Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ashland Wisconsin… A great place to spend a week!

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 046

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 007What a great little town Ashland Wisconsin turned out to be for us. Kreher Municipal Park was the perfect place to enjoy all the town had to offer and a great place to stay to explore northern Wisconsin. Part of the joy of this lifestyle is the happy little surprises that occur along the way. We were the beneficiary of one such surprise in this little town of Ashland, Wisconsin. This friendly, scenic little town has a great city run campground on the bay that we thought we might try for a few nights. As soon as we arrived we knew we would stay for a week. We grabbed a first come first served site right on the water with a huge yard and sweeping views of the shoreline on both sides.

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 016The sunsets here are spectacular. Even on our longest touring days we have made it a point to be back for the beautiful sunset views. Another nice surprise has been meeting and enjoying Happy Hour and sunset watching with the fun loving camp hosts here, Ken and Cathy Johnson. They are not full-timers but spend summers and winters on the road in their beautiful 45 foot motor coach.They love this area where they spend two months every year happily sharing tips to campers of things to see and do. One evening a really entertaining guy, Cap’n Dave was at their sunset watch with stories of his charter boat business. He is in his late 70’s yet is still going strong taking tourists out for long tours and fishing trips. He had everyone laughing with his stories but he did give me food for thought with his opinions about kayakers. He complained that kayaks are hard to see in his big boat and he wishes they were required to mount flags so at least his radar would pick them up especially on foggy days on the lake. I think the next time we kayak I will be more aware of boats after hearing his thoughts.

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 003We have already blogged about the beauty of the murals done by two ladies, Kelly Meredith and Susan Prentice Martinsen. But there is more to see and do in this area… Just west of town is the Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge   It is a small wetland area set aside not only for waterfowl but also to protect and help with the restoration of the coaster brook trout, an anadromous fish native to Lake Superior. Just south of  the refuge is the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center where admission is free. I features really nice exhibits, films, maps for planning and an enjoyable, scenic trail system.

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 044The Visitor Center also has a five-story observation tower providing visitors with panoramic views of Chequamegon Bay. The landscape in this area is mostly rolling hills interspersed with farms, grassland and forested areas. As we walked down the stairs we took in the historical photography all along the walls displayed on the second floor. Once back outside we took the 3/4 mile boardwalk trail. This trail began in a tall grassy area but the grasses, as pretty as they are, don’t belong here. They are an invasive species called Eurasian Reed Canary Grass. There are some wetland areas and bits of forested areas that gave us a feel for the vegetation of the area.

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 040Also in Ashland is Northland College a small school that claims to teach a “distinctive environmental liberal arts curriculum.“ which by the way makes a few of the local residents cringe a bit due to this philosophy. The college looked to us to be in need of a few dollars to keep up the maintenance of their facilities but we enjoyed some of the nice buildings architecturally and while walking around this small campus we felt a sense solitude and serenity…

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 041We also just loved walking around town, up and down the streets, as this town has a small town feel but also retains some of its charm despite the cosmopolitan flair. Not to mention there is a microbrewery here as well – North Shore Brewery. If this town wasn’t so dang cold in the winter we might have put it on our short list as a places to settle down in the future…

Case in  point… One evening at sunset watch, some fishermen friends from Ames, Iowa of the Cap’n and the Johnsons rolled up after their daylong fishing trip. They come every summer for the great fishing on the lake. This weekend they were excited about berry picking and showed us the biggest blueberries we have ever seen. They insisted we keep a bag and we totally enjoyed those beauties!

Apostle Islands and Ashbury WI 010This last paragraph is from Sharon… “John calls campgrounds such as this, gems. What a great description because this gem has given me shining memories of scenery and camaraderie. So I am sure on Tuesday when I begin to feel sad about leaving, John will remind me this was one of many gems we have seen and have yet to see.”

We are now in Wausau, Wisconsin for several more days…


  1. Dear Heyduke, I just had a lucky stumble onto your blog. We just left Kreher Park in Ashland ourselves -- we’re on a little bit of a schedule right now, but hope to come back to the Ashland area another time. We spent 12 days in the UP and found that to be way too little time, as well.

    We also like to kayak, go to craft breweries and see new things, so I’ll be checking out your blog again for ideas. Thanks for blogging!

  2. This looks like a terrific little campground to see the area. I love the UP and upper Wisconsin. Not the Dells so much, too many folks. With those beautiful sunsets right off your patio, I can sure see why you stayed a week.

  3. Very nice - you guys have moved the UP an Wisconsin way up on our list.

  4. This looks like a gem of a place to check out. Enjoy your visit. Great post!

  5. Glad to see you having so much fun in Wisconsin. Who would have known? I agree about finding unexpected gems. It is so sweet when this happens.

  6. This examines like a terrific little campground to see the locality. I love the UP and top Wisconsin. Not the Dells so much, too many folks.

    Aaron |
    Mobile Massage

  7. That looks like a great campground and city to explore. Making a note of it on Pinterest.

  8. We have limited internet access, but in another month we will be able to catch up on your blogs...they look great and it seems y'all are having a great time in some great spots.

  9. Gotta love those gems that you just happen to run across, enjoy you time there.

  10. People from Ames are great, Bob graduated from Iowa State in Ames.