 miles round trip
GEOCACHE: GC1G4QP —N 46° 53.965' W 091° 02.129'
DIRECTIONS: Located off of Highway 13 near Cornucopia, this trailhead requires a permit that can be purchased right at the parking lot.
Hike to Lost Creek Falls
Lost Creek Falls is family-friendly and a gem of a hiking trail that’s a short 25-minute drive from Seagull Bay.
In recent years, this easy to moderate 1.5-mile trail has received a much-needed facelift. Bayfield County has worked hard to improve access to the Lost Creek waterfall by installing gravel-packed paths, boardwalks, and bridges.
Walk amongst the oaks, maples, and white and red pines. Venture back to the beautiful waterfall that descends over large sandstone rocks and feeds into Lake Superior. Skip along the creek or bask in the sunlight on top of one of these large boulders. There’s also a picnic area where you can fuel up before heading back.
DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate
DISTANCE: 3 miles round trip
GEOCACHE: GCNMJF —N 46° 50.091' W 091° 07.238'
DIRECTIONS: The trailhead is located at 22500 Trail Dr. Cornucopia, WI.
Houghton Falls Hiking Trail
This 1.5-mile trail is worth every step! You’ll be bathed in boreal pines and hemlocks. Seasonal waterfalls over sandstone cliffs are scattered through the 76-acre preserve.
The sandstone cliffs at the end of the trail were once a popular skinny dipping spot for those that grew up in this area. So, find a private spot and have some fun — we won’t tell.
DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate
DISTANCE: 1.5 miles
DIRECTIONS: Located a short 10-minute drive from Seagull Bay you can find this trailhead by going south on Highway 13, then turning left on Houghton Falls Rd. Travel a ½ mile and you’ll find the gated parking area on your right. WARNING the gate closes at the precise time listed at the trailhead and you will NOT be able to get your vehicle out!
After a Day of Hiking, Come Rest Your Legs at Seagull Bay
The beautiful views don’t stop at the end of the trails. At Seagull Bay, both of our properties sit right on the edge of Lake Superior. Come and sit on your balcony, lakeside deck, or grab an Adirondack chair and relive stories from the trail.
And if you’re looking for a hike right outside your door, then our location couldn’t be more perfect. The Brownstone Trail graces the border of our property and creates easy access into town. It also offers a leisurely 1.5 miles hike along an old Lake Superior railroad grade that once carried passengers, lumber, sandstone, and produce such as apples and beans.
Whether you're coming for a weekend getaway with your sweetheart or taking a family vacation we have lodging arrangements to make your party feel comfortable no matter what size it is.
We're perfectly situated on the edge of Bayfield, allowing you to spend your entire stay on foot if desired. You can access town, the Brownstone Trail, and the Big Ravine Trail all from your motel room door — leaving your car safely parked at the motel while you’re out adventuring.
Book your stay NOW and start planning which hiking trail is best for you!
Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks
Trails and Public Lands Preservation - Bayfield Regional Conservancy
Hiking in the Apostle Islands - Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (US National Park Service)
Hiking Trails and Waterfalls | Bayfield County, WI - Official Website