Hiking at Houghton Falls in Washburn


Echo Dells at Houghton Falls State Natural Area
Echo Dells at Houghton Falls State Natural Area

Houghton Falls State Natural Area was rated as the most scenic place to hike in Bayfield County in 2015. The easy single track footpath brings Bayfield Area visitors deep into a hemlock and cedar forest. Along the way hikers pass through Echo Dells - a sculpted sandstone canyon.

In spring and early summer you might find that the namesake waterfall is flowing into reflecting pools on the canyon floor of Echo Dells. The .7 mile linear path leads down to the Lake Superior shore where you can comfortably perch on a rock at Houghton Point and contemplate as the waves batter sea caves out of a solid stone shoreline.




Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells
Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells


Houghton Falls and Echo Dells has long been a romantic destination on the Bayfield Peninsula. The land had been owned by the town of Bayfield until recently when it became one of Wisconsin's newest State Natural Areas.

A boardwalk and gravel footpath leads into a dark and mysterious woods past Canadian yew, hemlocks, cedars, and birch. This boreal forest exudes sacred wonder. About half way between the parking lot and Houghton Point hikers encounter the Echo Dells. The dells are a series of sculpted sandstone gorges that would make a fine backdrop for a fantasy movie. If there was a place on earth where I would expect to find a magical plant that could grant wishes - I bet I would find it growing in a crag at Echo Dells.

The stream and waterfall were only flowing at a trickle when I visited in September. Early spring is surely the best time for waterfalling in this wilderness area. Even without the waterfall and reflecting pools in the dells - the walk out to Houghton Point is rewarding.

To cap off a hike that had already delivered rare scenic wonders, I was treated to yet another great view at Houghton Point. A gentle hill leads down to a promontory where I took in a wide view of Chequamegon Bay. Teal waves pound the stone lined shore; new sea caves in the making.

There are many great hiking opportunities in Bayfield and the surrounding counties. But, Houghton Falls will surely become one of your favorites as it is easy to find, easy to walk, and dazzles the senses with memorable features. This will surely become a popular hike with people of all ages and hiking skill levels.

Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells
Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells


Overview: Houghton Falls and Echo Dells Trail 


COUNTY: Bayfield
COMMUNITIES: Washburn

TOTAL MILES: .75 miles linear / 1.5 out and back
DIFFICULTY: Very Easy

POINTS OF INTEREST: Lake Superior, Echo Dells, Houghton Point, Apostle Islands National Seashore


Directions and Trail Map



If viewing on a mobile device, open the trail map above to load into Google Maps App by touching the expand rectangle in the upper right corner

Address for your GPS: Houghton Falls Rd Washburn, WI 54891
| coordinates: 46.698651, -90.861713 |

From Milwaukee6 Hours
From Madison5 Hours
From Green Bay4.5 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis3.5 Hours
From Chicago7 Hours



Photos




Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells
Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells
Echo Dells at Houghton Falls State Natural Area
Echo Dells at Houghton Falls State Natural Area


Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells
Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells

Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells
Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells

Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells
Houghton Falls State Natural Area and Echo Dells


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