Wisconsin April 28, 2018
The Hidden Beaches Road Trip That Will Show You Wisconsin Like Never Before
A few warm days and I’m already dreaming about a summer in the sun. If you’re looking to hit up some of the more popular summer spots, the time to plan is now. With hundreds of miles of Great Lakes shoreline and then more inland lakes than I know how to count, hitting the beach and enjoying the calming pace of life on the water is incredibly easy. Sometimes, though, it can get a bit crowded, as well. Wisconsin’s pristine shorelines are no longer any sort of secret, so finding a slice of beach just for yourself can be hard to do. Narrowing down this trip to just one area wasn’t easy, but this is a small trip that takes you to some beaches that are a bit more off the beaten track and might not be teeming with other sun-seekers.
For an editable version of this map,
From small, local park spots to some more obvious beaches, this little trip shows you some of the very best beaches northern Wisconsin has to offer.
1. Doolittle Park — Birchwood
You can camp right on the beach here, which is awesome. Birch Lake is big and beautiful and the amenities make this a great spot for a day trip or an overnight stay.
Hinman Dr., Birchwood, WI 54817
2. Shell Lake — Shell Lake
Home to one of the best beaches in Northern Wisconsin, Shell Lake offers a 2,600-acre lake and plenty of space to enjoy it. Shell Lake is the state's largest landlocked seepage lake. It is about 36 feet deep at its deepest and it's crystal clear. My family has been visiting here for generations and I almost don't want to fill you in on the secret.
Hwy. 63, Shell Lake, WI 54871
3. Totogatic Park — Minong
This is another great spot where you can camp right on the beach. Located on the Minong Flowage, there's acres and acres of lake to enjoy.
Totogatic Park, N13984 Tota Dr., Minong, WI 54859
4. Pattison State Park — Superior
Tons of folks head here every year to check out Big and Little Manitou Falls but miss out on one of the park's best hidden gems. Interfalls Lake is an absolutely delightful spot to spot and relax for a bit. Cool off between hikes or just take a dip on a hot day. The lake here is a wonderful little find inside the park.
6294 WI-35, Superior, WI 54880.
5. Wisconsin Point — Superior
Just south of Superior, there are two narrow strips of land that jut out into the lake. One of them is in Minnesota and one is in Wisconsin. There’s a small break between the two known as the Superior Entry Channel. To the southeast is an area known as Wisconsin Point. This may be the longest freshwater beach you’ll find and what makes this beach so great is its wild, unspoiled nature. The water is crystal clear and the beaches are pristine. Only go here if you intend to leave it as immaculate as you found it.
Located off Highway 53 on Moccasin Mike Road at the southeastern edge of the City of Superior.
6. Herbster Playground and Beach — Clover
Bayfield County does a truly spectacular job of maintaining public access points to Lake Superior, and Herbster is a great choice to spend a day or a weekend. The playground means that when the kids need time out of the water, they can still burn off energy. There's also a beach-side campground. But the fishing for lake trout and salmon is superb and the sunsets are breathtaking.
Bark Point Rd. in Clover, WI 54844.
7. Meyer's Beach — Cornucopia
Ok, Meyer's Beach isn't hidden — everyone knows about it as the launching point for checking out the sea caves. But all that means is that folks go here and immediately head out on the water, leaving the beach empty for you to enjoy. If you get a little restless sitting still for too long, you can also walk along the Lakeshore Trail, where you can view the sea caves from above and walk back along the beach.
Located at the end of Meyers Rd., Cornucopia, WI 54814
8. Broad Street Beach — Bayfield
A charming spot right in town, it's good for a quick dip or as a location for a nice picnic lunch.
Located at the end of Broad Street (south) and Wilson Ave., Bayfield, WI 54814.
9. Big Bay State Park — LaPointe
Probably the most well-known of the beaches on this list, it still counts because its remote location means you still won't have a lot of competition for a spot on the sand.
2402 Hagen Rd., La Pointe, WI 54850.
10. Thompson's West End Park — Washburn
There are 27 acres of gradually sloping shoreline to the water's edge. There's a lakefront walking trail here that's truly beautiful and there are tons of recreation opportunities here, including a boat launch.
1048 W Bigelow St., Washburn, WI 54891
Quite a few of the spots on this list offer beach-side camping, but if you’re looking for that option in other parts of the state, check out
10 Spectacular Spots In Wisconsin Where You Can Camp Right On The Beach.