Park Info Articles

Discover the Park through learning more about trails, regulations, guides and more.

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...

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...

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...

Of Sun Dogs and Sunlit Winter Mornings in the Apostle Islands

Of Sun Dogs and Sunlit Winter Mornings in the Apostle Islands

Peppermint. On mornings this cold – minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill dipping even lower – each breath tingles against your teeth like peppermint. Each step in the new snow squeaks beneath my boots. In cold like this, it takes a strength of will to get out so early but there are rewards too, like what lies in the sky just ahead. For many of us, the Apostle Islands are a picture-perfect summer postcard kind of place – the “singing sands” beneath your feet in Julian Bay, the sky-blue waves on the horizons, the echo of water dripping like notes played on a harp deep in the sea caves....

Explore the Top 10 Friends website stories of 2021

Explore the Top 10 Friends website stories of 2021

DRUMROLL PLEASE! It has been a big year in the Apostle Islands -- from fun and fanfare to tragedy averted. During this last week of the year,, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is counting down its TOP TEN Island stories of 2021. In sharing these stories, we thank you, our readers and supporters, for your support and we wish you an adventure-filled 2022 in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. 10 HERE WE GO: Weather stories always resonate with Island Lovers, so the #10 most popular story of the year goes to the tall birch trees dancing in the big gale. 9 At #9 on our...

The Day the Sun Stood Still: Winter Solstice

The Day the Sun Stood Still: Winter Solstice

Something important happened in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore at 9:59 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. No trumpets blared, no speeches were given, no fireworks punctuated the occasion. It was a quiet miracle as far as I could tell. Where I walked alone through the scant snow along the lakeshore, just a few notes of chickadee song tinseled the air. No other sound but the waves of my own breathing. But don’t be fooled. Despite the lack of fanfare, this was an event of monumental consequence: in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the sun stood still. Beach ice glistens in the...

Dance of the Birch Trees

Dance of the Birch Trees

A walk in the dancing forest this morning reminded me of another windstorm, this one in December of 1874 and made famous by John Muir. While others ran for shelter, Muir “lost no time in pushing out into the woods to enjoy” the storm. Picking a sturdy-looking tree, he climbed as high as he could into the swaying wind, clinging to the trunk as the tree itself “fairly flapped and swished in the passionate torrent, bending and swirling backward and forward, round and round, tracing indescribable combinations of vertical and horizontal curves, while I clung with muscles firm braced, like a...

Sea Smoke: Winter in the air, and on the lake

Sea Smoke: Winter in the air, and on the lake

One morning, usually in December, the lake wakes with Winter on its breath: sea smoke. Officially, the explanation is "surface fog resulting from masses of frigidly cold air directly over warm bodies of water." The sunrise temperature in the Apostle Islands today was a chilly and still 0 degrees. As cold as that air temperature is, the thick body of Lake Superior cools more slowly than the air, greedily holding on to the slow summer heat. Lake temperature today was 43 degrees F. And the lake wrapped the islands in ribbons of sea smoke. Whatever the official definition of “sea smoke” is, it...