Monday, November 17, 2014

Waterfalls, Lake Superior waterfront await day hikers in Wisconsin's Douglas County

Bois Brule River in Brule River State Forest.
Photo courtesy of
Tucked in Wisconsin’s northwest corner, Douglas County offers a number of outdoors attractions perfect for day hikers.

Two state parks – Amnicon Falls State Park and Pattison State Park – both with waterfalls, long stretches of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, and the Brule River State Forest that spills into Lake Superior, all offer a number of scenic hiking trails. A number of excellent trails, including those that meander along the Lake Superior, also can be found in Superior and just across the state line in Duluth, Minn.

Among the county’s great trail offerings are:
g Amnicon Falls Island Trails – Hikers can view the results of an earthquake from 500 million years ago while walking the island trails at Amnicon Falls State Park. Among the sites are three waterfalls and a covered bridge.
g Big Manitou Falls Overlook Trails – Though a good drive from Bayfield County, the trail is worth it, as it boasts 165-foot Big Manitou Falls, the fourth highest waterfall east of the Rockies and Wisconsin’s tallest. The waterfalls is in Pattison State Park south of Superior.
g Gordon Flowage Campground Trail – Day hikers can explore the northernmost reaches of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway on the Gordon Flowage Campground Trail. The roughly 2-mile round trip is a jeep trail running through the woods bordering the river located in Douglas County’s Gordon Dam County Park.
g Osaugie Trail – Beautiful views of Superior Bay, a marina, and city piers abound on this urban trail, which runs for five miles in the city of Superior from Marina Drive at the U.S. Hwys. 2/53 junction south to Moccasin Mike Road. It is wheelchair accessible.
g Stoney Hill Nature Trail – The 1.7-mile loop in the Brule River State Forest offers fantastic views of the Brule River Valley. Sections can be steep, but there is a rest stop and overlook at the hill’s top.

Read more about Douglas County day hiking trails in my Day Hiking Trails of Douglas County guidebook.