superior trails | lake superior sunset superiortrails - shovel point

Madeline Island's Winter Ice Road

madeline island of the apostle islands
Christmas Trees line the ice road to Madeline Island from Bayfield, Wisconsin

February 20, 2019 The Ice Road is now Open for traffic to the island.

Madeline Island, the most southern island of the Apostle Islands, is the only one occupied year- round. Once the lake begins to freeze over the car ferry between the island and the Bayfield mainland ceases to operate. For a time while the ice is getting thick enough for traffic, an Ice Sled water taxi (Windsled) allows passenger travel to and from the mainland. The Wind Sled is a large, covered, flat-bottomed airboat that is able to travel on the ice but will float should the ice not be thick enough to support it.





Once the ice thickens enough to support conventional vehicles the Madeline Island Ice Road is officially opened to cars, trucks, and buses. The company operating the Windsled then switches to a large passenger van running on the same service schedule. With both the bus service and private vehicles able to cross the lake, the pace of activity on the island picks up abit. On our visit we found the Bell Tavern open, a grocery-convenience store doing some trade, and a few other places of business apparently operating in the winter. As you might expect, however, many of the homes and B&Bs, and several businesses, on Madeline Island were closed for the winter.

The trip across the Ice Road was an adventure and it was fun to drive around LaPointe seeing how things looked covered in snow. Tom's Burned Down Cafe was closed but the Bell Tavern was open - serving snowmobilers and people like us who traveled across the bay in their cars and trucks.

bayfield web cam
See the latest Bayfield Web Cam shot


La Pointe, Wisconsintown square - Madeline Island

The town Gazebo that normally greets you as you get off the Car Ferry is now covered in snow waiting for spring. > > >

madeline island post office

< < < The Post Office remains open (through ice, sleet, and snow!) throughout the winter.

Madeline Island Boat Frozen in Ice

One boat didn't make it out in time to escape the freeze-up!


tom's burned down cafe

< < < It will be a few months before Tom's Burned Down Cafe opens for business.

Bell Tavern Madeline Island

But the Bell Tavern is open all winter long.
On Feb 28th, 2009 Bells hosted a winter performance
of the Big Top Chautauqua Show. > > >

arrow More photos and info about Tom's Cafe and the Bell Street Tavern.


Bayfield WI Winter ScenesBayfield Dock in Winter


Down at the main Bayfield Dock, several boats are frozen in for the winter. > > >


Bayfield Harbor in Winter

< < < Here's another view of the Bayfield Harbor from the Ice Road to Madeline Island.


Greunke's Restaurant, famous for its traditional fish boils and fresh Lake Superior Whitefish and Lake Trout, rests for the Winter. It opens in April. > > >

Bayfield Skyline in Winter

Bayfield, WI ice caves

< < < The Bayfield Skyline from the middle of the bay.


bulletExploring the Bayfield Lake Superior Ice Caves. > > >


Madeline Island Links

Some helpful links for visiting and touring Madeline Island:

bulletMore things to see and do on Madeline Island.

bullet Wisconsin Lake Superior Circle Tour Directory - Reinhold Development - 2019

Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

See the amazing Wisconsin Bayfield Ice Caves and
Lake Superior Ice Caves.Bayfield Lake Superior Ice Caves

gooseberry falls park
Winter - WisconsinWinter - Minnesota
Winter - Michigan UP
Winter - The Soo

bay furnace campground
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Lake Superior Circle Tour Route.

apostle islands sled dog race
Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race

UP 200 Dog Sled Race Marquette Michigan
Marquette UP 200
Sled Dog Race

Hauser's Orchards
Orchard Touring
Take a scenic drive of
farms and orchards in the Bayfield area are open for fall produce.

Devil's Island Lighthouse Apostle Islands
See the lighthouses on an Apostle Islands Cruise.

Ashland & Bayfield Wisconsin Area Campgrounds
Ashland's Kreher RV Campground

Little Manitou Falls
Wisconsin Waterfalls

red bar
Hotel, Motel Lodging
Ashland, Superior, Ironwood, Wisconsin South Shore

red bar

lake superior road map of the circle tour
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.

How to recognize Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.Lake Superior Agate?

Snow & Weather Reports
Regional Weather from the Weather Channel

Enjoying the great swimming Beach Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island.
Madeline Island Big  Bay Park

Bayfield Apostle Islands Sea Caves
See photos from our recent Apostle Islands
Sea Caves

Visiting the amazing Bayfield Ice Caves and
Lake Superior Ice CavesBayfield Lake Superior Ice Caves

bayfield wisconsin ice caves
Bayfield Wisconsin Lake Superior Ice Caves are Wisconsin's Premier Winter Attraction.

Bayfield Sea Caves
Bayfield & Apostle Islands Sea Caves

Golf Courses Around Lake Superior
See our
Reviews of golf courses around Lake Superior