Where in the park is Neil? The week 19 answer is Bear Island

Bear Island shoreline

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.

Neil is on Bear Island, located at 46°57′55″N 90°39′51″W.

From the sandstone ledge on the shore of this island named for a large furry animal you can see Devils Island across the lake to the north.   

Though Bear Island may be a relatively lightly visited island today, it has seen a variety of uses in the past.  

The sandspit on the south end of the island supported a commercial fishing camp for many years.  

A few log walls near the north end of the island mark the remnants of a logging camp from the late 1930s.  

A few families also built summer cabins on the island.  

  • Bear Island shoreline
  • Bear Island shoreline
  • Sea kayakers paddling near shoreline sea caves on Bear Island
  • Bear Island fish camp
  • Fisherman John Fried at Bear Island fish camp
  • Fisherman John Fried at Bear Island fish camp
  • Remains of logging camp structure on Bear Island
  • Abandoned summer cabin (from expired use and occupancy lease)

 At this time the island does not have any docks, campsites, or trails.  Bear Island does have some lovely beaches and dramatic shoreline cliffs.  It is a popular rest spot for paddlers heading to Devils Island. 

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.

You can find updates about NPS operations on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. For more information about Apostle Islands National Lakeshore,  call (715) 779-3398 or visit go.nps.gov/ApostleConditions.

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