Visit Wisconsin Waterfalls on a Weekend Getaway
Take a scenic weekend road trip to reflect and recharge while exploring cascading waterfalls in northern Wisconsin.
Exploring waterfalls of Wisconsin is the perfect weekend getaway. Located on the northern edge of the state, Iron County and Ashland County border Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the mighty Lake Superior.
Copper Falls State Park
I left my home in Minneapolis early Saturday morning and drove about four hours to my first trip destination, scenic Copper Falls State Park. Along the way I drove past the huge majestic pine trees of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The trees, the deep blue sky, the incandescent sun and the cool air of Wisconsin’s North Woods invigorated my spirit as I stepped out of the car.
Waterfalls, gorges, and hiking and mountain biking trails await visitors in the park. Hike 4 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail, which will one day stretch from New York to North Dakota.
That day I explored the marvels of Copper Falls and its neighbor, Brownstone Falls. The 1.7-mile Doughboys Trail winds around both waterfalls, offering lovely views of them. The park is home to many falls and to rustic log buildings and trails constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. You can hike, mountain bike, fish or swim in the park. Loon Lake has 300 feet of beach. Psst—here’s the top 5 Great Lakes birding hotspots for spring migration.
More Wisconsin Waterfalls
This was just the beginning. With ease and a relaxed pace, I continued my journey northeast about 15 miles on Highway 169 to Potato River Falls, where I stood in awe before what some consider to be the state’s most beautiful cascade. I continued northeast to see Saxon Falls and, finally, Superior Falls, both just over the Michigan border. If you want to camp out, discover the most scenic campsite in every state.
The day ended with a short drive into Ashland, Wisconsin, where I stayed at a hotel overlooking the marina. A thunderstorm struck in the pre-dawn hours, affording me spectacular photos of the stormy sky over Lake Superior.
Known as the mural capital of Wisconsin, Ashland is a good place to eat, stay and play while exploring the area’s waterfalls. Tour the eight-block historic Main Street and experience the town’s history and culture through the murals painted on the buildings. See the Ashland Breakwater Lighthouse, one of the few lighthouses built using reinforced concrete. It stands at the end of a long breakwater in Lake Superior. Though there are no tours, the lighthouse is accessible by boat. Plan your trip at visitashland.com.
After an early breakfast, I headed out to my last stop on this waterfall tour: Morgan Falls. While very remote and a tad out of the way, this final waterfall was well worth the effort. At the end of a short hike on a wide, flat path, Morgan Falls is just surreal in its beauty: It looks like something created for an amusement park. Morgan Falls is definitely a location I will be returning to in the future! Check out the best national park road trips to take all year long.
As I bid farewell to my Wisconsin waterfall weekend, I already began planning my return trip to see other falls in the area. Leaving the national forest and driving south along the byways and highways, I saw the landscape gradually transition from majestic forests to rural farmland. Arriving home late Sunday afternoon, I felt revived and ready for the week ahead. Plan your visit at travelwisconsin.com.