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.
This week, Neil is on one of the least-developed and least-visited islands: North Twin. The island is among the northernmost in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is located roughly midway between Outer Island to the east and Devils Island to the west. North Twin has no docks, trails, or campsites. It’s located at 47.0678° N, 90.5868° W.
The nearly pristine forest features ancient trees, tangles of windblown timber, and tall patches of Canada yew. The rocky shoreline poses a formidable barrier to large waves and visiting boaters.
These sandstone cliffs also provide a sheltered habitat for a few arctic remnant plant species that grow no place else in the state. The long winters and cool summers provide the necessary conditions for plants like arctic primrose and the rare elegant groundsel to survive.
Island habitat for these plants has steadily declined in recent decades as warming conditions have infiltrated even these last strongholds.
North Twin is one of the wildest islands in the national lakeshore 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. Miss an adventure? you can explore the entire series here.
Plan your visit to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore before you go. Here’s a great starting point on the National Park Service website.