Ashland County Parks

kayak big bayApostle Islands National Lakeshore • 715-779-3397
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore consists of 21 of the 22 Apostle Islands plus a 12-mile strip of mainland shoreline. Camping is allowed on 19 islands (with permits only). The islands beckon to explorers and vacationers who enjoy quiet, sandy beaches, rocky shorelines with sea caves carved by wind and water, island lighthouses, historical interpretive areas, wildlife viewing and wilderness camping. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore year-round headquarters is housed in a restored brownstone building in Bayfield. Private sailors, boaters and kayakers can travel around the archipelago and explore the fantastic sea caves carved into sandstone cliffs along the islands and the mainland shoreline.

Big Bay State Park • 715-779-3397
Take the ferry to Madeline Island, and experience what visitors have called, “the best beach in northern Wisconsin”, at Big Bay State Park. This award-winning 61-site campground and family park is one of the most impressive natural areas in not only the Apostle Island, but the entire State of Wisconsin. Open year round, the park is owned and operated by the Town of La Pointe, and provides incredible views as well as public access to the spectacular Big Bay Lagoon. Just 6 miles from the ferry dock in La Pointe, find out why Big Bay Town Park is a top choice for camping, hiking, swimming, biking, kayaking, canoe rentals, picnicking, beach combing, bird watching, or simply relaxing on the beautiful sandy beach.

Ashland Parks and Recreation• 715-682-7059
Ashland is a city of parks. One of the most impressive is Prentice Park with 100 acres of old forest, walking trails, artesian wells, and boardwalk along Fish Creek Slough. Prentice Park facilities include campsites, a pavilion and a playground. Bayview Park on Ashland’s east end features a spectacular view of the old lighthouse at the end of the Ashland breakwater. Facilities at Bayview Park include a playground, swimming beach, fishing pier, and picnic areas. Kreher Park has RV campsites, a swimming beach, pavilion, playground and a boat ramp. Ashland is also proud of their new “Waterfront Trail” that takes you through a scenic walking tour of Ashland and the Chequamegon Bay from the east side of town to the west side of town.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (U.S. Forest Service) • 715-362-1300
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northwest Wisconsin has 850,000 acres of gently rolling terrain shared by Ashland and Bayfield counties. The forest offers a variety of scenic landscapes and recreational activities, and is home to several hundred wildlife species. It provides endless trails for the outdoor enthusiast – snowmobiling, ATVing, biking, hiking.  Camping is allowed throughout the national forest with certain restrictions.

Copper Falls State Park • 715-274-5123
At Copper Falls State Park, canyons, streams, waterfalls, swimming beach, picnic area with a log shelter, miles of self-guided nature trails, a family campground plus walk-in and backpack campsites are available for visitors. Copper Falls, located just northeast of the city of Mellen, is a 29-foot waterfalls which marks the first drop of the Bad River as it flows through steep-walled gorges of rugged and awesome splendor.

Morgan Falls/St. Peter’s Dome (U.S. Forest Service) • 715-362-1300
This scenic area is located about 13 miles west of Mellen and 6 miles south of Sanborn in the Penokee Range. The 1,600-foot red granite dome is the highest point in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. On a clear day, you can see Lake Superior 20 miles to the north.  At the south fork of Morgan Creek, a small stream of water cascades 70 feet down the face of a rock cliff to a small shaded pool. It is a half-mile hike from the parking area to Morgan Falls, and beyond the falls, about one mile to the top of St. Peter’s Dome.

Penokee Scenic Overlook & Trail (U.S. Forest Service) • 715-362-1300
Penokee Scenic Overlook offers a breathtaking view of the Penokee Mountain Range and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.  Located on County Highway GG, between Mellen and Clam Lake, this overlook has a platform area for viewing with benches and interpretive signage. Stairs lead from the parking lot to the overlook, less than one-fourth mile away.