to the northwoods, pt. 5
The Apostle Islands are made up of 22 islands in Lake Superior off the coast of northern Wisconsin. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore came into existance in 1970 and includes 21 of these islands and 12 miles of mainland coast. The only island not part of the national lakeshore is the largest, Madeline Island. It was not included because it was too cumbersome a process with all the residences and businesses in existence on the island. The other islands are remote with a handful of vacation homes and lighthouses.
We decided that our time in this area would be a day trip (it was about an hour from our cabin), so we woke early, had breakfast in a cute diner and made it to the town of Bayfield by 9am. What was pleasant upon arriving was the simple, small-town feel and the accessibility to all the places we wanted to go. The town is directly on Lake Superior and is made up mostly of local businesses (no chains here!), cozy cottages and marinas. We stopped first at the Apostle Islands National Headquarters and then hopped on the ferry to explore Madeline Island. This area is fairly remote and not "popular" like the national parks so although there were a good amount of tourists it wasn't a situation where there were hoards of people or long lines for anything we wanted to do. Truly refrehsing!
Once we were on Madeline Island we drove to Big Bay State Park for a short walk on the boardwalk, but mostly played on the beach. Once back on the mainland in Bayfield we had dinner in a small pub (white fish from Lake Superior!) and enjoyed the little shops. Our evening was spent on a cruise touring the Apostle Islands, which will make up the next post.