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Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
Ashland Wisconsin

One of the premier visitor attractions in Northern Wisconsin, the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is located 2.5 miles west of Ashland just off US Highway 2. Open 7 days a week, year round, it has activities and attractions for all ages. Jo and I regulary use their boardwalk nature trail to get some exercise as well as see the seasonal changes in the flora and fauna along the trail. We also like to visit the 5 story high observation tower and deck during spring and fall bird migrations and during fall color time.

northern great lakes visitor center ashland, wi
Observation Tower Great Lakes Visitor Center - Ashland Wisconsin

NGLVC Programs & Events

Holiday Bazaar - December

Northwoods Sleigh & Cutter Rally - January

Chequamegon Bay Birding & Nature Festival

See link lower down the page for more activities and events at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

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Other attractions include a bookstore-gift shop and a geographic & natural history museum with interactive exhbits, including sections on the northern great lakes. The Wisconsin Historical Society operates a history and research center on the second floor. In addition to its archives they also sponsor periodic programs. They also have an excellent trip planning area with large maps and extensive information on interesting things to see and do in Northern Wisconsin and around Lake Superior. In our estimation if you are visiting the area or vacationing in the upper midwest, a stop at the center is a must.

The center's meeting rooms, lounge areas and multi-media theatre make it an excellent site for conferences and events. One popular event is the annual Chequamegon Bay Birding Festival held each year on a weekend near the end of May.

The Martin Hanson Theater offers a number of regular nature and outdoor movie features available upon request.

Exhibits in the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

The Exhibit Hall and Art Gallery focus on the history and heritage of Lake Superior

northern great lakes visitor center

Exhibits are also sprinkled throughout the center.

natural history museum

The natural history museum has several interactive and education exhibits.


Help with Planning your trip around Lake Superior

travel planning center

The trip planning area has large maps and lots of brochures and information. The Visitor Center staff is happy to help you.

Great Lakes Visitor Center BoardWalk Nature Trail

boardwalk hiking trail

The Boardwalk Trail is a ¾-mile interpretive trail through black ash, cedar, and tamarack swamps and along a sedge meadow.

spring flowers along the boardwalkSkunk cabbage and spring flowers along the boardwalk nature trail.


Children's Nature Discovery Area

children's nature trail exhibits Just off the Boardwalk Nature Trail, there is a special network of trails and interactive exhibits for kids.

kids nature area

One area has a supply of rubber boots to go wadding in the marsh to look for wetland plants, frogs and other creatures. Another is equiped with nets to catch some butterflys and mayflys. spring flowers along the boardwalk

Skunk cabbage and spring flowers along the boardwalk nature trail.

The Great Lakes Center Observation Deck

Great 360 degree views from the Observation Deck

observation deck ashland visitor centerspacerobservation deck visitor center





Learn more about Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
activities, events, and facilities here:

Program & Events Schedule- Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center - Reinhold Development - 2023 Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

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See photos from our recent Apostle Islands
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Shovel Point

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