Previously we had taken Apostle Island's Cruise Service boat tour of the Apostle Islands Sea Caves and Devils Island. In that cruise when we went by Raspberry Island we could see the repair of the lighthouse was still in process. Having heard it was now restored to its grandeur by the National Park Service, we decided to take the special Park Service tour. The park staff, in conjunction with the Apostle Islands Cruise Service offers regular guided tours of the lighthouse. The cruise service shuttle boat operates four days a week from the last weekend in June to the first week in September. The trip to the island takes about an hour. You are on the island for two hours, most of that time is spent on the guided tour of the lighthouse and other structures at the facility.
We caught a Sunday afternoon lighthouse tour the first week in July. The boat ride was fun and the lighthouse tour interesting. The total cost of the round trip boat ride and the tour is about $45 per person. Part of the fee goes to the National Park Service to support maintaining and improving facilities on the islands. In case you are wondering, the cruise ship has bathroom facilities and offers soda pop and snacks for a reasonable price. These two bits of factoids are important because there is no bathroom open to the pubic on the island nor is there any water or food available on the island. Taking a small backpack for drinks and snacks on the island would be a good idea.
< < < The "Bayfield Express" has an upper and lower deck. On the way out we enjoyed the sea breezes of the upper deck. There are two bathrooms on board and a modest offering of beverages and snacks.
On the way to Raspberry Island, we passed by Basswood Island, Hermit Island, and then Oak Island. > > >
< < < Every direction you could see sailboats enjoying cruising among the islands.
Before we arrived, we made a stop at Oak Island to drop off a couple who would be camping on the island for five days.
Eighteen of the twenty one islands are set up for camping with basic campsites that are reserved in advance. Some of the islands also allow wilderness backcountry camping in certain zones. Learn more here - Apostle Islands Camping
< < < There's about ninety steps down to the dock. Before the tramway was installed the Light Keeper and/or his assistants had to carry tons of supplies (bags of coal for the boilers, food, equipment, etc. ) up these stairs from ships at the dock.
< < < The guided tour includes all the rooms in the Lightkeeper's residence along with a narration of the daily lives of the keeper and his family as it was a hundred years ago. The furnishings are either originals or antiques that resembled the original furnishings.
< < < A great view from the top of the light tower.
See more links and a directory to SuperiorTrails Apostle Islands pages