One of the main reasons for stopping in this part of Wisconsin was so that we could visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. I had plotted out a nice loop trip that would take us to all of the places we wanted to see in the Bayfield Peninsula of Wisconsin. This 85 mile loop would not only hit all the scenic locations but would also include a 4 mile hike in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Our first stop was at Superior Harbor just south of the town of Bayfield, WI. It was drizzling quite a bit while we were there so we took a quick stroll to check out the harbor and the sailboats before moving on into town. Bayfield is where most people catch one of the ferries over to Madeline Island or other tour boats over to the one of the many Apostle Islands. The town is nestled on the shore of Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay and it is a crowded little town this time of the summer.
Our first stop in Bayfield was the visitor center for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Since it was still drizzling outside we decided to watch a 20 minute movie about the islands. It was a nice movie but if it had been sunny outside we wouldn’t have stayed for all of it. Still cloudy after the show we stopped to stroll around the town a bit and walk part of the Gil Larsen nature trail. The Raspberries and Thimbleberries are all ripe now and make for some nice snacks. While strolling around we found a really quaint little church just off the main part of town that was very photogenic…
After some lunch in Bayfield we headed to our next destination, the town of Red Cliff. Red Cliff is part of a larger Indian Reservation and also has the Legendary Waters Resort and Casino. We like to stop at casinos to see if they will give us any free money! What a friendly casino we found this one to be. Everyone from the security guard who opened the door for us to the clerk who gave us our players cards… We were each given $7.00 comp cash on our players cards as new members so we played a little video poker and slots. After an hour or so we walked away with a few bucks profit to show for it all which will come in handy for Happy Hour…
Next stop was Sand Bay Beach but due to our day being shortened considerably by the early morning rain we decided it best to skip lounging here and head on to the main attraction, our planned hike along the lakeshore trail at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. After a short drive down the road we pulled into the parking lot at Meyer’s Beach along Squaw Bay. There is a $3.00 per car parking charge that is 50% off if you have the Interagency Pass.
We hiked the lakeshore trail out to the sea cliff overlook which was about 1.9 miles one way. Along the nearly 4 mile hike we crossed a lot of wetlands where parts of the trail were built up with walkways made from 4x24 planks so hikers wouldn't destroy the wetlands. We also crossed several creeks some requiring us to rock hop to stay dry. Lots of little up and down hills led us to the final destination where there was a small wooden bridge that overlooked a cool sea cave. While we were there saw a couple of sea kayakers go up into the cave… something I wouldn’t probably advise but nonetheless, pretty cool!
The hike back was uneventful except for the fact that we heard something “large and noisy” rustling through the woods. My first thought was deer but it was too noisy to have been a deer based upon my past experiences. I think it may have been a black beer bolting away form us but I guess we will really never know! Once into the car on the loop back, we ran into some road construction. Normally not too worrisome but I wanted to make it to Patsy’s Bar in Washburn for happy hour.
Making it to Patsy’s just in the nick of time we settled down on two stools at the bar. Sharon ordered a Keweenah Widow Maker and I had a Bells Two Hearted Ale, ahhhhhh. We ordered some of their "Best on the Bay" burger’s and fries and made an evening of it. It was such a great little spot with good beer, good food, and good staff at Patsy’s Bar… glad we stopped there as it was a great way to end a great day!