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Take the stress out of planning your Bayfield getaway. On the blog, you'll get the inside scoop of where to go, what to see, and what to do. 

Hiking in Bayfield, Wisconsin – Will This One Be Your New Favorite?

Pileated Woodpecker on the side of a tree in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

There are so many new opportunities for outdoor adventures in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Isaac and I moved back to Bayfield in 2017 to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Since then, we’ve seen hiking trails in Bayfield, Wisconsin and nearby communities grow.

I remember when we were exploring the possibility of buying Seagull Bay and its nearby property, Bay West. One of the things we liked most was that both properties have direct access to The Brownstone Trail.

This historic railroad grade gives our guests direct access from their rooms to a leisurely hike along the Lake Superior shoreline and a more serene route into town.

Bayfield Area Trails is a recently formed organization that has helped build and expand Bayfield’s hiking trail system. It offers beautifully designed trails winding through the Bayfield peninsula’s hillsides, creeks, and wetlands.

As we dive deep into the middle of fall, this couldn’t be a better time to explore one of its most recent projects – The Pileated Woodpecker Trail. The trailhead is located at the Les Voight Fish Hatchery, two miles south of Bayfield.

It’s a great addition to the already impressive trail system in our area.

Hiking Trails in Bayfield, Wisconsin

Bayfield, Wisconsin, has drawn visitors from around the world as the famous gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It’s nestled on the northernmost peninsula in Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior. Bayfield’s…

  • Rolling hills
  • Orchards
  • Sandstone cliffs
  • Lake views
  • Islands
  • History

…have captivated outdoor enthusiasts for years.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy the outdoors like:

Its natural topography, dense forests, and sandstone cliffs provide the perfect landscape for diverse biking and hiking trails in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Area organizations, like the ones below, share a similar mission to create and sustain a multiple-use trail network for all to enjoy.

  • Bayfield County
  • Mount Ashwabay
  • The State of Wisconsin
  • Chequmaegon Area Mountain Biking Association (CAMBA)
  • Bayfield Area Trails

The hiking trails in Bayfield offer outdoor enthusiasts a way to immerse themselves in nature. But it also highlights the importance of preserving the natural beauty of Bayfield, Wisconsin and the surrounding area.

This couldn’t be more present when you park at the Les Voight Fish Hatchery. Here, the preservation of our native fish populations is active and thriving. Not only does the fish hatchery support fish in Lake Superior, but also the Pikes Creek Basin where it’s located. Its fish ponds have created a haven for migrating birds like Canadian geese, Mallard ducks, teals, and the pileated woodpecker.

So, it’s no surprise that the newest trail is named after one of its residents.

There’s a New Hiking Trail in Town – The Pileated Woodpecker Trail or Meme Miikana

The trailhead to The Pileated Woodpecker Trail is located at the parking lot of the Les Voight Fish Hatchery near Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Before you head out onto the hiking trail, you can visit the fish hatchery where you can view two large aquariums holding native fish species. You can also learn about the conservation efforts the State of Wisconsin and the Department of Natural Resources use to support our local fish populations.

From the parking lot, you’ll weave your way between buildings to multiple fish ponds perfect for bird watching. As you follow the mowed trails past the fish ponds, you’ll come to a gravel road that leads you back to a small dam.

the bridge of The Pileated Woodpecker Trail

Just to the right of the dam, the trail narrows to form a wide grassy path that follows the curves of Pikes Creek. This leads you to a bridge spanning across the creek. Here, you can stop and enjoy the tranquility of the creek while listening to the water babbling its way downstream.

At the end of the bridge, there’s a trail leading you from the Pikes Creek Basin towards the Jerry Jolly Long Loop, a Mount Ashwabay ski trail. Eventually, this trail will connect to the Mount Ashwabay parking lot, creating a 2.5-mile, easy-to-moderate hike from the fish hatchery.

It’s a leisurely way to enjoy nature when you visit Bayfield.

Enjoy Forest Bathing When Hiking in Bayfield, Wisconsin

The Japanese have a practice called “shinrin yoku”, or forest bathing. It’s the simple practice of being calm and quiet amongst the trees. It’s a process of relaxation and a way for people of all ages to relieve the stresses of everyday life.

hiking trails in Bayfield Wisconsin

When you walk The Pileated Woodpecker Trail, you’re surrounded by nature.

The fish ponds are home to trout and salmon along with a variety of waterfowl and other majestic birds like:

  • Great blue herons
  • Sandhill cranes
  • Bald eagles

In the fall, cool mist gently rises above the ponds, enchanting you in its natural beauty.

As you walk towards the dam and beyond scaling the slopes of the Pikes Creek Basin, the sound of trickling water and the chatter of birds is a song only nature can provide.

The trees that shade this hiking trail include beautiful:

  • River Birch
  • White Birch
  • Maples
  • Cotton Woods
  • White Pines

… and aspen trees so old that age has wrinkled their bark like the bark of hardwood trees like oak and maple.

The forest floor along the trail includes tall cinnamon ferns, meadow-rue, and cow parsnip.

And amid the sounds of running water and the wind through the trees, you’ll hear the rhythmic tapping of the Meme Miikana, the Ojibwe word for pileated woodpecker.

So lace up your hiking shoes, a pair of binoculars, and your camera and set out for a unique hiking experience along the newest hiking trail in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Relax at Seagull Bay When Hiking in Bayfield Wisconsin This Fall.

Queen size bed of Seagull Bay Motel

The fall in Bayfield, Wisconsin, is the ideal time to hike any of its trails. Whether you enjoy:

  • A morning stroll along the Brownstone Trail
  • Navigating your way along The Big Ravine Trail in town
  • Forest bathing along The Pileated Woodpecker Trail

The cool temperatures and nearly bug-free atmosphere make hiking in Bayfield a memorable experience.

At Seagull Bay, we’re here to help you break up your everyday routines and provide a fuss-free and calming atmosphere overlooking Lake Superior.

Whether you’re sitting on our shared balcony or your private deck, you’ll be immersed in the outdoors.

And it’s the perfect place to kick off your hiking boots at the end of a long hike in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

BOOK NOW and start planning your fall hiking adventure.

Your Memories With A View!

Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks

Quick Links:

Meet the Meme Miikana or Pileated Woodpecker Trail

October 9, 2023

Get the Most Out of Your Bayfield, Wisconsin Getaway

just for you

Bayfield is brimming with outdoor adventures, local events, and renowned festivals.

To help you plan the ultimate Bayfield vacation, we’ve created a seasonal guide filled with the best our area offers.

Enter your email, and we’ll send it right to your inbox so you can start planning your getaway.

In the meantime, 

memories are waiting to be created.


Your Bayfield Getaway Awaits!

We can't wait to share the Best Little Town in the Midwest with you! Click the link below to download your guide.

bayfield seasonal adventure guide

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