Madeline Island & the Apostle Island National Lakeshore

Madeline Island

Our ferry ride

Wednesday we began our adventures here near Bayfield, Wisconsin. My friend Trudy and her family have come here every summer for quite a few years and one of the things she suggested we do was to take our bikes out to Madeline Island (the largest of the Apostle Islands) on the ferry and bike the island. So that was the first thing on our agenda. Since we knew we be putting in a few miles we decided to fortify ourselves with breakfast at the Egg Toss cafe (also a Trudy suggestion). It reminds me of an old fashion dinner but it only serves breakfast. It was excellent. Then we headed down the street to the ferry terminal, round trip for each of us and our bikes was $18, that sounded reasonable. The ferry ride is relatively short and the bikes were parked on the deck next to the cars, trucks, motorcycles. They will even ferry you and your RV over so you can camp on the island. That is actually something we would consider doing.

A doe and her young one next to the road
A little red squirrel on the boardwalk

Once on the island we decided to take the road out to the Big Sand Bay State Park, about 7 miles from La Point and the ferry terminal. It was a picture perfect day and the island is relatively flat so a pretty easy ride. You are riding a bike lane on the 2 lane road out to the park but there is relatively little traffic to worry about. The park itself is beautiful. We road through the campground, like most state parks it is has electric only sites as well as tent sites. It is heavily wooded and I wouldn’t call it big rig friendly but if we took it slow we feel certain we could fit our rig out here on quite a few sites. Next we road to the point for a scenic view and then on to the beach. Along the beach is a boardwalk trail that takes you through a bog and by a lagoon. They have worked to get this area back to its natural state so the only walking is on the board walk. All along the walk there were little access trails to the beach so if you wanted a little beach all to yourself you could find it easily. We enjoyed the hike and the bike ride but after about 3 miles of hiking and 18 miles on the bikes we were ready to head back. I have to say it was almost a perfect day.

Sea Caves on Devil's Island
Thursday we took the Grand Tour boat ride of the Apostle Islands. It is amazing how large Lake Superior is and many of the islands are good sized. There are quite a few light houses but we only went by two of them, the furthest one out is on Devil’s Island. This one is interesting because its shoreline is a series of sea caves. They say it was the noise of the water in these caves that gave the island its name. The other light house is on Raspberry Island and it has been restored and there is another guided trip that will take you to it and give you a tour. Next visit here I think that is the tour we would choose. That lighthouse has the light keeper and assistant light keepers quarters on either side of the light house like a duplex. The building in front is where the foghorn was housed. This trip takes 3 hours and seemed a little long, most of the time you are just looking at the various islands and after awhile they kind of all look alike. It was another beautiful day on the lake.
Light house on Raspberry Island
Back at the campground we have been spending some time with Lu and Terry, they are new full timers and a lot of fun to be around. We have sat around the campfire a couple nights and today we all went for a long hike but I’ll save that adventure for another post. It is the people we meet and the friends we make along this journey that makes it so worthwhile. 
I know it has been a trying week for many people out east. Fellow bloggers Laurie and George have a house that is seriously flooded and my heart goes out to them and others in the flooded areas. We have seen what flood waters can do and it can be devastating. I hope for them and the others that this next week will be better.
Happy trails..........


  1. I love lighthouses. I would opt for that tour also.

  2. Looks lovely! Thanks for the good words..we're hanging in there. It's going to be a long process, just getting the 'good' things out. We believe that FEMA may condemn the whole area. We may be buying our fifth wheel sooner than anyone thinks!

  3. We LOVE LOVE LOVE Madeline Island! I have put my older motorhome on the ferry to camp out there too. It sure was fun! We have also rented scooters to go around the island (not so eager to pedal that far LOL)

    The little museum out there is very interesting, and we love the open air bar near the ferry port.

    Bayfield is fun to explore too, and you are up in our neck of the woods. We are about 150 miles south and east of you, if you are headed this way, give a shout~

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  4. What a great time it looks like your having... Lake Superior is so great to explore. We love lighthouses too and visit them whenever we get a chance to. I pretty much like everything... LOL
    Have fun & Travel safe

  5. Beautiful photos - what a great looking tour. I'd love to see Lake Superior.

  6. It sure looks nice up there. Guess maybe I'll put that on my agenda for next summer.

  7. So glad you enjoyed Madeline Island. We took our truck on the ferry and drove around the island when we were there. We also hiked the boardwalk trail at the State Park, but the black flies were pretty bad so we didn't last very long. I did buy some excellent smoked fish at one of the little shops. I agree the boat tour was a bit long, but it's one of those things you just have to do.


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