Houghton Falls / Echo Dells Falls

Wrapped up at Copper Falls and hit the road.  Next camping spot was several hours drive and the planned route would take me all along the NW border of Wisconsin along Lake Superior.  First detour was in Bayfield at Houghton Falls State Natural Area.  Trails here are quite well groomed and easy for almost all skill levels.

The trail follows a small creek which I believe is just called Echo Dells.  Over many years the water has carved a canyon through pre-Cambrian era sandstone cliffs into a small gorge.

Not much water flowing here, but for summertime I believe this is quite robust.  Likely much stronger in spring after rains.

Progressing further downstream you reach the main falls.  From here it’s apparent why it was named Echo Dells Falls as the sounds bounce off the rocks.  A wooden staircase leads down to this view; if you are more adventurous you can climb all the way down (I did but this view is better).

A few minutes down the trail you reach Houghton Falls.  This area is a bit confusing from the trail because it’s relatively small and you can easily walk right past.

To get a better view, strap on your climbing shoes and be very, very careful – one slip here and you’re falling down onto the rocks!

If you decide to finish the hiking trail past the falls, it ends on the rocky shores of Lake Superior.  The Apostle Islands can be seen here from a far distance, and the views of the sand cliffs & tall trees are worth the short walk.

Here’s a short video of the combined falls:

Hiking Data

The hike is quite easy if you stay on the main path.  Climbing down into Echo Dells & Houghton Falls can be dangerous so exercise caution and respect all trail signs to stay out of closed areas!

Lat = 46.6931915 , Long = -90.8570633 -- Show at Google Maps

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