There are many great Wisconsin activities in Bayfield, no matter the season. Whether you are looking for a thrilling adventure or a relaxing getaway, there will be something perfect for you!  See all there is to explore.

Things to Do Outdoors

Kayaking near a shipwreck


Read the August 2008 New York Times Feature

As the “Gateway to Madeline Island and the Apostle Islands” Bayfield, WI, is also ground zero for kayakers from throughout the Midwest. Experienced kayakers will bring their own watercraft, but, if you’re new to the sport, several venues offer rentals as well as instruction. View a list of  local kayak outfitters.


Visitors to Bayfield, WI, always marvel at the abundance of billowy white sails dotting the Lake Superior seascape. It’s easy and fun to be a part of the local sailing community. Sailing adventures abound, from a leisurely two-hour afternoon tour to overnight excursions. To catch your sailing dream, or visit Boating/Sailing.

Charter Fishing

The Bayfield, WI, area has a long history of excellent fishing. Sport fishermen seeking to bring home a large lake trout or salmon will want to connect with an area fishing charter. Half-day and full-day charters are available.  Some favorites include PMG Charters, Superior Charters, Beyond the Catch, as well as many others.


Cycling experiences are many and varied. Some enjoy a casual ride around town while others take the challenge of a winding, hilly climb amid the area’s many farms and orchards. Bring your own, or take advantage of bicycle rental in Bayfield, WI, and on Madeline Island. Mountain bikers will love the CAMBA trails including the Washburn Gravel RoutesFat Tire enthusiasts will enjoy the Mt. Ashwabay trails or taking the Ice Road to Madeline Island. For more info, visit our local bike shop at Howl Adventure Center.


With Lake Superior as the backdrop, Bayfield, WI, is a golfer’s dream destination. With golfing opportunities both on shore at the Apostle Highlands Golf Course as well as on Madeline Island at the Madeline Island Golf Club, bring your clubs and soak in the view.


Bayfield, WI, has several great trails within walking distance of Old Rittenhouse Inn. The Chequamegon National Forest has 850,000 acres of rolling terrain dotted with crystal clear lakes, rushing rivers and meandering streams, plus hundreds of miles of easy-going to rugged hiking, mountain biking and cycling trails. For more information, visit Bayfield County hiking trails and attractions.

Bird Watching

Bird lovers rejoice! The Chequamegon Bay, including Bayfield, WI, is home to hundreds of bird species which can be spotted from land and sea. A birding and nature festival is held in the area each spring.

Places to Explore

Stunning sunset over the water

Madeline Island

The island’s charm and natural beauty make it the perfect day-trip getaway. Daily ferries shuttle both vehicles and pedestrians to and from Madeline island, where you’ll find wonderful things to do like shopping, dining, and nature in abundance. Information on things to see and do or visit the Madeline Island Ferry Line.

Orchards and Berry Farms

Bayfield, WI, is home to many commercial flower farms, berry farms, and orchards where visitors can walk between the rows, savor the beauty, and pick pails of apples, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. For a complete list of farms, locations, and harvest schedules, click here.

Apostle Islands Cruise

There are an abundance of fun things to do in Bayfield, WI. Touring the 21 Apostle Islands is a highlight of any trip. You’ll find windswept beaches and sandstone cliffs, picturesque lighthouses, and breathtaking sea caves. View information on the Apostle Islands or cruises.


You’ll find clean and inviting beaches throughout the Chequamegon Bay. The Apostle Islands also feature a variety of sandscapes, supporting a wide range of plant and animal communities.

Sea Caves

Centuries of wave action, freezing, and thawing have sculpted the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Some of the Great Lakes’ most spectacular scenery occurs where these forces interact with sandstone of the Devils Island Formation to create extensive sea caves.

Winter Adventure

Person touring Ice Caves in Bayfield


Savvy sledders know its called “mushing”, but by whichever name, this unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience should be added to your list of things to do in Bayfield, WI. The Bayfield area offers dogsledding trips for all ages and abilities. You’ll be amazed at the passion and the purpose of the dogs’ pull. Dog lovers of any age will enjoy getting acquainted with these canine athletes. For more information, visit Wolfsong Adventures.

Ice Caves

A popular winter attraction in Bayfield, WI, is touring the Lake Superior ice caves. When weather conditions cooperate, winter makes the caves accessible to anyone willing to walk, ski or snowshoe the frozen beach and lake ice. You don’t have to head beyond the Arctic Circle for a polar experience!

Ice Road

That’s right, you can DRIVE on the frozen ice from the Bayfield shore to Madeline Island. It might not be the Northwest Territory, but it sure is a great winter activity. Just follow the path of the recycled Christmas trees!


Located just south of Bayfield, WI, Mt. Ashwabay is a regional skiing facility overlooking beautiful Lake Superior. Mt Ashwabay has a long tradition of alpine and cross country skiing, with snow tubing added in recent years. Chairs lifts, ski and snowboard rentals are available on-site.


When the weather outside is frightful, you don’t have to spend all of your time in front of a warm, cozy fire. The Bayfield area offers extensive snowshoe trails which puts you up close and personal with nature at its winter finest. Find information on local trails and snowshoeing in Wisconsin.