Road Trip Part III: Wisconsin’s North Coast

The distance between my 2nd and 3rd destinations, Amnicon Falls State Park and Copper Falls SP, was short so I decided to take a few extra hours and check out the sights along the way. There is plenty to see along Highway 13, as this route follows Lake Superior for much of the way, and when I wasn’t right by the lake I was driving through boreal forest.

Port Wing Boreal Forest SNA

Port Wing Boreal Forest is a beautiful State Natural Area where I had my first stop of the day. I didn’t see much of it, which is a shame because pictures of the beach look amazing, but I spent a few minutes in a small clearing with a calm, isolated vibe.

My next stop was Bark Bay Slough SNA, which was a good SNA to get decent views of from just the road and parking lot. In fact, I didn’t head off-road at this one at all. The namesake slough was on one side of the road, an expansive bog on the other.

Unusually cooperative belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) at Bark Bay
Bog view
Open pool in a small stream with tamarack (Larix laricina) trees
Bark Bay Slough and surrounding forest

Next I wanted to get my nostalgia on and revisit the site of my first Great Lakes memories at the unincorporated town of Cornucopia, near the belly of Siskiwit Bay. I was 5 when my parents first took me and my brother there. When I was a kid, the sight of the water shocked me. Never had I, in living memory, seen water that stretched as far as the eye could see. I would squint and try to see the far shore. As with anyone else gazing out at the lake, I couldn’t.

Flash forward to 2017, and it was still a dizzying spectacle. Half of that was the size of the lake, half of that was the weather. It was a hazy day, but still plenty bright and the horizon was a hard point to focus on as the lake and the sky were equally bright.

Kind of neat in an abstract way, but it strained my eyes at the time
Siskiwit Bay, east side

After spending some time by the bay, I headed to Ashland to get some lunch (with a lake view!) and continued on my way toward Copper Falls, which will be the subject of final road trip post.

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