Bayfield County Wild Podcast
Episode 10 Show Notes (June 2018)
On this episode of Bayfield County Wild Co-hosts Nancy Christopher and Mary Motiff, director of Bayfield County Tourism, speak with Kevin Schram, president of the Chequamegon Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. They discuss how Kevin’s subchapter handles the maintenance and promotion of their portion of the trail running through Bayfield and Ashland counties, as well as other upcoming area events throughout June.
Waterfalls and Hiking Trails in Bayfield County
Bayfield County is rich in natural wonders, so we invite everyone to get out and enjoy nature to its fullest this summer!
• Houghton Falls – A popular location for visitors for its beauty and natural resources, Houghton Falls’ eco system is delicate. Visitors are encouraged to adhere to the signage and stay on the designated trails to avoid additional damage to the area. As part of the Bayfield Regional Conservancy, helps the Town of Bayview to manage and preserve the falls and surrounding land for the future.
• At Lost Creek Falls near Cornucopia, the Forestry and Parks Department has made some improvements to the trail, including the addition of a boardwalk. It's approximately 1.5 miles to the falls, Stay tuned for more developments at Lost Creek Falls later this year, with the addition of a bridge that leads to a picnic area and steps to get down to the falls.
• Hiking Trails – Bayfield County has over 35 different hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. From three-quarters-of-a-mile on the Gil Larson Nature Trail around the Old Iron Bridge in Bayfield, to a much longer hike on the North Country Trail, hikes are noted as easy to moderate for both rookie and experienced hikers.
• Interactive Map – Did you know Bayfield County Tourism offers an online interactive map – usable on mobile devices or computers – that can assist you in planning your next hike? Click our link, then click on “Play,” followed by “Non-Motorized Trails.” You can then zoom in and see trail details throughout Bayfield County! If you’d prefer a printed brochure, please contact our office and we’ll be happy to send one your way.
North Country Trail
America’s longest among 14 national scenic trails, the North Country Trail runs through seven states, from the plains to the east coast. The North Country Trail Association (NCTA) is a national organization based in Michigan. Its various subchapters in each state are responsible for maintaining and promoting its particular section of the trail. Kevin Schram and the volunteer members of the NCTA’s Chequamegon Chapter handle the section of the trail that runs through both Bayfield and Ashland counties. The Wisconsin portion of the North Country Trail offers continuous wilderness hiking for over 130 miles.
To get a sense of the depth of the 4,600-mile-long North Country Trail, if you headed west from Bayfield County you could hike about halfway into North Dakota. Heading east, the trail stretches as far as New York. Kevin hopes that in the future, the trail will link up with the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. Only a dozen people have hiked the entire trail, with half accomplishing this journey over different periods of time. These individuals are referred to as section hikers. The other six are considered through-hikers, who start at one end and walk continuously to the other. There are plenty of day hikes on the North Country Trail in Bayfield County for those who want to do a more casual hike, though.
The work Kevin and his team accomplish includes re-routes around wet areas, removal of fallen trees on the trail and maintenance on bridges and other structures to ensure safety for all hikers. He speaks highly of the Wisconsin portion of the trail for backpacking, as two different wilderness areas allow camping anywhere you desire, if the location is at least 200 feet from a fresh water source.
Currently, the Chequamegon Chapter of the NCTA is working with the National Forest Service to construct some back country campsites, which will help to make the North Country Trail in Wisconsin a premiere backpacking destination. Kevin hopes to have a campsite every seven miles, but it will be a slow process. The National Forest Service will hopefully approve at least two sites in 2018, and Kevin’s group could have them built by fall. He says that ideally, all campsites would be listed on maps so visitors can better plan their stay.
Anyone who hikes the North Country Trail can register on the NCTA website to get special patches that recognize when individuals have hiked 50 or 100 miles of the trail. Kevin says there are fun, interpretive and themed hikes offered as well. June’s hike focuses on finding and identifying different species of birds. For event info, follow the Wisconsin chapter of the NCTA on Facebook.
Summer is heating up with a full list of events in Bayfield County!
Throughout June: World-famous recording artists like Brandi Carlile, Jackson Browne, Buddy Guy, Keb Mo and Kenny G will perform under the stars this month at Big Top Chautauqua. Tickets are available here and for more information, check out last month’s podcast with Big Top Operations Manager Phillip Anich.
Through June 10: Admire over 50,000 blooming daffodils, a vibrant mosaic of roadside lupine & rolling orchards of apple blossoms bursting into rosy color during our month-long celebration of spring, Bayfield In Bloom! Take a self-guided garden tour and attend the annual Blessing of the Fleet.
June 9: The 8th Annual Summerfest Spider Lake Run begins and ends at the Iron River Community Center. Registration for this 10K, 5K or 2-mile walk/run is available here.
June 7 – 10: Legendary Waters Resort and Casino will host the RV, Sport & Boat Show. Check out all the toys to make your summer fun, from hot tubs to motorcycles.
June 21: Kayak the Namekagon allows you to experience the wonders of the area with the leadership of a naturalist. Paddlers of all experience levels are welcome.
June 23: The Superior Vistas Bike Tour celebrates its 14th anniversary this year with a leisurely ride supported by different route choices. Whether you want to ride 10 miles or 100, you’ll see incredible views of Lake Superior from the hills surrounding it.
June 24 – July 8: Try your hand at the art of glass blowing with a class at Oulu Glass, located north of Iron River and south of Port Wing in the northwest corner of Bayfield County.
We also encourage you to get out on the water by either renting a boat (pontoon, sailboat, motorboat or kayak), chartering a sailboat, taking a boat tour of the mainland caves or taking an Apostle Island cruise! Any excuse is great to check out the big lake or the many inland lakes this summer.
Bayfield is the Berry Capital of Wisconsin, with the biggest selection of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in the state. We’ll discuss all the orchards, berry farms (and wineries) to visit in Bayfield County on next month’s episode!
If you want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts. Get a little WILD at travelbayfieldcounty.com, and don’t forget to explore our interactive map.
Pine Point Lodge — Located in the heart of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, this family-owned resort offers relaxation, recreation and activities all year long on the Pike Lake Chain. Clean and comfortable cabins, a friendly tavern and many local attractions await you, as well as over 500 feet of lakeside excitement with free kayak, canoe, paddle board and wind surfer rentals to all guests.
Drumming Woods B&B — Newly constructed just outside of Cable — adjacent to thousands of acres of public land for enjoyment during all seasons — this bed and breakfast provides casual elegance and a warm atmosphere for all visitors. Whether you enjoy hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting or trap and skeet shooting, there’s something for everyone.
PJ’s Cabin Store — Conveniently located on the corner of County Y and Lake Road near the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, be sure to stop by while you’re in Barnes for everything from ice to bait and everything in between. It’s not just a gas station and convenience store – it’s a bar and grill, too, and the staff can help with hunting & fishing licenses, plus insider tips on area information.
Pinehurst Inn — Surrounded by beautiful gardens and bordered by Pike’s Creek, Pinehurst Inn offers comfort and tranquility. Recognized as one of the Top 10 Eco-Friendly Inns in America by BedAndBreakfast.com, the Pinehurst In is committed to environmental sustainability while providing a magnificent, rejuvenating stay, nestled among soaring white pines.
On this episode of Bayfield County Wild Co-hosts Nancy Christopher and Mary Motiff, director of Bayfield County Tourism, speak with Phillip Anich, Operations Manager at Big Top Chautauqua, the largest music venue in Bayfield County. They discuss the Big Top’s history and summer schedule, as well as other upcoming area events.
Live Music Venues
As winter finally melts away for good this year, it’s time to get out and see some live music all around Bayfield County! A few venues that feature year ‘round entertainment include:
- Legendary Waters Resort & Casino – Located north of Bayfield in Red Cliff, their event center has hosted indoor pow wows, winter luaus and lots of musical performances. They have a patio for outdoor concerts, too, with a stellar lake view, food and drink.
- White Winter Winery – Special events are hosted at the winery in Iron River periodically throughout the year and quite often in the summer and fall.
- Harborview Event Center – Hosts bands and special events year-round in Washburn.
- Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center – Performances are held here periodically, as well as presentations and guest speakers.
Pubs and restaurants with live music:
- Battle Axe Saloon in Iron River
- The Snug and South Shore Brewery’s Taphouse, both in Washburn
- Choppers in Grand View, home of April’s Smelt Toss
If outdoor concerts are more your style:
- The rooftop deck at the Bayfield Inn provides a great view of Lake Superior.
- The Concerts By The Lake series offers midweek shows through the summer, ranging from blues, jazz reggae and Latin to folk, country and alternative-rock.
- In southern Bayfield County, the Rookery Pub in Cable has a beautiful patio out back, where you can enjoy music before or during your dinner.
Big Top Chautauqua
Phillip Anich grew up skiing at Mt. Ashwabay and for nearly 30 years, he’s been working with the many dedicated volunteers at Washburn’s Big Top Chautauqua, located at the base of Mt. Ashwabay, the largest music venue in Bayfield County. An original member of the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra, Phillip is currently the venue’s Operations Manager. He continues to sing in original house shows, which in 2018 include Big Top Does The Beatles, Superior!: Songs & Stories of the Big Lake, and Wild Woods & Waters.
Big Top Chautauqua is a non-profit performance venue that opened in 1986. Its house shows are original musicals that combine education and entertainment for a unique multimedia experience. Local sponsors provide free shuttle service to the Big Top from surrounding communities.
In addition to house shows, lots of famous personalities appear on stage under the Big Top. This year’s calendar includes gigs by Jackson Browne, Buddy Guy, Lyle Lovett, Rufus Wainwright and more. Kenny G, Blues Traveler and Ronnie Milsap also make their debut appearances at the Big Top in 2018. Other events scheduled include their annual vocal competition Big Top Idol, as well as a Free Family Series on Saturdays.
The canvas tents are no longer being manufactured, so plans are underway for a new venue on the property adjacent to the ski hill. The goal is to retain the character, acoustics and feel of the current set-up, while expanding the capacity to 1,200 from today’s 950.
Those interested in attending events at the Big Top this year can visit www.bigtop.org for scheduling or call 888-BIG-TENT (244-8368). Wisconsin Public Radio continues to broadcast previous live shows from the Big Top on Tent Show Radio each Saturday night at 7pm.
Spring is in full bloom with many varieties of events in Bayfield County!
For Mother’s Day, why not give the gift of some beautiful flowers, plants or even a fruit tree? Area greenhouses like Tetzner’s in Washburn or Peterson Crystal Lake Greenhouse in Iron River are great stops to pick out the perfect hanging basket.
May 1 – May 29: On top of all the greenhouses in the Bayfield County area, gardening enthusiasts should also take note of the Red Barn Plant Sale at Hauser’s Superior View Farm in Bayfield throughout the month of May. Various bare root trees and plants are available for purchase.
May 5: The great tradition of Wisconsin fishing opens yearly the first Saturday in May. Consult this PDF for a full list of opening dates by species. Check out Bayfield County’s new fishing report (www.travelbayfieldcounty.com/fishing) to find out where the fish are biting on the area’s more than 900 inland lakes, along with tips by knowledgeable guide Josh Teigen.
May 11 – June 10: Admire over 50,000 blooming daffodils, a vibrant mosaic of roadside lupine & rolling orchards of apple blossoms bursting into rosy color during our month-long celebration of spring, Bayfield In Bloom! Special events include a live WPR broadcast of Garden Talk and a Garden Expo at the historic Lakeside Pavilion in downtown Bayfield, plus self-guided garden tours and the annual Blessing of the Fleet.
May 12: The Hungry Bear 100 is the true wilderness event around the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Bicyclists ride on gravel roads and end the race with a slice of pie from Tilly’s Pies in Cable!
May 12: Seasonal cruises of the Apostle Islands kick-off with the classic Grand Tours. Other specialty cruises, including sunset tours and trips to the islands with lighthouse tours, start later in May and extend into the fall.
May 14 – June 8: Eat. Drink. Washburn, organized by the Washburn Area Chamber of Commerce, highlights area restaurants and provides foodies with a fun passport. Collect stamps on your passport from three participating restaurants, and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate from a restaurant of your choice!
May 19: Active runners and fitness enthusiasts can take part in the Madeline Island Marathon & Half Marathon. With the half marathon already sold out, make sure to register for the full marathon – which is a Boston Marathon qualifier -- soon, as registration is currently at 70% capacity.
May 26: Another horticultural event to attend is the Native Plant Sale at the Cable Natural History Museum. Coinciding with the grand opening of their museum’s new exhibit on bees, the sale has a focus on plants that attract native pollinators.
We’ll discuss the wonderful hiking trails and glorious waterfalls that are home to Bayfield County. Lost Creek Falls in particular, near Cornucopia, is undergoing improvements thanks to the Forestry and Parks Department that we’re eager to share with you!
Bayfield County Rustic Yurts – Enjoy all that nature has to offer while staying in a cozy yurt near Bayfield and Cable. Explore thousands of acres of forests, as well as miles of maintained, non-motorized recreational trails. Peace and quiet are yours here, with the wonders of the North Woods surrounding you.
Bear Country Convenience Store & Gas Station – More than just gas and groceries, Bear Country is your one-stop shop during your stay in beautiful Northern Wisconsin. Rent boats or cabins, pick up hunting supplies or even get your dry cleaning done! Bear Country is located between Ashland and Hayward, in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, near Drummond Lake.
Staudemeyer’s Four Season Resort – A family tradition since 1964, Staudemeyer’s is nestled along Lake Namakagon and features cozy lakeside cottages as well as beautiful vacation homes. Accomodations include complete kitchens, private piers, custom fireplaces and more. Whether for a scenic lakeside wedding or a simple fishing getaway, Straudemeyer’s offers it all.
Scenic Drive Resort – Located within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Iron River, more than 35 acres of magnificent trees and lush open spaces await you. Take in over 1,100 feet of shoreline on Lake Delta during your perfect escape. Enjoy a delicious meal, including their award-winning ribs, on their gorgeous deck overlooking the lake.
On this episode of Bayfield County Wild Co-hosts Nancy Christopher and Mary Motiff, director of Bayfield County Tourism, speak with Neil Howk, a park ranger and interpreter for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and president of the Chequamegon Audubon Society. They discuss the upcoming 12th Annual Birding and Nature Festival, and other upcoming area events.
Namekagon River and Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
As the National Park Service doesn’t have a marketing budget, Mary Motiff has recently been working with several nearby counties to spread the word about the Namekagon River that is part of the beautiful Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. An underrated gem, the Namekagon River has very little development along its banks, so those on the river feel like they are truly out in the wilderness. Kayakers, canoers and tubers are welcome at different access points, as well as those who wish to hike or picnic. If you planning to experience the river, visit namekagonriver.org for a full list of outfitters, guides and ideas on how to have fun!
12th Annual Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival
Neil Howk shares his involvement with the upcoming annual festival for bird and nature enthusiasts, running May 17-19. Neil serves on the planning committee that assembles the yearly schedule, and he’s also the leader of several tours during the festival. Over 100 different programs are available over the three-day event. From mammal tracking to wildflower walks to old-fashioned bird watching, you have the opportunity to see more than 180 species of birds alone this year.
New this year, the festival has added activities that include a nighttime owl prowl and a trip out to Madeline Island to visit Big Bay State Park. To register for the festival or for more information, visit www.birdandnaturefest.com. Note that “early birds” will receive a special rate prior to May 1.
Aside from the big lake, did you know Bayfield County has over 900 inland lakes? That means there’s lots of fish to catch all year long! Avid fishing fans can now benefit from our new Fishing Report, linked here. Use it to learn about area hot spots, what bait to use and more from knowledgeable guide Josh Teigen.
As the weather turns warmer, Bayfield County has a variety of events to choose from!
April 4: Attendees of the Birding and Nature Festival should enjoy the Chequamegon Audubon Society’s presentation on terns within Chequamegon Bay. This will take place at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center.
April 6-7: The Rittenhouse Inn hosts Red Wine Weekend, celebrating the marriage of fine red wine and gourmet food! Experience various wine tasting sessions and a six-course dinner at Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant.
April 11: The official launch of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Quarter at Legendary Waters Resort will bring in representatives of the U.S. Mint and National Parks Service. There will also be traditional Native American drummers and dancers, and over 250 school children in attendance as part of the celebration. Coins will be available for purchase, and anyone under 18 will receive a coin at no charge. There will also be a forum for coin collectors at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center the night before on April 10.
April 13-14: The inaugural Washburn Brokedown Blues Festival, at the Harbor View Event Center, features a variety of food trucks, as well as foot-stomping performances from area blues bands.
April 14: Chopper’s Smelt Tossing Contest in Grand View offers cash prizes for those with the best aim, and awards extra points to those brave enough to bite the head off of their smelt, prior to tossing! Music and food will follow, and a participatory t-shirt and lunch are included in your registration fee.
April 20-22: Lost Creek Adventures will host an entire weekend skills gathering centered around Earth Day. Workshops will help attendees gain knowledge of their surroundings, whether building a house or using survival tactics.
April 28: Celebrate the newly-opened playground and park in Iron River, during the Lions Club Spring Swing Fling! It will be fun for all-ages, with 50’s music and dancing, costume contests and a playground swing dedication.
April 28: Haven’t had enough smelt? Then, the Herbster Annual Smelt Fry is for you! Try your luck at winning one or more of the many raffle prizes, and enjoy Captain Ken’s Fire House Beans and homemade desserts along with your main course.
We’ll talk with Phil Annich, operations manager of Big Top Chautauqua. This world-renowned venue attracts some of the biggest names in music annually for their summer line-up. This year’s star-studded schedule includes Buddy Guy, Jackson Browne, Kenny G, The Temptations and Mary Chapin Carpenter! Listen in to find out what else will be going on this summer.
If you want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts.
Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center — The NGLVC connects you with the historic, cultural and natural resources of the Northern Great Lakes region. Interact with exhibits, hike trails year-round, take in the view from the observation tower, or attend one of their weekly events.
Delta Diner — A frame-up restoration of a 1940’s Silk City diner, you’ll always find an eclectic menu with a twist on authentic favorites. Come taste why they’ve been featured by the New York Times, the Food Network and Midwest Living.
Mogasheen Resort — Located among Cable’s scenic, nationally-known trails, the Mogasheen Resort’s traditional environment features comfortable cottages and cabins with breathtaking sunsets on Lake Namekagon. Boat rentals are available right on site for fishing, kayaking and more.
Bear Paw Restaurant — Enjoy delicious food in a cozy, cabin-like atmosphere. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Bear Paw’s specials include chicken wings, seafood and BBQ ribs. Don’t leave without trying a trademark, delicious caramel roll or their unique, homemade potato chips.
On this episode of Bayfield County Wild Co-hosts Nancy Christopher and Mary Motiff, director of Bayfield County Tourism, speak with Chad Abel, Division Administrator of Natural Resources for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. They discuss the first tribal national park in the country, located at Frog Bay, as well as upcoming area events.
Legendary Waters Resort & Casino
Legendary Waters is one of the most appropriately-named destinations you can find. Owned and operated by the Red Cliff band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the entire experience and view for visitors is truly “legendary.” Located on the shores of Lake Superior in Red Cliff, this hotel offers 47 deluxe rooms and premiere suites, each with a Lake Superior and Apostle Islands view. Even the casino has a view! This is a rarity, as most casinos in the United States don’t even have windows. The annual Pow Wow in Red Cliff features drummers, singers and dancers along with vendors selling traditional food and arts & crafts. Check travelbayfieldcounty.com for future dates, and visit the Native American Tourism of Wisconsin website (NATOW) for details on proper pow wow etiquette.
New Apostle Islands Coin
Over the last few years, the United States Mint has been producing quarters that highlight different national parks. It’s exciting to announce that the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is being honored with such a coin! There will be a forum for coin collectors at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center in Ashland on Tuesday evening, April 10th and the official quarter launch and coin exchange at Legendary Waters Resort on Wednesday morning, April 11th. Further information can be found at travelbayfieldcounty.com.
Frog Bay Tribal National Park
Chad Abel shares his involvement with the first tribal national park in the country, Frog Bay Tribal National Park. Frog Bay is a pristine, undeveloped area on the Red Cliff Chippewa reservation. Though not affiliated with the National Park Service, the tribal national park title refers to the sovereign nation of the Red Cliff Band of Chippewa. This designation protects it from future development and provides public access to a portion of the park.
Located a few miles from Legendary Waters Resort & Casino on Frog Bay in Lake Superior, the park opened in 2012. Originally just a 90-acre parcel, it grew last year when another 87-acre parcel was acquired (the only remaining private property in Frog Bay), along with 80 acres that Bayfield County was using for timber management. In total, Frog Bay Tribal National Park is now approximately 300 acres with two miles of walking trails.
Balancing Tourism and Protection
With so much natural beauty in Bayfield County, it is a big responsibility to protect. Mary explains that there are many laws in place for the protection of Bayfield County’s natural resources, and that Bayfield County Tourism balances nature and tourism every day. Bayfield County is aware that its natural resources draw people from all over the world, and local residents want to continue to protect these assets.
Marching Into Spring
You may be thinking spring, but celebrate winter with one last “hurrah” in Bayfield County:
March 2-4: Bayfield Winterfest allows you to release your cabin fever and have crazy winter fun while taking part in this fund-raising weekend in Bayfield. Proceeds benefit the Bayfield Area Recreation Center and Mt. Ashwabay Ski and Recreation Area.
March 3: The World’s Longest Weenie Roast is held to raise funds for the Great Divide Ambulance Service, the Namakagon Volunteer Fire Department and other charities and not-for-profits. This event holds the record for the longest line of hot dog cookers over one fire in the world.
March 3-28: The Chequamegon Bay Arts Council will hold its annual Spring Art Show – this year’s title: “Metamorphosis” – at the Washburn Cultural Center. There’s a public opening reception on March 8th,
March 9-11: Hot air balloonists from Wisconsin and Minnesota come to participate in the Hot Air Balloon Rally, raising money for the Cable Area Lions Heart Benefit.
March 10: The Mt. Ashwabay Spring Carnival offers fun and crazy events like a water balloon launch, a potluck, a costume contest, distance jump and the ever-popular cardboard races!
March 10: The Fat Bike Birkie is the premier on snow bike event in North America. Riders test their skills and endurance on the professionally-groomed American Birkebeiner Ski Trail!
March 10: The Harbor View Events Center is hosting Warren Nelson’s “South Shore Chronicles,” six vignettes depicting historical characters and scenes from the Chequamegon Bay area with music at the end of each act.
We’ll talk about birding with Neil Howk and learn about the 12th Annual Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival, held in May. Attendees will enjoy experts including naturalists and biologists from around the area, leading wildlife watching field trips!
If want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts.
Bayfield Inn – Reflecting yesterday’s charm with modern amenities, Bayfield Inn is a newly-renovated, premier lodging establishment along the shores of Lake Superior in downtown Bayfield.
Ehlers Historic General Store – One of the oldest general stores in Wisconsin, Ehlers has been restored to resemble much of its original 19th-century appearance while providing everything their 21st-centry shoppers need.
Pla-Mor Bar & Restaurant – Located on Lake Namakagon, the family-owned Pla-Mor Bar & Restaurant is known for its friendly staff, great food and authentic Northwoods décor. Weekly dinner specials include a Wednesday Wing Ding, ribeye steaks on Thursdays, Fish Fry Fridays and prime rib on Saturdays.
Pine Creek Pit Stop – Because Pine Creek is such a popular snowmobile and ATV destination in northern Bayfield County, the Pine Creek Pit Stop is the perfect place for food, fuel, fun and beverages after a day on the road or on the trails.
Hit the trails in this episode of Bayfield County Wild, as Co-hosts Nancy Christopher and Mary Motiff, director of Bayfield County Tourism, talk to Ron Bergin, publisher and editor of Cross Country Skier Magazine and an outdoor sports enthusiast, about Bayfield County’s highly-rated trail system for cross country skiing and mountain biking, as well as some of the best ways to cure cabin fever in February.
An Event-Full February
Fat Tire Biking is all the rage in Bayfield County with groups like the leading Fat Bike Safaris at a new location, either on ice or through the woods, every Saturday. Locations for the Saturday rides are posted each week on North Coast Cycling’s Facebook page and bike rentals are available for visitors.
Visitors who enjoy the great outdoors have many opportunities to watch or take part in events:
Feb. 3: The Mt. Ashwabay Summit Ski Race has cross-country classic and skate ski races for kids 8 and under, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults.
Feb. 3 and 4: The 23rd Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race is held both Saturday and Sunday with two main races: a 10-dog, 80-mile race and a 6-dog, 60-mile race. There’s also a 40-mile Sportsmen’s’ Race, a 6 to 8-mile Family Race and a 6 to 8-mile Youth Race (16 and under). Multiple spectator locations are available with amenities including a warming tent, concessions and bonfires.
Feb. 11: The North End Classic Ski Race is an annual 25k and 12.5k cross-country classical ski race to benefit the North End Ski Club.
Feb. 17: The “Book Across the Bay Race” , is open to skiers and snowshoers of all ages and ability. The 10-kilometer course is groomed for both classic-style and skate skiing, starts in Ashland and ends in Washburn, and follows a route not on land, but over the frozen surface of Lake Superior, the world’s largest lake. The event is held at night, and the course is lit by the stars above and up to 1,000 candles in ice luminaries that line the entire route.
Feb. 17: The 19th Annual Drummond Bar Stool Race is the craziest bar stool race across snow you’ll ever witness in Drummond, Wis.
Feb. 18: The “Bike Across the Bay” is a 10k and 20k race on fat tire bikes across Lake Superior, starting on the Washburn shore with gorgeous ice formations on the brownstone cliffs along the shoreline.
Feb. 24: The American Birkebeiner is North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon, attracting over 10,000 racers and featuring a 50k Skate and 55k Classic race from Cable to Hayward, Wis.
March 2-4: Bayfield WinterFest is a wild weekend of fun celebrating winter with on last hoorah
March 10: The Fat Bike Birkie is the premier on-snow bike event in North America. Riders test their skill and endurance on the professionally groomed American Birkebeiner Ski Trail!
Lots of Valentine dining specials are available in mid-February. Find options on our website: travelbayfieldcounty.com.
Bayfield county is a hub for cross-country skiing activity and has been a training ground for winter Olympians, and host to the Junior Nationals, the IPC Paralympic Games and Super Tours. Ron Bergin shares his involvement with two great organizations that have literally blazed trails, creating cross country skiing and mountain bike-specific trails. The North End Ski Club has developed a great trail system with a warming cabin and more than 30km of groomed trails interconnecting with the Birkie Trail and Birkie Classic Trails. Another organization, the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) has developed the longest, uninterrupted mountain bike trail system east of the Rockies. The trails were recently designated as an International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) Ride Center, recognizing the trail as large-scale mountain bike destination that offers something for every rider.
Ice Cave Update
Mary Motiff gives the latest news regarding walking access to the famous ice caves. While the caves are not currently accessible, Mary says don’t give up. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Facebook page gives frequent updates for visitors.
Bayfield County’s New Story Map
Located on the Tourism home page of the Bayfield County website is a button that takes visitors to Bayfield County’s new story map that explores where to “play, eat and stay” in the county. Every point of interest is mapped and listed alphabetically, so that visitors can look up the location and information about what they are interested in. Also new, are listings for “adventure lodging” where you can find more exotic places to stay, including Yurts, a treehouse and sailboats.
We’ll talk about Frog Bay Tribal National Park in Red Cliff, Wis. It is the first Tribal national park in the nation.
If you like what you’ve heard, and want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts.
Lakewoods Resort - Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wis., is next to more than 600 miles of super-groomed trails in Bayfield County. You can ride for a week and never cross your tracks.
Spot Supper Club & Resort – Nestled in the Northwoods with a million-dollar view, the Spot Supper Club & Resort in Iron River, is a year-round feast of outdoor adventure. If you have a hunger for great food and adventure, this resort is for you.
Winfield Inn & Gardens – This is the perfect family vacation destination. There are lots of lodging options, plus a spectacular view of Lake Superior and close proximity to attractions and events in Bayfield.
Legendary Waters Resort & Casino – On the shores of Lake Superior in Red Cliff, the hotel offers 47 deluxe rooms and premiere suites, each with a Lake Superior and Apostle Islands view. The Casino has 24/7 entertainment, featuring all your favorite slot machines and table games.
In this episode of Bayfield County Wild, host Nancy Christopher talks with Mary Motiff, Bayfield County’s Director of Tourism, and P.C. Rasmussen, General Manager of Lakewoods Resort, about the abundance of winter fun at the resort and what else Bayfield County has in store this winter.
Winter is in full swing in Bayfield County with plenty of snow for all of your favorite outdoor winter activities! There are more than more than a dozen trail systems across a half a million acres of combined county and national forest land dedicated to cross-country skiing, fat biking, and snowmobiling. One trail even offers a great spot for downhill skiing and tubing, and another for the unique sport of skijoring (Not sure what skijoring is? Pay close attention at 1:53!). And, don’t forget to save the date for the Birkie Tour! (Note: this is a ski event only, not fat bike as mentioned in the podcast)
If you’d rather be out on the ice in the winter, Bayfield County won’t disappoint! Ice fishing is an extremely popular winter activity in the area. You can choose to ice fish just for fun, or you can participate in the array of ice fishing tournaments throughout the winter. A couple of the fun ice fishing events coming up include the Fishin’ Chicks ladies-only fishing contest fundraiser for breast cancer awareness on Spider Lake and the 8th Annual Four Seasons Ice Fishing Tournament on Lake Namakagon, both on January 20th.
For a more nostalgic tribute to winter, you will want to mark your calendars for the 32nd Annual Northwoods Sleigh and Cutter Rally on January 13th. Ride in replica sleighs from the 1800s that are pulled by beautiful horses from the region. This storybook-like event is held at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.
Lakewoods Resort, in Cable, Wisconsin, is a full-service resort next to more than 600 miles of super-groomed trails in Bayfield County. Lakewoods has been a family-owned resort since it opened in 1907. They take pride in their personal service, and are the #1 snowmobile destination in the nation. Located in the heart of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, this all-season resort has more than 100 rooms, an indoor pool, a hot tub, and two restaurants that feature regional specialties with many locally sourced foods.
In addition to the many amenities Lakewoods Resort has to offer, many events are also held on the grounds throughout the year. Details on all of the events at Lakewoods can be found on their Event Calendar.
A few upcoming events at Lakewoods Resort:
6-7 Cor Powersports Races
13-14 SnowFest Pond Hockey Tournament
9-11 WI Cross Country State Ski Meet
3 World's Longest Weenie Roast
9-11 Hot Air for Hearts Balloon Rally
You’ve all heard about them, hopefully, soon it will be time to witness the beauty once again! Late January/early February designates the time of the year for the indescribable Ice Caves on the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior. The National Park Service monitors the ice conditions and teams up with local organizations to communicate ice readiness for visits. Keep tabs on all of the latest Ice Cave updates on our website!
If you like what you’ve heard, and want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts. And don’t forget to follow our Facebook page to keep up to date with all of the latest Bayfield County events!
Woodside Cottages of Bayfield – Woodside Cottages offers a quiet, warm, comfortable setting on spacious grounds that offer lots of room to enjoy the outdoors. Their lodging is just a two-minute drive from downtown Bayfield, WI or an easy 1 ½-mile hike or snowshoe into town along the historic Brownstone Trail next to Lake Superior.
Loon Saloon – Enjoy one of the best pizzas in the Northwoods at Loon Saloon, and they offer a full menu of burgers, wraps, and appetizers. Loon Saloon is a great stop on the snowmobile trails and is a hub for some of the best ice fishing in Bayfield County. Plus, there is a bait shop and convenience store on site to help you prepare for a great day on the lake.
Woody’s Food & Spirits – Enjoy a Lake Superior fish fry or a delicious homemade pizza at Woody’s Food & Spirits in Herbster, WI. It’s a must-stop on snowmobile trails, and don’t forget to try Woody’s very own inferno chicken wings – they will surely warm you up after a day on the trails!
Hyde’s Resort on Buskey Bay – For fine dining and a comfortable place to stay in Bayfield County, check out Hyde’s Resort on Buskey Bay. Enjoy fishing on the Pike Chain of Lakes, or snowmobiling on the thousands of miles of trails right outside their doors. Ad days end, enjoy steaks, burgers, seafood, pasta, or your favorite cocktail in their lounge. Hyde’s Resort has clean, comfortable cabins and a five-bedroom apartment.
In this episode, host Nancy Christopher will talk with Mary Motiff, Bayfield County’s Director of Tourism, and John Thiel, co-owner of Howl Adventure Center, about winter fun and dog sledding.
Find Winter Fun Outdoors
Find the best fun in Bayfield County outdoors! There are more than more than a dozen trail systems dedicated to cross-country skiing, fat biking, and snowmobiling. One trail even offers a great spot for downhill skiing and tubing.
Howl Adventure Center
Bayfield County has some trails dedicated to dog sledding, and the Howl Adventure Center will help you enjoy every mile of it. John talks about the tours that Howl/Wolfsong Adventures offers, where you’ll get to meet the dogs, harness them up, learn about steering and braking the sled, and have an exhilarating experience on the trails. Plus he gives us a little tidbit on the new adventure center coming to Bayfield County next year.
Kicking Off December
Christmas in Cable - Art & Craft Fair with over 50 vendors, Festival of Trees and Breakfast with Santa at Lakewood's Resort. Be sure not to miss the holiday shopping sales at area specialty stores.
Holiday Spirit Gallery Tour - See the work of Bayfield's artists on display for the holidays. Beautiful paintings, pottery, metal sculptures, wood carvings, fiber arts and more.
Oulu Glass Gallery – See glass blowing demonstrations and a holiday show at Oulu Glass Gallery. View their incredible pieces and, if you’re feeling creative, sign up for a class to experience the art of glass blowing.
Holiday Open Houses & Events – Learn more on our website: travelbayfieldcounty.com.
Ring in the New Year at various restaurants in Bayfield County that offer delectable meals and specials.
Sleigh & Cutter Rally and Parade- Northwoods Harness Club presents the 32nd Annual Sleigh & Cutter Rally. 1800's costumes, antique sleighs.
Birkie Tour - The BirkieTour is an untimed, non-competitive, “open-track” style event on a loop course up to 47 km. Spend the day skiing with family and friends with a morning start time window, short and long distance options, aid stations along the trail, and food and beverage at the start/finish when you’re done.
Book Across the Bay – Cross-country ski, snowshoe, or walk across frozen Lake Superior from Ashland to Washburn.
If you like what you’ve heard, and want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts.
Lakewoods Resort - Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wisconsin, is next to more than 600 miles of super-groomed trails in Bayfield County. You can ride for a week and never cross your tracks.
Runamuk Rides - Located in Iron River, WI, Runamuk Rides offers both guided and unguided ATV, UTV, and snowmobile rentals. In addition to rentals, they also offer sales, service, and fuel at four locations along the endless trail systems.
Legendary Waters Resort & Casino – On the shores of Lake Superior in Red Cliff, the hotel offers 47 deluxe rooms and premier suites, each with a Lake Superior and Apostle Islands view. The Casino has 24/7 entertainment, featuring all your favorite slot machines and table games.
Washburn Inn and Harbor View Event Center – The Harbor View Event Center is the perfect place to host a memorable experience for any type of event or celebration. Relax next door at the newly-remodeled Washburn Inn and plan your next event at the Harbor View Event Center.
In this episode, host Nancy Christopher will talk with Mary Motiff, Bayfield County’s Director of Tourism, and James Taylor, owner of Runamuk Rides to talk about the amazing ATV and snowmobiling trails in Bayfield County. We’ll also talk about upcoming holiday events.
Best of Bayfield County Contest
Winners have officially been released!
Bayfield County has many different shops and galleries that people can visit for holiday gifts and entertaining. The area also hosts a number of holiday bazaars and has a Holiday Spirit Gallery Tour just around the corner. Find more events on our Events Calendar.
Located in Iron River, WI, Runamuk Rides offers both guided and unguided ATV, UTV, and snowmobile rentals. In addition to rentals, they also offer sales, service, and fuel at four locations along the endless trail systems.
Bayfield County Trails
Bayfield County has some of the best ATV and snowmobiling trails in the state. Jim shares his favorite trails in the area, describes the tours Runamuk offers, and discusses popular off-road technology and vehicles.
Wine Tasting Dinner
Wine tasting dinner event hosted at Lakewoods Resort.
Chequamegon Bay Turkey Trot
5K walk or run along the Lake Superior shore. Funds raised are donated to the Chequamegon Bay Area Community Fund.
Tree Lighting Events: Various communities embrace the excitement of the season with traditional tree lighting ceremonies and events, beginning in late November.
Many communities throughout the county host Hunter Dinners to raise money for various fundraisers. Find them all on our Calendar of Events.
If you like what you’ve heard, and want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts.
Tri Lake Timbers - Tri Lake Timbers, in Iron River, has a variety of beautiful cabins with access to snowmobile, ATV and hiking trails galore. In the summer, relax on the swimming beach or rent a pontoon or fishing boat and get out on the water.
Valhalla View Pub & Grub - Valhalla View has 24-hour pay at the pump fuel, drinks, and food to satisfy you and your machine. One of the best dining experiences around, Valhalla View has a full dinner menu, daily specials, all-you-can-eat salad bar, hand-made pizza and more!
Barnes Trading Post & Wilderness Inn - This historic property in the Town of Barnes began in 1888, and is now a get-a-way for all seasons. Fishing, hiking, swimming, water skiing, picking wild blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in the summer months, plus hunting, snowmobiling and ice fishing during the winter months. Relax in any of 8, beautifully-themed suites and enjoy the great company at the bar, which serves great food breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Flying Eagle Resort - Nestled between Basswood Lake and Spirit Lake in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Flying Eagle is adjacent to the major snowmobile and ATV trails. Relax in any of our 13 fully-furnished modern cabins or more than 150 campsites, and enjoy a full-service bar and restaurant located on-site.