Fall Events Wisconsin Lake Superior Travel

Potato River Falls Gurney, Wisconsin early October

Fall Events – Lake Superior villages – Ashland, Bayfield to Superior Wisconsin

Lake Superior DragonBoat Race
Women's teams Wiki Wiki Wahini (3) & Doggie Paddlers (4) come in #1 and #2 against two top Men's teams in the 2011 Lake Superior DragonBoat Race

Jo and I just finished attending the 2011 Lake Superior Dragon Boat Race & Festival at Barker’s Island in Superior, Wisconsin. Had a great time. National Womens Dragon Boat Champion, Wiki Wiki Wahini, was here competing and bested two very competent women’s teams – Thunder Bay’s Women on Fire and UMD’s Doggie Paddlers. But the real big news is the team came in 2nd place in the overall race, losing literally by a nose to a mens-dominant* team from Racine, Wisconsin – Arashi. Race Press Honcho, Jim Keough, told me the Lake Superior DragonBoat Festival is largest in the United States. But even if that is not exactly true it certainly is one of the biggest. 96 teams were signed up to compete in this year’s festival. We’ll be reporting later with more details and pictures on the race – both here and in the pages of SuperiorTrails.comour sister website reporting on travel around Lake Superior.

*Dragonboat rules require that a minimum of 8 of the 20 paddlers be women.

Fall is a great time to tour the Wisconsin villages around Lake Superior. The weather starts to cool off, less competition for lodging, campground sites, a table at restaurants, and the fall color starts to change – about mid-September away from the lake and then into early October around the Superior lakeshore. There are also a number of special events you can catch before the snow flies.


Bayfield’s Big Top Chautauqua ends its tent show season in early September. One of the last performances is a joint performance of the Blue Canvas Orchestra & the Duluth-Superior Symphony on Sept. 4th. A few days later stock car racing fans can catch the Northern Nationals at Superior’s Amsoil Speedway (Sept. 9-11).  Lighthouse fans have an opportunity to attend tours and events during the Apostle Islands Lighthouse Celebration (Sept 7 – 17th). The end of the Lighthouse festival marks the beginning of Bayfield’s Fall Harvest Celebration (Sept 17th- Oct. 31st). The orchards are open for tours and several events are planned, the most popular being the Apple Festival (Oct 7-9). You can see some pictures from earlier Bayfield Apple Festival Celebrations on SuperiorTrails.com. On Sept 17th one of our favorite little Lake Superior villages – Cornucopia, Wisconsin –  is holding its annual 7th annual Cornie Art Crawl.

Potato River Waterfalls, Wisconsin
Potato River Falls Gurney, Wisconsin early October

Also in September is McDougall’s Dream (Sept 24) held in Superior, Wisconsin at the Richard Bong Center. It is a fundraising event for the SS Meteor Museum and features seminars on shipbuilding and whaleback ships, plus an evening dinner and auction. See more info on the event here. Motor racing enthusiasts have another opportunity to catch a big fall race at the 36th annual Red Clay Classic at Ashland’s ABC Speedway (Sept 30). About this time (end of Sept, early October) the Fall Color begins to show around Ashland. Color starts to change earlier away from the lake near Copper Falls and Potato Falls.


As I mentioned above, the big October event is Bayfield’s Apple Festival (Oct, 7-9). See our SuperiorTrails Apple Fest page to learn more about it and for links to activities of the 2011 festival. In Ashland you can catch the Whistlestop Marathon & Blues & Brews Festival (Oct. 14 – 15th). The next weekend is an unique event in the Ashland-Bayfield area – the Bayfield Shores Harvest Trail (Oct 21-23). Sponsored by the Bayfield Regional Food Producers Coop, you can tour the farms and facilities of the coop and shop for food as well. There’s also a special 6 course dinner and entertainment as part of the festival. That same weekend you can also take the ferry to Madeline Island for the Madeline Island Fall Festival (Oct. 22). The last big fall event along Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore is the first week in November. Stage North Theater in Washburn sponsors the Big Water Film Festival (Nov 4-6). The entire Stage North Event Calendar is here.

FYI Fall Event Links on SuperiorTrails:

Superior, Wisconsin Events Links

Bayfield Wisconsin Events Calendar & Links

Ashland Wisconsin Events Calendar & Links

Lake Superior Fall Color Scenic Drives

Maybe we’ll see you around the Big Lake this fall.

Cheers, Roscoe