Saturday, April 25, 2015

Trail heads to peaceful waterfall, glade

Lost Creek Falls. Photo courtesy of

Lost Creek Falls Trail sits on peninsula

Day hikers can enjoy a little-known, secluded waterfall on a Bayfield Peninsula trail in northern Wisconsin.

The Lost Creek Falls Trail runs 3-miles round trip. As part of the route is a snowmobile trail that’s not maintained during summer, the best time to hike this route is a pleasant spring day before the weeds sprout and take over the walking path in June. Spring actually is the best time to see the falls, as that the marks the heaviest water flows.

Creek crossings
To reach the trailhead, from Cornucopia, drive south on Wis. Hwy. 13. Go left/south onto the unpaved Klemik Road. In 1.2 miles is an ATV/snowmobile crossing with a yellow gate on the left/east side of road. This is the trailhead. Park on the road shoulder and head east onto the trail, walking around the gate.

For the first quarter mile, aspens – some reaching heights of 30 feet – line the trail. At 0.3 miles is a steel-framed bridge over Lost Creek #2. Ignore the spur road and cross the bridge. On the other side is another spur road; ignore it as well.

The trail becomes more worn from here on, and the trees grow taller with a greater mix of aspen, hardwoods and pines. Another surprise are the raspberry, thimbleberry and blackberry bushes lining the trail; because of this, black bears frequent the area, so know how to defend yourself against one in the extremely rare chance that an encounter occurs.

The trail next descends steeply to a creek. At about 1.2 miles, you’ll reach the wood-railing bridge over Lost Creek #1.

Fifteen-foot falls
From there, the trail rises and turns southeast. In about 600 yards, you should hear the waterfalls. Be sure to follow the narrow footpath that parallels the stream and heads south.

The last 200 yards of the trail is a twisting rocky trail through the woods that covers a mere hundred yards as the crow flies. Finally, at 1.5 miles, you’ll reach Lost Creek Falls.

One of Bayfield County’s few waterfalls, Lost Creek No. 1 tumbles 15 feet over a sandstone ledge into an open, mossy glen. The falls consists of an eight-foot drop with smaller, staircase cascades below, and is a great spot to picnic.

Once you’ve taken in the falls and rested, return the way you came.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.