Photo by Stonehouse Photography
Even though Brule is a town of 600, there's no shortage of things to do. Whether you're drinking coffee on the porch, kayaking the Brule, or shopping in Canal Park, you will never be bored.
The Bois Brule ("Burning Wood") River is the best-known river in the Lake Superior watershed. The upper river (to the south) is fed by numerous springs and flows through coniferous bogs. The tannins from the tamarack trees is what gives the river its root beer-like color.
Known as the "River of Presidents," five US presidents summered on the resort Cedar Island. Calvin Coolidge in particular appreciated the fishing, dubbing Cedar Island the "Summer White House." This river is famed especially for its trout fishing, revered for its prolific mayfly and stone fly hatches. Follow this link to read more about how President Coolidge managed the nation from Cedar Island.
The lower river (near Brule, WI) falls 328 feet over 18 miles through the rocky Copper Range region. Here, flashing cascades tumble over rocks and ledges and between steep river bluffs forested with aspen and balsam fir. This makes the Brule especially good for canoeing and kayaking, with a number of available runs that vary from short and flat to longer and more adventurous.
Canoeing and Kayaking at Brule River Canoe Rental
River Guide by Larry Barnhart
Fly Fishing at Musky Country Outfitters
Steelhead Fishing at Fly By Night Guide Service
Trout Fishing at Arrowhead Fly Angler Guide Service
There are a number of trails and overlooks that surround the rocky Copper Range region. We recommend:
Stoney Hill Nature Trail - 1.7 mi loop at Bois Brule Campground (1 mile south of Hwy 2 on Ranger Rd)
Historic Bayfield Road Loop - 2.25 mi loop at Copper Range Campground (west end of Park Road)
More hiking in the Brule River State Forest
Skiing and More
The largest ski hill in the area is Spirit Mountain just north of Duluth. in the winter, they feature skiing, snowboarding, fat biking, alpine coaster, snow tubing and Nordic trails. In the summer, they still have plenty of activities including zip line, scenic ski lift rides, mini golf, alpine coaster, and downhill mountain biking.
Many outdoor sights can be viewed without a long hike. Some of them include:
Mouth of the Brule - Short walk down to a stone/sand beach from a parking lot with picnic area (4 miles along Brule River Road)
May's Ledges - scenic view down the stairs at parking lot on the west end of Koski Rd
Apostle Island Ice Caves - lapping waves create caves and other interesting formations along the northern shore of the peninsula near Cornucopia
Amnicon Falls State Park - A breathtaking waterfall and covered bridge
Pattison State Park - Big and Little Manitou falls are both easily viewed from near the parking lots
Superior Entry Lighthouse - the lighthouse guarding the harbor between Superior & Duluth can be seen from shore
Enger Park - a large tower gives a great view of Duluth/Superior
The Lakewalk is a 3 mile-long trail that follows the lakeshore of Duluth. It passes by parks and beaches and offeres great vistas of the town and the lake, as well as access to shopping and restaurants. It starts from the Bayfront Park Pavillion and stretches to London Road.
Scenic Drives & Tours
Apostle Island Cruises offers 2 different kind of boat tours. The first is a narrated, 55-mile cruise around the Apostle Islands that passes lighthouses, rock formations, sea caves, and more. The second is a glass-bottom boat tour that tells the story of 4 shipwrecks and 2 lighthouses around the islands.
If you want to travel at your own speed, there are numerous kayaking tours of the islands.
There are two scenic drives starting in Duluth. The first is Skyline Parkway, which runs above Duluth. It offers scenic views of Duluth/Superior and has an outlook to stop and take pictures. The second is North Shore Drive, which follows the Lake Superior shoreline along the north side. There are dozens of attractions along this 142-mile stretch of road.
If boats or cars aren't what you want, then see the sights by train! The North Shore Scenic Railroad offers a few different trips for everyone, including a fall color trip.
Food and Drink
Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
Northern Wisconsin may not be the first place you think of when you think of wineries, but Bayfield actually has a number of them. Bayfield actually grows a variety of fruit, including wine grapes. There is also White Winter Winery in Iron River that also specializes in mead.
Duluth and Superior tend more towards beer, and have a number of breweries. You can explore them all along the Duluth Beer Trail.
There is also a distillery in Duluth. Vikre Distillery focuses mainly on gin, and whiskey. They use the water, plants, and land around them to find new twists on old favorites.
Food & Drink
There are a few restaurants in Brule and the surrounding areas.
Twin Gables Cafe & Lounge: Family dining in Brule serving all the breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics (including pie)
Kro Bar & Grill: Enjoy a drink and some food in the bar or on the patio in Brule
Round Up North: Old-world Italian has a home in Brule (although their fish fry is pretty great, too)
Pizza Parlor: Bar-style pizza along with all the classics in Iron River
Subway: Located in Iron River in the Little Store gas station
A&W: Drive-in in Iron River
There are also plenty more places to eat located in Iron River, Lake Nebagamon, Superior, and Duluth.
The Cenex gas station in Brule has essentials (including a new, larger beer cave), but the nearest grocery store is Iron River Foods in Iron River.