Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Byway follows the southern shoreline of Lake Superior along the Bayfield peninsula and is a snapshot of the geological, historical, cultural, ecological and recreational diversity of the region. We envision a well maintained northern Wisconsin byway of 70 miles featuring breathtaking scenic views of forests, pristine sandy beaches, and the sparkling blue waters of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Area. The Byway is a unique route featuring quaint harbor towns, historic fishing villages and small farms. The beauty of the Byway is experienced through the stories and scenery that embrace the majesty of Lake Superior.
Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Byway (WLSB) begins its journey at the junction of US Highway 2 and State Highway 13 in the Town of Barksdale in Bayfield County, approximately 2 miles west of the Ashland city limits. The Byway continues for 70 miles on State Highway 13 around the Bayfield Peninsula and ends at the intersection of County Highway H and State Highway 13 in the Town of Cloverland in Douglas County.
The corridor provides very different geographical and cultural opportunities to travelers as they wind their way North up one side of the peninsula along the Chequamegon Bay around the top of Wisconsin and then West along the South Shore of Lake Superior. Formal designation of this portion of STH 13 as a Scenic Byway will allow for the ability to better and more fully share the unique geographical, natural and cultural assets with both visitors and residents.
Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway Receives Grant
The Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway Intergovernmental Council is pleased to announce that it has received a $6,235 grant from the Wisconsin Coastal Management program. The grant, which will be matched with in-kind work by the Intergovernmental Council, will fund the development and printing of a comprehensive map that will identify the geological, historical, cultural, and recreational sites along the scenic byway.
The map will be the first printed product that serves to educate the public about the locations of numerous historic sites, recreational trails, access points to Lake Superior, and cultural opportunities. It will serve as the primary and first educational tool to better inform the nearly 500,000 tourists who visit the area annually. Its creation will be an effective marketing tool that reaches well beyond a typical 3-fold brochure.
In determining how to develop awareness and meaningful learning experiences so visitors and residents help protect the natural and cultural resources of the byway, the intergovernmental council studied local and national promotional materials. The council was most impressed with the Lake Superior Water Trail Map, developed by the Northwest Regional Plan Commission and funded in part by a Coastal Management grant. Using the Water Trail map as a template, a new and complimentary printed map will become an educational tool and also further the educational goals of an impressive network of local governments, county, state and federal agencies.
Each of the 13 communities along the Byway has an appointed intergovernmental council member that oversees the management of the Byway and also acts as an ambassador for their respective communities. Their ability to use the map to educate residents and tourists alike is an integral part of the effort to preserve and protect the Lake Superior coastal area.
The map will be available at tourist destinations along the byway in 2015.
Bayfield Apple Fest One of Nation's 10 Best Specialty Food Festivals!
State Highway 13 on the Bayfield Peninsula Receives Scenic Byway Designation
April 22, 2013 (Washburn, WI) Bayfield County already has an impressive list of state and national designations that exemplify the truly special place that it is. Now added to that list is a 70-mile segment of State Hwy 13 that has been designated a Wisconsin Scenic Byway, the fourth in the state.
The Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway is located along the southern shore of Lake Superior. The majesty of Lake Superior unfolds along the Byway with sweeping views of the “big lake.” The Byway follows the shoreline of the Bayfield Peninsula, passing through quaint harbor towns and historic fishing villages, near dozens of orchards and fruit farms, along miles of sand beach and the home of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Densely forested lands provide a spectacular backdrop to the year ‘round recreational opportunities that abound, with hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, snowmobile, ATV and cross-county ski trails.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Area is easily accessible from the Byway and has the largest collection of lighthouses in North America. Guided boat excursions are available. Local museums and historic architecture tell the stories of Native Americans and immigrants who made this land their home. Artists are drawn to this area and you’ll find many galleries displaying their work. Enjoy seasonal performances at the Big Top Chautauqua with musicals based on the history of the area as well as performances by national artists or enjoy local theater and regional music all year long at Stagenorth in Washburn and Legendary Waters Resort and Casino in Red Cliff.
The rich geological, historical, cultural, ecological and recreational assets of the Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway provide a traveling experience that will not be forgotten.
A group consisting of representatives from all of the municipalities along the Byway has put in many hours working on the necessary assessments to obtain the designation, which will bring attention to the incredible natural resources and cultural history of the area. The designation will also allow the adjacent cities and towns access to federal funds designated to help promote the Byway, develop signage, and improve the visitor experience along the route.
The Wisconsin Scenic Byway program is an official program of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Other Scenic Byways in Wisconsin include: The Great River Road, State Hwy 60 and the Door County Coastal Byway.