Nature Festival – Ashland

I can hardly believe it’s been over a month since I was up north trying to spot warblers and other migrating birds flitting through trees and over the water during the 10th annual Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival. Hundreds of bird and nature enthusiasts flocked to the Ashland, Wis. area from May 19-21 to go on area hikes, listen to speakers and just enjoy spring in the northwoods.

This was my second time going on the trip with my mom, Carol. In 2015 we saw the sea caves, a snowy owl, Morgan Falls and St. Peter’s Dome, the Penokee Mountains, Copper Falls and Stockton Island.

This year her sister, Joanne (a snowbird), was back at home in Ashland in time to join us after wintering in Arizona. We brought our senior dog, Chewy, along up to stay with my uncle, Marty, while we had our adventures and enjoyed excellent food and wine at local eateries.


Joanne, Carol and Sam at Upson Falls (minus the swarm of bugs)

The weather was unusually warm (in the 60s and 70s), and we somehow avoided rain, which made for some pretty awesome sunsets over Lake Superior.


I even caught the full moonrise over the marina in Washburn.


See more photos of the sunset and moonrise on my Flickr page.

We hope to return for next year’s trip, which is planned for May 18-20, 2017. Hope to see you there!

Festival schedule

On our first day of the festival, May 19, we boated through the Kakagon-Bad River Sloughs, hiked Frog Bay Tribal National Park and watched the woodcock courtship display at dusk outside the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.

To read more about Day 1, click here.

The second day, May 20, we explored the Caroline Lake State Natural Area and took an independent side trip to Upson Falls.

To read more about Day 2, click here.

For the third and final day of the festival, May 21, we took a hilly walk on a portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and looked for birds on a trail near Pikes Creek and Fish Hatchery in Bayfield.

To read more about Day 3, click here.


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