Where in the park is Neil? The week 22 answer is Rocky Island

Deer hunters and their bounty

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.

An unusual aspect of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is that hunting, trapping, and fishing are permitted in the park according to Federal and State laws.  

Now that Labor Day has passed, hunting seasons are beginning to open.  

Though deer populations on the islands are generally low today, that was not always the case.  In 1954, in order to thin the deer population, the Wisconsin Conservation Commission established an “any deer” season in the islands.  Hunters took 124 deer off this 1,100-acre island in just one year. 

Rocky Island, located at 47.0344° N, 90.6789° W, currently has five individual campsites, a group campsite, a picnic area, and a public dock that is popular with boaters in the summer.  

The island also features an historic district composed of five fish camps that began in the 1930s on the island’s eastern shore.  Many of the cabins and docks associated with these camps survive today and are used seasonally by the families that once commercially fished the waters around Rocky Island.  

  • Deer hunters and their bounty
  • Aerial view of the historic district
  • Fish camps from the water
  • Boaters enjoy evening entertainment dockside
  • Rocky Island campsite

Camping is not currently allowed in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, due to the pandemic. Click here for information about the Rocky Islands campsites, all within a quarter-mile of the National Park Service dock.

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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