Where in the park is Neil? The week 1 answer is Cat Island

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand.

At the first stop on our digital tour, Neil is on the sandspit on the south end of Cat Island. Cat Island has gone by a number of names including Kagagiwanjikag Miniss (Ojibwe for “Island of Hemlock Trees”), Texas Island, Hemlock Island and Shoe Island. It is located at 47°00′48″N 090°33′33″W.

The Cat Island campsite is a popular destination for sea kayakers. Click here to learn about the site. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required.)

The wilderness character of the Apostle Islands was formally recognized in December 2004 with the establishment of the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness. This federally designated wilderness includes 80% of the park’s land area. It was named to honor the former Wisconsin Governor and Senator who is considered the “founding father” of both Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Earth Day.

April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Gaylord Nelson is seen in the slideshow speaking with a group of students on Stockton Island during one of his final visits to the park in 2003.

Cat Island is a wonderful place and there’s lots more to explore! Look for another digital adventure next week. To play along, simply like the Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Facebook page and check back next Wednesday for the clue to next week’s location. Make a guess in the comments and we’ll post the answer on Thursday. Click here to learn about Neil.

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