Houghton Falls Nature Preserve, Washburn

#25 of 77 in Wildlife in Wisconsin
Must see · Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
A scenic property replete with hiking trails, boreal forest, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls and gorge known as the Echo Dells, Houghton Falls has been a destination for generations of visitors who enjoy sitting on the warm, brownstone ledges or hiking through the pines and hemlocks for views of Chequamegon Bay and the Apostle Islands.

The Preserve’s intermittent falls drop into a beautiful little cove with clear water and a sandy bottom—a great place for wading or simply splashing around on a warm summer day. The sandstone walls of the cove’s ravine carry a message from Washburn surf legend Tom Blake, “Nature = God.” The Conservancy partnered with the Town of Bayview and the Trust for Public Land to acquire the property with the help of a Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency and the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Fund of the Wisconsin DNR. The property is now owned and managed by the Town of Bayview, while the Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the land to ensure permanent protection.

Houghton Falls is on the shore of Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior about two miles north of Washburn.
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Houghton Falls Nature Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
73 reviews
  • Nature preserve not to be missed. Beautiful view of the bay when you get to the end. The falls were not flowing when we were there, but the walk still worth going on.  more »
  • The falls are dried up but the trail takes you down to Lake Superior where you can take some photos. Overall, the hike is pretty flat and not overly far.  more »
  • Beautiful nature hike to a breathtaking view of the Lake Superior at the end. The trail has been modified over the years to be safer, with more railings and stairs. However, the natural feel is still there. Depending on when you go, you may or may not actually see falls. It depends on if we've had enough rain and water flow. Spring/begining of summer is your best bet.
  • It was fun walking through the canyon. I had been told there was a waterfall here, but didn't find one. We saw a bald eagle fly across Lake Superior, pick up a fish, and fly back.

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