Discover the Park Articles

Learn more about the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore through articles about activities, the islands, park information, places, wildlife and youth activities.

Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

(NPS News Release) Join us in congratulating David J. Cooper, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Archeologist and Cultural Resource Manager, in being awarded the John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology for Professional Achievement. “Dave Cooper’s work shows the impact one person can have not only within a park, but across a whole landscape,” said Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Lynne Dominy. “Dave has spent his lifetime protecting the historical and cultural resources on and around Lake Superior. From portages to fish camps to lighthouses and shipwrecks, Dave...

Ageless in the Apostles: Are you ever too old for an island adventure?

Ageless in the Apostles: Are you ever too old for an island adventure?

At what age should one stop kayak camping in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Sixty? Seventy? Even eighty years old?  For more than 30 years a group of us has been spending a long weekend over the 4th of July holiday kayaking and camping in the Apostle Islands. We are all aging (the median age of the group was 70 this year), but we are still strong paddlers and competent campers. Perhaps it was only the oldest one of us who had been giving the “at what age …” question serious consideration. Come along with us on this year’s holiday trip. Perhaps you can help answer the question. Maybe...

Holiday Weekend Delivers Typically Atypical Island Adventures

Holiday Weekend Delivers Typically Atypical Island Adventures

We have all heard the term “multi use park’’ but only the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore could deliver the wide range of experiences park visitors experienced over the long holiday weekend. We may try to plan our visits across the water but in the Apostle Islands, it’s the wind and waves that determine time and destiny. Some call it “wayfaring.” If you were a sailor, Friday’s 25-30 knot winds out of the southwest tested skill levels and rewarded those who chose the lee side of an island to change sails. Likewise, a quiet bay was a welcome anchorage.Sailor Erica Peterson works the...

Attention Paddlers and Boaters: The Buoys are Back!

Attention Paddlers and Boaters: The Buoys are Back!

“The lake is the boss” and “know before you go” are literally words to live by when kayaking in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Before your next paddling or boating adventure, it pays to learn as much as you can about the weather forecast and wave conditions. Lake Superior can be glass-calm in one instant and a short time later you might face three-foot waves from a fast-moving storm. The islands themselves influence wind and wave patterns every day and the cold water presents and ever-present risk of hypothermia. That’s why proper gear, training and forecast knowledge are so...

A Few Quiet Words on Silence

A Few Quiet Words on Silence

Shhh. Just listen a moment. It is early, before the sun has even broken the horizon this soft summer morning. The lake is still, rising and falling as softly as the breath of someone sleeping. The sound of dripping water inside a shoreline cave along the north side of Oak Island, like the gentle pluck of harp strings.  This is morning in the Apostle Islands. This is natural silence.Morning in the Apostle Islands – Jeff Rennicke photoWhen we speak of the value of nature, it is often natural resources we speak of – timber, oil and gas, fisheries, stone from quarries. Even in discussions of...

The Apostle Islands School: A Rite of Passage for Chequamegon Bay Youth

The Apostle Islands School: A Rite of Passage for Chequamegon Bay Youth

By Erica Peterson For me, the history of the Apostle Islands School reads like a logbook—full of sketches, personal reflections, images, challenges, and surprising outcomes. It’s stuffed with lesson plans, menus, Ojibwe words, and most importantly, the life changing comments and stories from over five thousand students who spent three special days in the heart of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.  The Apostle Islands are among the most beautiful places in the world. Lake Superior is a master at carving a landscape, painting a skyscape, adding adventure to any experience, and instilling a...

Badges of honor: Celebrating Junior Rangers

Badges of honor: Celebrating Junior Rangers

Raise your right hand and repeat after the ranger: “I am proud to be a National Park Service Junior Ranger. I promise to appreciate, respect, and protect all national park places. I also promise to continue learning about the landscape, plants, animals, and history of these special places. I will share what I learn with my friends and family.” With that oath, and a completed Junior Ranger booklet, you too can join the millions of people, the young and the young-at-heart, who have become Junior Rangers with the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS Junior Ranger program is an activity-based...

Celebrate National Park Week through April 24th

Celebrate National Park Week through April 24th

(National Park Service News Release) National Park Week, April 16 through 24, encourages everyone to discover something new about their national parks. With more than 400 national parks hosting a mix of special programs, activities, and digital experiences, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite all to explore and enjoy national parks during this annual event. The week begins on April 16 with free entrance to every national park. “Since Yellowstone National Park was established 150 years ago, over 400 extraordinary places have been added to the National Park...

Recreation.gov app can be used to pay fees in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore this summer

Recreation.gov app can be used to pay fees in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore this summer

There’s no need to carry cash, checks or credit cards to pay for parking at Meyers Beach or to pay docking fees at one of the islands, if you have the recreation.gov mobile app on your phone. This free app, offered in partnership by the National Park Service and other federal agencies, includes a feature called “Scan and Pay.” You simply download the app to your phone and set up your account. Best advice: do this before you arrive, as cell service may not be available everywhere in the park. When you need to pay a fee in the park, scan the appropriate onsite QR Code located at the payment...

Cross Country Skiing to Oak Island

Cross Country Skiing to Oak Island

Thick ice and deep snow made for perfect conditions to explore a bit of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Three local cross country skiers with significant island experience skied from Frog Bay Tribal National Park to nearby Oak Island early this month.National Park Service MapThere, they found several sets of wolf tracks, confirmed by a wildlife biologist who said wolves have been sighted offshore of Red Cliff and the Apostle Islands this winter. Under clear blue skies, they also found some nice ice formations along the shoreline.Like the snow and ice beneath their feet, the wintery...