Where in the park is Neil? The week 11 answer is Long Island

Ready for release

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 eleventh stop on our digital tour, Neil is on Long Island, which is an extension of the sand spit off Chequamegon Point. Long Island is at 46.7269° N, 90.7849° W.

Piping plovers love to nest on the open beaches found on Long Island.  For more than 30 years, Long Island is one of the only places in Wisconsin where these tiny shorebirds have nested successfully.  In 2019, nesting plovers were also found on Outer and Stockton islands.

Every year, scientists capture the newly hatched chicks before they can fly to weigh and measure them and place colored bands on their legs for identification. 

At least two breeding pairs of plovers returned to Long Island again in 2020. If you visit Long Island, do not approach piping plovers or their nests and if you have a dog, be sure to keep it on a leash.

  • Where in the park is Neil?
  • Long Island Beach
  • Chequamegon Point Light
  • New boardwalk
  • Long Island Light Station
  • Hiking to the nesting site
  • Piping plover nesting site
  • Luring the baby birds into capture bags
  • Piping plovers
  • Ready for banding
  • Ready for release
  • Banded and running free

Long Island also features two light towers, La Pointe Light and Chequamegon Point Light.  A new mile-long boardwalk trail now connects the two lights.  Visit the NPS website to learn more about the lights.

The island has one campsite and a dock.  Shallow conditions and high lake levels may prevent access to the dock or from the dock to the shore.

The campsite on Long Island is located a half-mile southeast of LaPointe Lighthouse. The site includes a picnic table, fire ring, food locker, stump privy, tent area marked by post Click here to learn about the sites and availability.

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 view the entire series.

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