Known as the little town on the big lake, Washburn is the center of adventure on the Chequamegon Bay. No matter the season there is always something to see, do, or explore. Our central location means you are only minutes away from all the other major towns on the bay as well. We are the hidden gem on Lake Superior. Whether you are into silent sports or motor sports, prefer the forest or the lake the possibilities are endless. Hundreds of miles of trails and numerous beaches are ready for you to enjoy in Washburn.
EAT, dRINK, & BE MERRY
No trip to Washburn and the Chequamegon Bay is complete without visiting some of the best food and drink establishments in Wisconsin. Washburn is home to a number of award-winning restaurants. Three Washburn establishments were recognized by the Department of Tourism as being in the top 20 places to get fish fry in the state. Lake Superior Magazine has named many of our restaurants as Best of the Lake over the years. From your typical Bar and Grill, to wood fired pizza, and gourmet cuisine, handmade chocolates, a bakery that caters to all types of food restrictions and the coffee shop with a drive-up window for your joe on the go we have your tastes covered. We can’t forget to mention the Irish Pub and the Brewery that uses the water of Lake Superior to make its handcrafted beers. Check out the Chamber’s directory for a listing of the culinary delights that await you when you visit Washburn.
Find a Restaurant
Explore the Lake
Washburn is right on the shores of Lake Superior. With five local beaches and several hidden ones there is always a quiet place for you to sit back and enjoy the lake. Friendly Valley Beach just 5 miles outside of town headed North is one of the most popular and has plenty of room to spread out even on a busy day. If you head out that way be sure to stop at the Houghton Falls Nature Preserve. The hike to the falls is an easy 1.5-mile round trip adventure, open to foot traffic only, and gives you a spectacular view of the lake from the brownstone cliffs. We also have a full-service marina with a state of the art boat ramp, public restrooms, fish cleaning station and a ship store. Fishing is just one of the big draws for the lake but you can jet ski, kayak, canoe, paddle board, wind surf too.
The Washburn Area Chamber of Commerce can recommend local rental and guide services for you. Boat tours of the area are also available and we are less then 20 minutes away from the Madeline Island Ferry Terminal in Bayfield. In addition to Lake Superior we also have many inland lakes and local trout stream as well if you prefer. Don’t forget to take a stroll or bike ride along the 1.5-mile Lake Front Walking trail and make a stop at Thompson’s West End Park to try out the cold clean water from our two artesian wells.
explore the National Forest
The Chequamegon- Nicolet National Forest covers more then 1.5 million acres of Wisconsin’s Northwoods. The Chequamegon side of the forest covers about 858,400 acres. Hiking Trails, biking trails, ATV Trails crisscross the area. You could spend days exploring all the possibilities. Mt. Valhalla Recreation Area is just 9-miles west of Washburn on County Hwy C and is the Hub for ATV uses. There is roughly 9 CAMBA Trails located at Mt. Ashwabay and here is something for everyone on this cluster. Trails range from Easy to Expert/Advanced with distances that range from 1- to 6-miles.
Request a Trail Map
Stay and Play
Washburn is centrally located on the Chequamegon Bay so that you are no more than a 15- or 20-min. drive from any of the attractions and adventures you wish to see and do. We have a variety of local lodging options that would exceed anybody’s expectations. No big chains here! Everything from campgrounds and cabins to your standard hotel / motel can be found in Washburn. Feel like you are right at home with most of our accommodations actually being homes and cabins that allow you the peace, quiet & privacy you can’t get in your typical tourist destination.
Request a Lodging Brochure
Need more information?