Nestled along the eastern shoreline of Wisconsin's Bayfield Peninsula, Houghton Falls is a beautiful nature preserve jam-packed with beautiful gorges and scenic vistas out onto Lake Superior.

Houghton Falls State Nature Preserve is a small but mighty park located just north of Washburn, WI. Starting at the trailhead on Houghton Falls Rd, the trail takes you through a heavily forested area filled with hemlock, yew, and birch. About 1/3 mile in, the trail comes across the Echo Dells, a series of deep sandstone ravines that are home to the parks main feature, Houghton Falls. 

The trail continues along the southern rim of the ravines and crosses an old railroad bed used to haul brownstone from the quarries near Bayfield to major cities like Chicago and Cincinnati. Once on the other side of the railbed, the ravine deepens from 20'-30' to nearly 100' as the creek breaks to Lake Superior. 

At the end of the trail about 3/4 miles in, the trail terminates at a short cliff that overlooks Lake Superior, and is a favorite destination for cliff jumping and swimming. 

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Daypack
  • Bug Repellent
  • Swim Suit (for diving/swimming)

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RT Distance 1.5 Miles
Activities Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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