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Washington Island, Wisconsin

Schoolhouse Beach

This pebble beach is so beautiful that even taking the rocks is against the law. 

This lovely lakeshore beach has no sand but rather smooth limestone rocks that pleasantly massage one’s feet while walking. Conversely, this weird lakeshore beach has smooth limestone rocks that hurt one’s feet so you should wear flip-flops if you want to walk to the water.

No matter how sensitive the feet, Schoolhouse Beach is the perfect spot for people who don’t like getting sand in their bathing suits. Located on Wisconsin’s isolated Washington Island, and one of only five similar sand-less beaches worldwide, the shore is named for a one-room wooden schoolhouse that used to exist nearby but which has since been replaced by a picnic table and barbecue area. The small rocks were glacier-polished over thousands of years and are each small geological treasures. In fact, souvenir hunters carried off so many of the rocks there is now a steep fine for removing one.

Most visitors come simply to swim in the clear water and sunbathe, but people often build cairns and other peculiar sculptures with the stones. That is, when when they aren’t trying to skip them along the surface of the water.

Know Before You Go

From the ferry dock, take Lobdell Point Road to Main Road. Take a left continuing on Main Road and then a right onto Jackson Harbor Road. Follow Jackson Harbor Road to Cemetery Road entrance. Turn left at School House Beach entrance.

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