Sunday, August 18, 2013

Days of Summer on the Bayfield Peninsula

Earlier this month my friend Joan and I spent three days on the Bayfield Peninsula. It was a very relaxing time in a very beautiful part of Wisconsin, just four-and-a-half hours drive from the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

About this area Wikipedia notes:

The Bayfield Peninsula is the northernmost region of mainland Wisconsin, with the south shore of Lake Superior to the west and the Chequamegon Bay to the east. The peninsula is part of the Lake Superior Lowland, though the interior southeast of Cornucopia and west of Bayfield has some higher ground including Pratt's Peak, Bayfield County's second-highest point. Highway 13 runs around the peninsula along the Superior shoreline. The communities of Port Wing, Herbster, Cornucopia, Red Cliff, Bayfield, Washburn, and Ashland lie on this stretch of highway. The interior of the peninsula is mostly the northern end of the Chequamegon National Forest, an area of jackpine growth known as the Moquah Barrens. The Apostle Islands surround the end of the peninsula.

Bayfield, where we stayed, is considered the main gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a popular freshwater sailing, boating, and kayaking destination on Lake Superior. When in Bayfield, Joan and I took our bikes on the ferry to Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands.

Bayfield is known in the Ojibwe language as Oshki-oodena ("New-town"), opposed to Superior, Wisconsin, which is known as Gete-oodena ("Old-town"), in reference to the Ojibwa migration.

The town is named after Henry Bayfield, a British Royal Topographic Engineer who explored the region in 1822-23. In 2010 the population of Bayfield was 530.

Bayfield’s annual Apple Fest draws about 40,000 visitors during the first weekend in October. Another annual event is Race Week regatta during the week of July 4.

Right: My friend Joan in Washburn, WI, just south of Bayfield.

Bayfield is a very picturesque little town. Joan said it reminded her of the seaside towns she's visited in Maine and New England. There are lots of arts and crafts shops, very few chain stores, and of course a harbor and marina, views of which, as I hope these images show, make for some great photographs!

Above: The Madeline Island ferry begins its journey! Our first day in Bayfield (Monday, August 5, 2013) was quite overcast, but the next two days were bright and sunny.

Above: The beautiful lagoon on Madeline Island.

While cycling around Madeline Island on Tuesday, August 6, we came upon two fawns, one of which is pictured at right. At one point I thought this little guy was going to come right on up to me! It seemed very inquisitive and not particularly afraid.

Above and below: Back in Bayfield I found myself quite intrigued by the maritime sights offered by the town's various docks and marinas – including a number of high-and-dry hulks.

Above and left: Relaxing in our lodgings in Bayfield.

Above and below: On Wednesday, August 7, we spent time hiking along the beautiful Lakeshore Mainland Trail. This trail extends 4.5 miles and takes you above the famous Sea Caves of the Bayfield Peninsula. It's quite a rugged trail, with stream crossings and steep slopes at various points.

Above: On the return hike we followed a path that led us to Meyers Beach.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Wisconsin Adventure 2010 – Part 1: Black River Falls
Wisconsin Adventure 2010 – Part 2: The Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail
Wisconsin Adventure 2010 – Part 3: Potosi

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