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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

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Historical records indicate there are about 700 shipwrecks in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. © John Kronschbabl

February 2005

Maritime Trails

Shore to ship discoveries for
divers and nondivers alike

Natasha Kassulke

Historical records indicate there are about 700 shipwrecks in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

© John Kronschbabl
Lake Superior Trail
Door County/Green Bay Trail
Middle Lake Michigan Trail
Lower Lake Michigan Trail
Links to underwater treasures

From hundreds of shipwrecks to lighthouses, museums, waterfront parks and more, Wisconsin houses an impressive trail of maritime attractions.


To encourage preservation and wider appreciation for the state's maritime history, the Wisconsin Historical Society has established the Wisconsin Maritime Trails program.

The Trails program is broken into four trails: Lake Superior Trail, Door County/Green Bay Trail, Middle Lake Michigan Trail and the Lower Lake Michigan Trail. These trails do not progress from point to point but encompass four stretches of Wisconsin's Great Lakes coastline.

The trails have something for everyone from divers to snorkelers, boaters and tourists who never have to leave the shore or get wet to learn more about Wisconsin's maritime heritage. These sites are cultural resources that have scientific, historical, educational and recreational values. They also are fragile and non-renewable. Underwater archaeology gives those whose lives were lost sailing the Great Lakes a voice.

For details, visit Wisconsin's Maritime Trails.

Here's a list of sites included in Wisconsin's Maritime Trails:

Lake Superior Trail

(Bayfield, Ashland, Douglas, Iron and Sawyer counties)

Historic Vessel
S.S. Meteor, Superior, (715) 394-5712

Historic Waterfront
Soo Line Ore Dock, Ashland, no phone
Washburn Waterfront Walking Trail, Washburn, (800) 253-4495

Ashland Breakwater Light, Ashland, no phone
Devils Island Lighthouse, Apostle Islands/Devils Island, (715) 779-3397
Michigan Island Lighthouses, Apostle Islands/Michigan Island, (715) 779-3398
Outer Island Lighthouse, Apostle Islands/Outer Island, (715) 779-3397
Raspberry Island Lighthouse, Apostle Islands, Raspberry Island, (715) 779-3397
Sand Island Lighthouse, Apostle Islands/Sand Island, (715) 779-3397
Wisconsin Point Light (Superior Entry), Superior, no phone

Monuments & Historic Markers
Bayfield Commercial Fishermen's Memorial, Bayfield, (715) 779-5958
Washburn Historic Waterfront, Washburn, (800) 253-4495

Ashland Historical Society Museum, Ashland, (715) 682-4911
Bayfield Heritage Center, Bayfield, (715) 779-5958
Bayfield Maritime Museum, Bayfield, (715) 779-9919 seasonal;(715) 779-3925 off-season
Madeline Island Historical Museum, La Pointe, (715) 747-2415
National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, Hayward, (715) 634-4440
Port Wing Heritage Hall, Port Wing, (715) 774-3624 or (715) 774-3536
Washburn Historical Museum, Washburn, (715) 373-5591

Apostle Islands Cruise Service, Bayfield, (800) 323-7619
Big Top Chautauqua, Washburn, (888) 244-8368
Osaugie Waterfront Trail, Superior, (715) 392-2773

Waterfront Parks
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bayfield, (715) 779-3397
Ashland Memorial Park, Ashland, (800) 284-9484
Big Bay State Park, Bayfield, (715) 747-6425

WHS Shipwreck Buoy Marker
Lucerne, Apostle Islands, no phone, Ashland
Noquebay, Apostle Islands/Stockton Island, no phone
Pretoria, Apostle Islands/Outer Island Shoals, no phone
Sevona, Apostle Islands/Sand Island Shoals, no phone

Door County/Green Bay Trail

(Marinette, Oconto, Brown, Door and Kewaunee counties)

Algoma North Pierhead Light, Algoma, (800) 498-4888
Bailey's Harbor Lighthouse, Bailey's Harbor, (800) 527-3529
Bailey's Harbor Range Lights, Bailey's Harbor, (920) 839-2802
Cana Island Lighthouse, Bailey's Harbor, (920) 743-5958
Chambers Island Lighthouse, Chambers Island, (920) 868-3100
Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, Ephraim, (920) 839-2377
Grassy Island Range Lights, Green Bay, no phone
Kewaunee Pierhead Light, Kewaunee, no phone
Peshtigo Reef Lighthouse, Peshtigo, no phone
Pilot Island Lighthouse, Death's Door Passage, (920) 854-2606
Plum Island Range Lights, Death's Door Passage, (920) 854-2606
Potawatomi Lighthouse, Rock Island, (920) 847-2235
Sherwood Point Lighthouse, West of Sturgeon Bay, no phone
Sturgeon Bay Canal and Northpier Lighthouses, Sturgeon Bay, (920) 743-3366

Monuments & Historic Markers
Bullhead Point Historic Marker, Sturgeon Bay, (608) 221-5909
Fleetwing Historic Marker, Liberty Grove, no phone
Frank O'Connor Historic Marker, Bailey's Harbor, no phone
Louisiana Historic Marker, Washington Island, no phone
Pilot Island Historic Marker, Gills Rock, no phone

Anderson Dock and Museum, Ephraim, (920) 854-9688
Beyer Home Museum, Oconto, (920) 834-6206
Door County Maritime Museum, Sturgeon Bay, (920) 743-5958
Gills Rock Maritime Museum, Gills Rock, (920) 854-1844 or (920) 743-5958 off season
Heritage Hill State Historical Park, Green Bay, (920) 448-5150 or (800) 721-5150
Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum, Washington Island, (920) 847-2179 or (920) 847-2522
Jacobsen Museum, Washington Island, (920) 847-2179
Kewaunee County Historical Museum, Kewaunee, (920) 388-7176; (920) 388-3858 off-season
Marinette County Historical Society Museum, Marinette, (715) 732-0831
Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, (920) 448-4460

Mueller Stern, Sturgeon Bay, no phone
Washington Island Ferry, Washington Island, (800) 223-2094

Waterfront Parks
Newport State Park, Ellison Bay, (920) 854-2500
Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek, (920) 868-3258
Potawatomi State Park, Sturgeon Bay, (920) 746-2890
Rock Island State Park, Washington Island, (920) 847-2235
Whitefish Dunes State Park, Sturgeon Bay, (920) 823-2400

WHS Shipwreck Buoy Marker
Bullhead Point Site, Sturgeon Bay, no phone
Carrington, Hat Island Reef, no phone
Cherubusco, North Bay, no phone
Christina Nilsson, Bailey's Harbor, no phone
Meridian, Sister Island, no phone
Pilot Island Site, Pilot Island, no phone

Middle Lake Michigan Trail

(Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties)

Historic Vessel
Carferry Badger, Manitowoc, (888) 337-7948
Tug Ludington, Kewaunee, (920) 388-5000

Manitowoc Breakwater Lighthouse, Manitowoc, no phone
Port Washington Light Station, Port Washington, (262) 284-7240
Port Washington Pierhead Lighthouse, Port Washington, no phone
Rawley Point Lighthouse, Two Rivers, no phone
Sheboygan Breakwater Lighthouse, Sheboygan, no phone
Two Rivers North Pierhead Light, Two Rivers, (920) 793-5905

Monuments & Historic Markers
Challenge Keel, Sheboygan, (920) 451-4080, Sheboygan, Interpretive sign
Niagara Historic Marker, Port Washington, no phone
Toledo Anchor Memorial, Port Washington, (262) 376-3190

Port Washington Fishermen's Memorial, Port Washington, (262) 376-3190
Port Washington Maritime Heritage Center, Port Washington, (414) 257-4168
Rogers Street Fishing Village, Two Rivers, (920) 793-5905
Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Manitowoc, (920) 684-0218 or (866) 724-2356

Lottie Cooper, Sheboygan, no phone, Sheboygan, Archaeological Site/Wreckage Display
Smith Brothers Fish Net House, Port Washington, (800) 719-4881, Historic Building

Waterfront Parks
Harrington Beach State Park, Belgium, (262) 285-3015
Kohler-Andrae State Park, Sheboygan, (920) 451-4080
Point Beach State Forest, Two Rivers, no phone

Waterfront Trails
Manitowoc-Two Rivers Mariners Trail, Manitowoc-Two Rivers, no phone

WHS Shipwreck Buoy Marker
Daniel Lyons, Algoma, no phone
Francis Hinton, Manitowoc, no phone
Niagara, Belgium, no phone, Ozaukee
Selah Chamberlain, Sheboygan, no phone, Sheboygan

Lower Lake Michigan Trail

(Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties)

Milwaukee Public Library Marine Collection, Milwaukee, (414) 286-3000

Historic Vessel
Denis Sullivan (Wisconsin's Floating Classroom and Ambassador Flagship), Milwaukee, (414) 276-7700
Tug Islay, Milwaukee, (414) 382-1709

Kenosha (Southport) Lighthouse, Kenosha, (262) 654-5770
Kenosha North Pierhead Light, Kenosha, (262) 654-5770
Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse, Milwaukee, no phone
Milwaukee Pierhead Light, Milwaukee, no phone
North Point (Milwaukee) Lighthouse, Milwaukee, no phone
Racine North Breakwater Light, Racine, no phone
Racine Reef Light, Racine, no phone
Wind Point Lighthouse, Wind Point, (262) 639-3777

Kenosha Public Museum, Kenosha, (262) 653-4140
Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, (414) 278-2702
Racine Heritage Museum, Racine, (262) 636-3926

Waterfront Parks
Navy Memorial Park, Kenosha, no phone

WHS Shipwreck Buoy Marker
Appomattox, Shorewood, no phone
Dredge 906, Milwaukee, no phone
Kate Kelly, Racine, no phone
Lumberman, Oak Creek, no phone

Natasha Kassulke is the associate editor of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.