We love it when visitors to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore share their adventures, their photographs and their videos with us, so we can share them with you — especially now when the pandemic is limiting travel and activities for so many park lovers.
This week, local sailors Erica and Mark departed Bayfield to explore Stockton Island and beyond. They ventured ashore to survey the damage from some recent storms and to enjoy some of the islands best natural features at Julian Bay, a favorite mooring spot for boaters. It was a windy, wavy day.. perfect to enjoy the sights and sounds of the island.
As is the case on the mainland, they found some downed trees. On the plus side, they discovered some pitcher plants which love wet bogs like those surrounding the lagoon at the far end of the Julian Bay beach. Sometimes the lagoon is open to the lake. Sometimes the wave action closes the opening with beach sand.
Stockton Island covers more than 10,000 acres. It’s 7.5 miles long and offers 23 miles of shoreline, as well as miles of wonderful hiking trails, campsites and other facilities. The bridge of sand connecting Presque Isle Point to the rest of the island is a tombolo. As you hike the .4 mile long Julian Bay trail from Presque Isle bay through the woods to the beach, you will find bogs, dunes, lagoons, savannahs, and pine forests.
Dig your bare feet into the “singing sands” of Julian Bay. When you do that, or rub your hands across the surface you will hear a noise created by the relatively unusual shape and composition of the sand crystals.
Stockton Island is home to lots of delicious blueberries. When they’re ripe, you’ll probaby see black bears foraging for a meal. If you see one, never approach. Please give the bears their social distance. They’ll probably know you’re coming before you see them. They have a keen sense of smell.
Thanks to Erica and Mark for sharing their adventure on Stockton Island with us. We wish them fair winds as they sail on to their next destination. Want to know more about Julian Bay? Take a virtual hike with Ranger Melissa of the National Park Service.
If you have images or videos of your adventure in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we would love to share them with our Friends community. Simply email them with a brief summary of your adventure to email@example.com and we’ll share them with the world.
Due to the pandemic, the National Park Service is operating with limited operations. Overnight camping is not currently permitted. However, overnight docking for self-contained vessels and day use of the islands is permitted.