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Apostle Islands & Madeline Island

apostle islands

The ferry trip from Bayfield to Madeline Island provides a nice view of some of the Apostle Islands and the surrounding sea, a favorite sailing area.

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a scenic archipelago of 22 islands surrounding the northern tip of Wisconsin's Bayfield Peninsula. The islands were long home to native peoples; the Objiwe trace their history back to the 1400s. The islands also occupy an important place in the early European settlement and exploration of the upper midwest by French voyageurs, fur traders, and missionaries.

Madeline Island, the most southern island of the Apostles, is the only year-round inhabited island. Yet several of the other islands have docks, rustic campgrounds, hiking trails and seasonal visitor attractions, including lighthouses.

madeline island of the apostle islands
View of Madeline Island from Bayfield, Wisconsin

Visiting the Apostle Islands National Park

Take a Cruise Around the Apostles Islands

One of the easiest ways to see the Apostles is through one of the many cruises offered by the Apostle Islands Cruise Service. We've taken the Grand Tour Apostle Islands Cruise and the Raspberry Island Lighthouse Cruise.

bayfield apostle islands visitor centerApostle Islands Visitor Center - Bayfield

The old county courthouse in Bayfield houses the main Apostle Island National Lakeshore Visitor Center. Here one can view audiovisual programs, exhibits, and obtain information on touring and recreational opportunities.

There's also a smaller visitor center at Little Sand Bay (see pictures and information below)

arrowLinks to more information on visiting the Apostle Islands

Little Sand Bay Apostle Islands Visitor CenterLittle Sand Bay - Apostle Island National Lakeshore

Northeast of Bayfield via Hwy 13 and Cty K is an Apostle Island Visitor Facility with a Ranger Station/Visitor Center, a public boat launch, an "Industrial Strength" dock and breakwater, a swimming beach and picnic area, a campground, and a fishery exhibit.

sand bay apostle islands visitor center

sand bay apostle islands visitor centerThe Ranger Station/Visitor Center looks out over Little Sand Bay.

Inside is a bookstore, a small museum and an mini-theatre showing tapes on the Islands. > > >

The Little Sand Bay Recreation Area's grounds, parking areas, washrooms, and waterfront facilities are well maintained - kudos to the Park Service.Apostle Islands - Little Sand Bay


There's a nice sand beach and a waterfront picnic area. Good for swimming and a favorite with kayakers. > > >

sand bay marina

The "industrial strength" dock and seawall protects boats and ships from the occasional rages of Gitchee Gummi.

fishery museum sand bayMuseum Tour

Just west of the visitor center is the Hokenson Brothers Fishery Museum. The Park Service has preserved the buildings, tools, and craft used by the brothers in their fishery operation. Tours are conducted by the Park Service staff.

fishery museum sand bay

 

Their fishing tug, the "Twilite" remains in dry dock for viewing.

Winter Activities

John Thiel Sled Dog Racer
Apostle Islands Dog Sled Race has competitors of all ages and is a fun wintertime family event both for participants and their families and spectators.

town square - Madeline Island

Once the Ice Road freezes up it makes it easy to
visit Madeline Island in the winter

Bayfield sea and ice caves

 

Hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing out to see the Bayfield Apostle Islands Park Ice Caves is the most popular winter event in the area.

Madeline Island FerryVisiting Madeline Island

As soon as the ice is out, the Madeline Island Ferry begins running 4 times a day from Bayfield to the village of La Pointe. After May 7th, its schedule increases to 11 daily trips, in June and July even more frequent.

arrowVisiting Madeline Island - see our photos and visitor articles on things to see and do on Madeline Island

Visiting Bayfield Wisconsin

red arrowPopular Bayfield Events & Visitor Attractions.

red arrowCampground Listings - Bayfield Area.

red arrowBayfield Apple Festival.

red arrowBayfield Pictures & Scenes.

red arrowBayfield & Ashland Fall Color Scenic Drives.

Bayfield, WI Chamber and Visitors Bureau



The Bayfield Chamber & Visitors Bureau office is conveniently located downtown on Manypenny Avenue. They are the prime sponsor of AppleFest and are an essential stop for the Bayfield visitor to get useful advice, maps, brochures, and information on enjoying the Bayfield area.

 


 

SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2013



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Swimming  Beach at Big Bay State Park Big Bay State Park
on historic
Madeline Island

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