The Apostle Islands – Winconsin, US

THE APOSTLE ISLANDS IN WISCONSIN

Bayfield is the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin’s northernmost landscape.

In 1963, President Kennedy was so impressed with the beauty of the Apostle Islands, that he decreed that they should be protected for all time. Congress didn’t officially act to designate them the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore until 1970, and they possess incredible natural beauty and rich cultural history.

Made up of a cluster of gem-like, wooded islands, there are 22 Apostle Islands in all, 21 of which are part of the National Lakeshore. Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostles, it’s not part of the National Lakeshore, although still an Apostle island.

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore also includes 12 miles of mainland wilderness.

The 21 islands of the National Lakeshore feature a combination of raw natural beauty with rich cultural history.

 Trimmed with sea caves, sandstone cliffs and miles of pristine sand beaches, each island has it own character and story.

 

The mainland unit of the park feature the popular sea caves, accessible by kayak and boat charter in summer. In wintertime, these sea caves become the celebrated ice caves, which draw visitors from around the world to explore their beautiful splendor.

The ice caves form every winter and can be viewed from the trail above, which is accessible year-round.

However, when conditions are right, the ice beneath the caves becomes solid enough to support foot traffic and visitors are able to enter the caves and view the ice formations up close.

Always be sure to check with the local authorities before heading out on the ice, as the conditions can change very quickly and safety is of the utmost importance.

The trail above the caves begins at the Meyers Beach parking lot, 18 miles north of Bayfield and 5 miles east of Cornucopia, on State Hwy 13.

 

15 FUN THINGS TO DO WHILE VISITING THE APOSTLE AND BAYFIELD

 

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is home to the largest and most complete collection of historic lighthouses in the nation. Once a critical aid to navigation, these structures are now a reminder of a bygone time.

All of the lighthouses are viewable by boat and some are open to the public. The Michigan Island and Raspberry Island lighthouses were recently restored and ranger-guided tours are provided there during the summer months.

Experienced sailors consider the Apostle Islands area to be some of the best recreational boating in the world. Bayfield offers five safe, secure marinas, many sailing charters, and boating services within walking distance of shops, restaurants and lodging.

For a quick trip among the islands, charter a sailboat with a local, USCG licensed captain for a sunset cruise leaving right from the City Dock.

Additionally, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore offer some of the best kayaking anywhere in North America. First-time paddlers are encouraged to join guided a expedition, which makes it simple and safe to kayak Lake Superior.

While planning your kayaking adventure, choose from a number of guided half-day, day or multi-day trips or arrange to rent your own kayak at one of Bayfield’s kayaking outfitters. Experienced leaders will instruct you how to safely use the boats and can lead visitors to the most spectacular sites.

Trips leave from multiple locations between Bayfield and Cornucopia, located at the northern tip of the Bayfield Peninsula, about 21 miles outside of Bayfield.

Hiking and camping on the Apostle Islands, which offer up old growth forests, historic fishing camps and well-maintained trails, are bucket list adventures.

A total wilderness experience can be had mere miles from the comforts of downtown Bayfield.

Camping is allowed on 19 of the islands and boat shuttles are offered to the campgrounds on Oak and Stockton Islands. Campers must secure a permit beforehand, which are available at the Headquarters building of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and online, along with maps and information about the islands.

If a day trip is more your style, hiking shuttles are offered multiple times a week to the popular destination of Stockton Island, which has its own ranger station and the famous singing sands of Julian Bay.

 

HOTELS – THE APOSTLE ISLANDS

 

 

 

CABIN RENTALS – THE APOSTLE ISLANDS

 

Closest Airports to Apostle Islands

The nearest airport to Apostle Islands is Duluth (DLH). There is no direct connection from Nearby airports to Apostle Islands. However, you can take the line 8 bus to Duluth Transportation Center East, take the walk to Duluth, MN, take the bus to Ashland, WI, then take the travel to Apostle Islands. Alternatively, you can take the taxi to Wausau Transit, WI, take the Amtrak Thruway to St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN, take the walk to St Paul, Mn, take the bus to Duluth, MN, take the bus to Ashland, WI, then take the travel to Apostle Islands.

Fishing the Apostle Islands

 

The Apostle Islands and surrounding area offer anglers opportunities to catch Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Coho Salmon.

A Few Reminders For Prospective Fishermen:

Weather conditions on Lake Superior can change rapidly. Keep current weather forecasts in mind and do not ignore obvious weather signs. If your boat is of unsuitable size for anticipated weather conditions, do not go out. Be sure that all required safety items are on board.

A Wisconsin fishing license and Great Lakes trout/salmon stamp are required for fishing in the park. Season dates, closed areas, line and fish limits as well as certain method restrictions are enforced by both the National Park Service and State officers.

You can find up-to-date Wisconsin Fishing Regulations on-line at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources site. A pamphlet containing the regulations may also be obtained at DNR offices and other locations where licenses are sold.

What’s Biting?

Spring Season (Ice-Out to Late May/Early June):

The best dates for this fishing varies from year to year, but during this period the water temperatures near shore attract large numbers of trout and salmon. The spawning of Steelhead (Rainbow) Trout and Rainbow Smelt further enhance the fishing. Popular angling areas at this time include many points along the Bayfield Peninsula from Ashland to Port Wing. The best areas are usually adjacent to good spawning streams such as the Sioux, Onion, Pikes, Cranberry and Flag Rivers.

Around the islands, the north side of Long is particularly productive. Other areas worth trying include the shorelines of Basswood, Hermit and Oak Islands. At this time of year, casting lures from shore may result in good catches since most fish are found in water from 10 to 30 feet deep.

Summer Season (Mid-June through August):

Generally, near-shore water temperatures will be too warm to host trout or salmon. Fishing during this period takes place in deeper water with Lake Trout being the most commonly targeted fish.

Trolling (dragging lures behind a boat) is probably the most popular and successful method of catching trout and salmon in the Apostle Islands. A very popular and productive “sportfishing only” area has been established by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources between Madeline and Long Islands.

The area around Sand and Eagle Islands, or out near Cat Island can also yield successful results. Fishermen should not approach within 500 feet of Eagle Island during this period so as not to disturb colonies of nesting birds on the island.

Fall Season (September through November):

Favorable shore temperatures and spawning runs of both trout and salmon species create good fishing in many of the same areas listed for spring fishing.

 

EXPLORE THE APOSTLE ISLANDS

 

The headquarters of the park is located  in Bayfield. Several water taxis operating out of Bayfield will take you out to the islands to camp, but camping reservations are required. Or, there is a cruise service offering daily excursions to a variety of the Islands or to visit the lighthouses of the Apostles.

THINGS TO DO IN BAYFIELD AND THE APOSTLE ISLANDS

 

TAKE A FLIGHT OVER THE APOSTLE ISLANDS WITH 5 FRIENDS

Begin your voyage to the Island by stopping in the Madeline Island Information Station across from the ferry landing in Bayfield. It is a treasure trove of visitor information, promoting Island attractions and businesses.

The displays in the Information Station highlight Island artistry, museums, lodging, parks, restaurants, and shops. A visit here will prepare you for all there is to see and do while you’re on the Island, and get you set for the ferry trip!

Madeline Island is often called the spiritual home of the Ojibwe people. They lived in the area hundreds of years before the first arrival of European fur traders and missionaries.

The Ojibwe name for the island is Mooningwanekaaning which means home of the golden breasted woodpecker. Visitors to Madeline Island are now able to learn a few words of the Ojibwe language through bilingual Anishinabe and English way-finding signs.

 

GET CARRIED  AWAY!

Madeline Island Ferry Line provides passenger, bicycle and car transportation between the picturesque towns of LaPointe and Bayfield. The 25-minute trip provides spectacular views of the Lake itself and several of the 22 Apostle Islands.

MADELINE ISLAND FERRY RATES

Welcome Aboard!

The Madeline Island Ferry Line operates between Bayfield and La Pointe. We do not take reservations for cars/trucks with camper trailers or motor-homes. Larger vehicles that require a reservation are semis or motor-coaches. We recommend arriving on the dock 20 minutes before your desired departure time. Please see ferry rates below or call Ferry Line office at 715-747-2051 for more information.

We accept cash, check, or credit card (Visa or Mastercard) as payment for passage.

Please Note: All vehicles are charged by overall length including extensions (hitch, brush rack, trailer, bike rack or load extending beyond bumpers). If necessary, your vehicle will be measured at time of ticket purchase. Thank you.

ADDITIONAL FERRY RATES

Reservations are not accepted for automobiles, cars/trucks with trailers or motor-homes.

One-Way Round Trip
Auto (19 ft and less than 22 ft) $20.50 $41.00
Vehicle (19 ft and less than 22 ft) $20.50 $41.00
Pickup w/Dual Wheel Rear Axle (19 ft and less than 22 ft) $20.50 $41.00
Delivery/Moving Type Vehicle/Panel Van (19 ft and less than 22 ft) $20.50 $41.00

Please call office at 715-747-2051 for vehicles 22 ft and over rates.

MOTOR HOME OR CAMPING TRAILER

Self-propelled motor home or converted bus, fifth wheel camper, pick-up truck w/camper and camper trailers. A motor home towing a trailer is treated as two units for length purposes.

One-Way Round Trip
Less than 17 ft in length $24.00 $48.00
17 ft and less than 22 ft $34.00 $68.00
22 ft and less than 25 ft $52.00 $104.00
25 ft and less than 30 ft $65.00 $130.00
30 ft and less than 35 ft $78.00 $156.00

Please call office at 715-747-2051 for motor home or camping trailer 35 ft and over rates.

UTILITY OR CARGO TRAILER

Rates based on length overall including tractor, hitch, extended load or machinery. Additional charge for load may apply. **

One-Way Round Trip
Less than 17 ft in length $13.50 $27.00
17 ft and less than 22 ft $20.50 $41.00
22 ft and less than 25 ft $30.00 $60.00
25 ft and less than 30 ft $45.00 $90.00

Please call office at 715-747-2051 for trailers 30 ft and over.
**Additional charge for load on trailer:

Load on trailer less than 17 ft – First ton free

Load on trailer over 17 ft – $ 11.00  per gross ton (minimum charge, one-way)

Load or trailer over 8 1/2 ft wide – $ 300.00  surcharge each way

BOAT ON TRAILER (VERIFIED WITH MINNESOTA BOAT WEIGHT CHART)

Rates based on length overall including extended load or motor.
Total Charge  =  Trailer Fare + Boat (load on trailer)**

One-Way Round Trip
Less than 17 ft long $12.50 + (first ton free) = $13.50 $27.00
17 ft and less than 22 ft $20.50 + 1 ton ($11.00) = $31.50 $63.00
22 ft and less than 25 ft $30.00 + 1 ton ($11.00) = $41.00 $82.00
25 ft and less than 30 ft $45.00 + 2 ton ($22.00) = $67.00 $134.00
30 ft and less than 35 ft $55.00 + 2 ton ($22.00) = $77.00 $154.00
35 ft and less than 40 ft $69.00 + 3 ton ($33.00) = $102.00 $204.00

Please call office for boat on trailer 40 ft and over.
**Additional charge for load on trailer:

Load on trailer less than 17 ft – First ton free

Load on trailer over 17 ft – $11.00 per gross ton (minimum charge, one-way)

Load or trailer over 8 1/2  ft wide – $300.00 surcharge each way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CABIN RENTALS – THE APOSTLE ISLANDS

 

Closest Airports to Apostle Islands

The nearest airport to Apostle Islands is Duluth (DLH). There is no direct connection from Nearby airports to Apostle Islands. However, you can take the line 8 bus to Duluth Transportation Center East, take the walk to Duluth, MN, take the bus to Ashland, WI, then take the travel to Apostle Islands. Alternatively, you can take the taxi to Wausau Transit, WI, take the Amtrak Thruway to St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN, take the walk to St Paul, Mn, take the bus to Duluth, MN, take the bus to Ashland, WI, then take the travel to Apostle Islands.

THIS IS TRULY AN AMAZING PLACE – CAN YOU SAY BUCKET LIST!

HAVE FUN , CHRIS

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