Visitor Stories Articles

Discover the Park – Park Info

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...

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....

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...

Senator Tammy Baldwin tours Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Senator Tammy Baldwin tours Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Big things happening on Sand Island. Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore toured several projects on the island with Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin on Thursday, September 2nd. The tour, led by Park Superintendent Lynne Dominy, including seeing dock work at East Bay, the accessible boardwalk project and more. The 2-mile-long boardwalk will connect the dock and accessible campsites, picnic areas, water sources and privies at East Bay with the Sand Island Light. The project is about halfway completed. It will be a major step forward in making the islands accessible to all. Friends...

Happy Birthday, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore!

Happy Birthday, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore!

Watch the video join us in singing happy birthday as we share birthday wishes for our Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The park’s official birthday was September 26, 1970. We’re celebrating 50 great years! Here are some of the greetings we received.Happy Birthday, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore!Happy Birthday, Apostle Islands! I love kayaking the sea caves and exploring your rugged beauty. Introducing friends and family to the park doubles the fun!I love kayaking in the islands. Happy Golden Anniversary of the establishment of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore 50 years ago! We...

Share your adventure: Julian Bay after the storm

Share your adventure: Julian Bay after the storm

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...