Frog Bay Tribal National Park Bayfield Wisconsin

Frog Bay Tribal National Park Bayfield Wisconsin

Frog Bay Tribal National Park is the first national tribal park in Wisconsin and all of the United States. The property is owned by the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and has 180 acres, of which, there are two trails open to the public.


General:The park has a Bayfield address but is in Red Cliff, Wisconsin
The land is owned by the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa band of Ojibwe Native
Parking: Anywhere in the u-shaped turning area.
Address:92070 Frog Bay Rd in Bayfield, WI 54814
County:Bayfield County
Google Map Location:Click To Google Map Map Me
Cost:FREE (There is a donation box by trail #2 that I talk about below.)

I was informed that all trails have all been closed to the public. Thank you the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for opening your beautiful land to use for as long as you have. I appreciated seeing the untouched beauty during the first year.

Frog Bay Tribal National Park Bayfield Wisconsin

Parking & Admission

Parking: Anywhere in the u-shaped turning area.
Admission: As of this date it is free.  There is a donation box by trail #2.

Trail #1 – Trail Through Woods

The first trail starts at the bridge and leads you through a lush boreal forest with what I called the tripping tree roots. 

You just have to watch the ground in a few spots …they will get you, more than a few times if you are not careful 🙂

  • Trail is 1.2 miles in distance and a fairly moderate hike.
  • Look for trail markers on tree trunks to guide you.
  • Native plants & birds, moss, bridges & stream on walk.

Lichens, Moss & Mushrooms – Oh, My! 

I have never been to a place with such a wide array of green goodness in such a short distance. Pictured below is a small handful that one can encounter.

Round Lichen (upper left). Pixie Lichen (right) Have no clue (bottom left)

If you are a fungus, moss, and lichen lover, wait for a year with a wet spring, followed by the first week or two of the humid heat of the summer. That is the recipe for fast, luscious growth and plenty of variety in woodland areas.

Only farmers and summer guests walk on the moss. What they don’t know – and it cannot be repeated too often – is that moss is terribly frail. Step on it once and it rises the next time it rains. The second time, it doesn’t rise back up. And the third time you step on moss, it dies.

― Tove Jansson

Sweating Mushrooms?

It is was hot and humid, (which was odd being lakeside) even the mushrooms and bracket fungi were sweating. The sweating of the fungi shows that the conditions are perfect to grow thick and fast. The droplets can look like water, milk, tar, and even blood.

Scientific Explaination

The term for this is called guttation, the process by which plants excrete excess water through drops from their leaves.

Flowering Plants

Top Left: Fringed Polygala (Polygala paucifolia) Top Right: Unknown
Bottom Left: Rock-harlequin (Corydalis sempervirens) Bottom Right: Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

One amazing thing about this park is that it seemed to have many mini micro-climates. Plants of all months from my area that were spent for the current year were found here. As well, all the traditional plants that would be currently blooming for the month.

Wildflowers are the loveliest of all because they grow in uncultivated soil, in those hard, rugged places where no one expects them to flourish

-Micheline Ryckman

Beautiful Waters Of Frog Bay

The ravine gives you little glimpses of Lake Superior’s gleaming waters before you arrive at a smaller section of beach.

The lake water meets the sand has warm, golden tones, and the lapping waves are enough to lull anyone to sleep.

A little further down the path or following the shoreline, you arrive at the larger beach. This is where trail #2 comes out, and also the pathway to take back to your vehicle.

Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth, our Mother. Honor the Elders. Honor all with whom we share the Earth:-Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones, Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people. Walk-in balance and beauty.

– Native American Elder

Video of Shoreline

Large Beach Area

The larger beach has what I believe to be an old boathouse.

The beach also, an old cabin, and a clear view of a few of the Apostle Islands in the distance.

Trail #2

Trail number two takes you back to your car. The last time we were there the trail had a small sign with a donation box by it. If you would kindly place a few bucks in it, it helps to maintain the bridges.

If you want a shorter walk to get to the beach area when you first arrive that skips most of the woodland areas. Trail 2 is for you. The path is about 1/4 of a mile in length. The trail is to the right of the sign when you first come to park.

Thanks for tagging along to Frog Bay Tribal National Park Bayfield Wisconsin!  Now, get outdoors and explore. Start your search here.

Hope you enjoyed exploring!

Related posts: