Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio described version of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore's official map and brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Apostle Islands National Lakeshore visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 70 minutes, which we have divided into sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. The front of the brochure includes an overview and information regarding the natural and cultural history of the park. The back of the brochure includes an overview, a map of the park, information to plan your visit, and an overview of the Lighthouses and water-based history of the park.

Throughout this audio description, there are many links to the pronunciation of Ojibwemowin, the Ojibwe language, words by a native speaker. 

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OVERVIEW: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, located in Northern Wisconsin, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of Interior. The 69,372 acre park is situated near Bayfield, along the shoreline of Lake Superior. 27,323 acres of the park are submerged lands in Lake Superior. Another 33,350 acres of the park are set aside as the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness. Established in 1970, this park is a fairly young addition to the National Park system. Each year, over 200,000 visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that can only be had at Apostle Islands. We invite you to explore the park’s sea caves, sandy beaches, forests, hiking trails, lighthouses, camping, and the home of the Ojibwe people. Sleep under the stars and hear the waves crashing onto the island. Kayak between the crevasses of the sea caves. Enjoy the view of each of the different styles of lighthouses. To find out more about what resource's might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the “Accessibility” and “More Information” sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.  

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OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

The upper two-thirds of the front of the brochure is a color, air-photo of some of the Apostle Islands mantled with low fluffy clouds. On this image are Island names, as well as captions and text describing, A Wild Archipleago its wildlife and natural and cultural history, and 6 identical sized pictures with captions relating to, Forged by Ice, Wind and Waves. 

The bottom third under the heading, as a Place to Nourish Life and Renew the Spirit contains three photos with captions and in-depth descriptions. Historic photos of Ojibwe people, Loggers standing a pile of lumber, and tourists in front of a vintage tent illustrate the separate topics of Native People and Their Culture; Fish, Stone, and lumber, and Recreation and Tourism.

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IMAGE and TEXT: A Wild Archipelago…

DESCRIBING: Colored image spanning the top half of brochure set behind other images.

SYNOPSIS: An aerial photo of a collection of 8 islands and the mainland. Clouds are visible scattered throughout the sky. The islands are green forested and surrounded by blue water. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: From the aerial view, looking southwest from just north of Rocky Island, the islands are labeled and appear in the photo from closest to the camera to farthest away: Rocky Island, South Twin Island, Otter Island, Manitou Island, Oak Island, Hermit Island, Basswood Island, Madeline Island, and mainland of the Bayfield Peninsula. 

CAPTION: Islands lend a dimension of hospitality to spectacular but daunting Lake Superior. Cloaked in a mantle of regrown forests, the Apostle Islands resonate with human stories reaching back to time immemorial.

CREDIT: JOHN AND ANN MAHAN


RELATED TEXT: Archipelago . . . an island chain, complete with links to both past and present. Be wary as you submit to the islands’ charms—they are surrounded by the cold, blue depths of this greatest of Great Lakes, Superior. When wind-whipped, it breeds storms as perfect as any you might expect on an inland sea.

These 22 islands are the product of geological processes operating over periods of time difficult for us to fathom. Layers of sand, gravel, and stone are chapters of a story covering thousands, millions, even billions of years. The islands’ story continues to be written, as surely as sunrise follows sunset. Let sunlight and darkness cycle you back to renewal here where forests again cloak works of long-gone glaciers and other far, far older works of nature best revealed where relentless lake waves lap the shoreline rocks.

Wildlife thrives in these island sanctuaries—critical nesting and resting habitat for over 200 bird species. Hundreds of herring gulls nest on tiny Gull Island. Spring and fall, thousands of migratory birds rest for, or from, lake crossings on Outer Island. Some animals swim, and some cross the frozen lake to inhabit the islands.

Wild above, wild below, this park also provides evocative clues to domesticated pasts to pique your imagination as you enjoy superb outdoor recreation. Glimpses of past and present Great Lakes navigation and fishing appear along-side other evidence of historic lumbering, quarrying, and agriculture. Close inspection reveals the time- less stories and living influence of the Native peoples whose rich cultures emanate from this lake and these landscapes of their traditional homeland.

In 2004, Congress designated 33,350 acres of the park to be protected forever as the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness, named for Wisconsin’s former governor and US senator who is perhaps best known as the father of Earth Day. Forever means a long time in the Apostle Islands—as long as waves lap, rocks erode, and people value the meaning of wilderness.

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TEXT: Return of the Forests

Hemlock, white pine, yellow birch, and white cedar historically dominated these islands’ forests. Tracts of ancient forest persist mostly in reserves near several lighthouses. Logging took much of the white pine and hemlock. White birch and sugar maple now grow in their place. Over half a century has passed since most logging ended, and the forests are in varying stages of recovery.

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TEXT: Dune Vegetation

Beaches and dunes are some of the most popular yet most fragile areas in the islands. Plants that live there play a critical role in stabilizing the shifting sands. Although adapted to survive in harsh natural conditions, dune plants are fragile and easily damaged by foot traffic.

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IMAGES: …Formed by Ice, Wind, and Waves

DESCRIBING: Six colored squared images going left to right. 

IMAGE 1 of 6: Sandstone Cliffs

DESCRIBING: Rectangular color photo of Sandstone Cliffs on Lake Superior from a water-level perspective. 

SYNOPSIS: In this photo we see a paddler in a yellow kayak on the water in front of the shear, tan to dark-brown walls of sandstone, capped with trees rising high above Lake Superior. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A kayak and paddler are dwarfed by soaring sandstone cliffs that abruptly mark the edge of the wave sculpted blue waters of Lake Superior and elevated portions of tree-covered land. The scenery is further enhanced as the towering sandstone and trees reaching high above the water into a crystal blue sky. 

CAPTION: Steep walls of sandstone bedrock can rise over 50 feet above the lake surface along shorelines that face the open lake.

CREDIT: TOM BEAN


IMAGE 2 of 6: Sea Caves

DESCRIBING: A photo of sea caves of Apostle Islands in winter, coated and surrounded by ice. 

SYNOPSIS: The ice, sandstone cliffs, caves, and trees appear in lateral bands of changing colors, textures and shapes ascending into the sky. The caves occur intermittently near lake-level in the Lake Superior Sandstone Cliffs.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: White, snow-covered lake ice extends outward in front of ice encrusted, sandstone sea caves creating the bottom layer of a series of vertical color and texture transitions. Ice blends into brown caves in the sandstone cliffs which rise dozens of feet and are topped with a dark green evergreen forest reaching into the a cloudless brilliant blue sky. In the distance the cliffs, trees and sky gradually slope down toward the lake ice.

CAPTION: Ice, wind, and the unrelenting lake waves dramatically carve shorelines of billion-year-old Devils Island sandstone.

CREDIT: TOM ALGIR


IMAGE 3 of 6: Windows and Arches

DESCRIBING: The rectangular color-photo looks through an opening in the sandstone cliffs of Lake Superior toward other sections of the shoreline cliffs and water. 

SYNOPSIS: Gentle looking blue water laps against the brown, rough, vertical surface of the scoured sandstone cliff, as seen through and beyond  an arched 8 foot, sunlight opening, shaded by recesses of a sea cave.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: 

CAPTION: When waves, freezing, and thawing undercut rock, windows and arches may form. They will last until the rock framing them above collapses.

CREDIT: NPS


IMAGE 4 of 6: Sea Stacks

DESCRIBING: This rectangular color photo shows an irregular column of brown sandstone surrounded by water, known as a sea stack. 

SYNOPSIS: The sea stack is about 50 feet to the right of the mainland cliffs. The mainland and sea stack are both topped with greenery, trees on the mainland with small trees and shrubs clinging to the sea stack. The water is dark green and appears relatively still with gentle waves.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The sea stack is identical in color and layering to the sandstone of the mainland. It is isolated from the mainland and set against a clear sky, rising dozens of feet above the green-blue water of Lake Superior. Its sides are unsupported and it stands apart and alone. The brown sandstone column is narrowest at the water level and rises in chunks upward culminating in a bulbous, blocky top.  

CAPTION: Sea stacks form when rock erodes along closely spaced joints and then is isolated from land. Over time, ice and wave action sweep them away.

CREDIT: JOHN AND ANN MAHAN


IMAGE 5 of 6: Cuspate Forelands

DESCRIBING: Square photograph of cuspate forelands and lake. 

SYNOPSIS: Square aerial photograph of a point of land projecting into dark blue water. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The land mass occupies the lower left half of the image. It is flat, covered with mixed deciduous forest and grassland, and has a gently sloping tan-colored sandy beach. It projects into the water from the left and comes to a triangular point close to the bottom right of the image. Two white sailboats with sails unfurled float on the water in the upper right half of the image.

CAPTION: Sand deposits or embankments form small points of land projecting into the water, often crescent-shaped and as long as they are wide.

CREDIT: LAYNE KENNEDY


IMAGE 6 of 6: Beaches

DESCRIBING: Square photograph of a beach and water. 

SYNOPSIS: Square photograph of a gently sloping sandy beach that is covered with footprints and water with blue sky above. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The tan-colored beach occupies the right side of the image and stretches in a sideways '"U" shape to a point in the upper left part of the image. Dark blue lake water fills the sideways "U" shape in the center-left part of the image. Footprints in the sand stretch down the beach and start from the lower left. There are small rocks to the right of the footprints. The rocks cast long shadows that go toward the upper right. Deciduous forest covers the land above the beach in the upper part of the image.

CAPTION: Sand eroded from cliffs and bluffs is deposited on gently sloping sandy shorelines that border bays, spits, and cuspate forelands.

CREDIT: RICHARD HAMILTON SMITH

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IMAGE: Black Bear

DESCRIBING: Black Bear, Makwa, profile looking over the Apostle Islands.

SYNOPSIS: A profile colored drawing of the head of Makwa, black bear in Ojibwemowin the language of the Ojibwe people, showing only the left side of the head with dark brown eyes looking straight ahead.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Makwa, in left profile in a dark, soft black with a light brown/tan muzzle. The nose ridge is a light black. The ears are deep black and point slightly forward as if listening. The mouth is closed. Makwa’s eyes are dark brown and look forward at the islands Makwa calls home.

CAPTION: Bears are excellent swimmers and can be found on many of the islands.

CREDIT: CORBIS

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TEXT: …as a Place to Nourish Life and Renew the Spirit

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IMAGE and TEXT: Native Peoples and Their Culture

DESCRIBING: A vertical historical black and white photograph. 

SYNOPSIS: A historical black and white photograph of Native Americans outside in their regalia. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION:  A historical black and white photograph. In the photograph there are two Native American men sitting on the grass with their knees slightly bent. Behind them is another Native American man on the right and a Native American child on the left. All are dressed in their regalia. In the background there is a wigwam and trees. 

CAPTION: The Ojibwe are the most recent group of native people to live in the Apostle Islands. Their culture is inseparable from, and depends on, their relationship with the natural world.  CREDIT: WHITNEY & ZIMMERMAN, MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

RELATED TEXT: Imagine everything around you in these woodlands and waters as the source of your material culture—food, clothing, housing, tools, transportation, and art materials. So life has been for Native people in the Apostle Islands for thousands of years. Hundreds of years ago the Ojibwe people migrated here across the Great Lakes. They followed a traditional seasonal lifestyle of hunting, fishing, gathering berries and wild rice, and making maple sugar. From bark of the white  birch they made large canoes, wigwams, and storage containers. They conducted ceremonies, played games, traded with neighbors, and told stories—traditions that continue today. Collectively, the islands are called Wenabozho ominisan (Wenabozho’s islands), from the story of how the islands came to be. Wenabozho is a cultural hero of the Ojibwe.

Today many Ojibwe people live on reservations and elsewhere in this region central to their ancestral migration. In treaties with the US government the Ojibwe ceded millions of acres of land in the upper Midwest in return for annuities, permanent reservations, and the stipulation that they retain certain rights of use in the ceded territory. Two of these reservations, at Red Cliff and Bad River, were established on land in the Apostle Islands area.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Fish, Stone, and Lumber

DESCRIBING:  A black and white photograph showing historic winter logging efforts.

SYNOPSIS: A vertical, black, and white historic photograph shows six men atop a winter logging sled loaded with huge logs and drawn by two horses. Snow blankets the ground in the pine forest. 


IN DEPTH DESCRIPTION:  A team of two horses are hitched together side by side and pulling a sled in the snow. The sled is piled high with a triangular pile of large logs, eight logs high. The logs piled on the sled appear to be approximately the height of three men. Six men ride atop the logs each holding a logging pike which is a pole approximately 4.5 feet in length with an iron curved hook on the end. This pike is used to control logs. The logs are tied together atop the sled. The men are dressed in woolen winter clothing and wear hats with brims. The men look forward. The man on the top center of the logs holds the long reigns used to communicate with and control the horses. The horses that are hitched to the sled loaded with logs, are approximately 15 hands high are dark in color. The horse on the right of the photo has a white blaze on its nose.

CAPTION: Island forests have now recovered from logging so much they may seem mature and even unchanged to the untrained eye; however, logging altered the mix of trees that grow on many of these islands.

CREDIT: WISCONSIN DNR ARCHIVES


RELATED TEXT: Fishing or gathering your own food still strikes a primal chord in us. For centuries the Ojibwe have fished Gitchigami—big lake or Lake Superior—for lake trout, whitefish, lake herring, and sturgeon. Commercial fishing began in the 1830s, grew steadily for decades, then declined after the 1890s, recovered, and declined again in the 1950s because of overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and nonnative, invasive species. In recent years careful management has helped fish populations rebound to sustain both commercial and sport fishing in the area.

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 spurred demand for sandstone building material, quarried here first on Basswood and then later on Hermit and Stockton islands. Buildings of Apostle Islands brownstone were constructed in Milwaukee, Detroit, Toledo, Cincinnati, St. Paul, Kansas City, and Omaha until architectural styles changed around 1900.

Logging activity took place on almost all of the Apostle Islands between 1850 and 1970. At one point in the early 1900s, there were 100 men living in two bunkhouses on Stockton Island’s Trout Point. On both Michigan and Outer islands, railroads took logs to landings for transport by water to mills. White pines went first, then the hemlocks, yellow birch, and sugar maples.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Recreation and Tourism

DESCRIBING: Historic black and white photograph shows three adults sitting in front of a wall tent.

SYNOPSIS: Vertical, rectangular historic black and white photograph shows a man and two women setting on a bench directly in front of a wall tent in a pine forest.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: An historic black and white photograph shows a canvas wall tent with one front lap tied open to a pine tree to picture’s left. The tree’s boughs touch the top of the wall tent. A man and two women sit on a bench in front of the tent. The man wears dark trousers, a light-colored long sleeve shirt buttoned to the neck and a brimmed hat. His arms rest on his legs and his hands lightly touch palm to palm. His weathering face looks straight ahead. His hair is grey to white as is his mustache. His face is weathered. He appears to be an elder. A woman in a dark long-sleeved ankle-length dress buttoned to the neck sits beside him to his left. She leans forward with elbows on her knees and hands clasp. She has long dark hair held up off her neck and hair frames her face with wispy bangs. She looks forward slightly to her right with a smile. She wears light colored shoes. A second female sits to the left of the first woman. She wears a light colored, ankle length dress that is buttoned at the neck. She has dark hair pulled off her neck with bangs framing her face. She smiles, looking forward but slightly down. Her hands are clasp on her lap.

CAPTION: Fashions change, but outdoor recreation has beckoned people here since the 19th century. A summer Great Lakes tour was a good way to stay cool in the era before air conditioning.

CREDIT: NPS


RELATED TEXT: Is your main purpose today just to relax and enjoy yourself and your companions? If so, you are indulging an Apostle Islands tradition that dates back over 150 years. Summer boat tours of the Great Lakes were already popular in the mid-1800s. Tourism boomed when the railroad reached Bayfield in 1883, and it lasted until logging’s impacts had affected most of the islands and the 1930s Great Depression put a clamp on many people’s pocketbooks.

Even in tourism’s earliest days some people roughed it, camping out. From 1886 to 1914 Sand Island’s Camp Stella provided a rustic haven for island visitors. Camp Stella’s days are past, but the camping tradition is carried on today by park visitors who travel by foot, kayak, or boat.

Establishment of the national lakeshore in 1970 recognized the area’s potential for water- based recreation. The rare combination of remote but accessible scenery, pristine shorelines, and open and protected waters affords unparalleled freshwater sailing, boating, and sea kayaking opportunities.

With 80 percent of the national lakeshore now protected as wilderness, opportunities for primitive recreation experiences are assured here into the indefinite future.

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OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

The back side of the Brochure is dominated by a labeled and color coded map of the Apostle Islands, Bayfield Peninsula and south shore of Lake Superior east of Chequamegon Bay covering the center, left and bottom of the page. Along the top quarter of the page are captioned, color pictures of 9 Light stations. Sand Island Light the first image from the left covers a third of the row, next are 7 equal sized color photos of the other 8 light stations in the islands.  To the right of the map is text describing the uses, history and environment of the area, titled, Navigation to Recreation. Just below, separated by a blue line and the image of sailing craft is another text section titled Planning Your Visit. This section has important trip planning and recreation information for the area.
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IMAGES and TEXT: Light Stations

DESCRIBING: Eight colored images 

IMAGE 1 of 8: Sand Island Lighthouse

DESCRIBING: An aerial photograph taking up the upper left corner of the brochure. The bottom and right edges fade into the plane background. 

SYNOPSIS: A brownish red, stone lighthouse with green shutters, and a red roof sits on a grassy landscape. To the left of the lighthouse is a thicker green forest with a couple small brown, stone buildings with red roofs. In the foreground and right of the lighthouse, the grass ends at a rocky cliff with large to medium-sized red boulders scattered along the cliff face, before reaching water. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The photo is taken from the northeast of the lighthouse. The light tower and house are connected, with the tower on the right side of the house and the longest part of the house stretching to the left. There is a black-railed balcony on the top of the tower, going completely around the small room that would have held the original light. At the transition from grass to cliff, a few scattered evergreen trees can be seen. At the bottom of the two cliff faces, there is a red rock shelf that stretches into the water. The cliff boulders rest on each other and this shelf. 

 CAPTION: Sand Island Lighthouse

CREDIT: DENNIS O’HARA


IMAGE 2 of 8: Raspberry Island Lighthouse

DESCRIBING: A small rectangular photo, first in a line of identically sized lighthouse photos, with the chimney extending upward through the frame.

SYNOPSIS: A vertical colored photograph shows a close-up view of Raspberry Lighthouse from the east lawn. Sidewalks, gardens, and lawn are in the foreground with deciduous forest in the background.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This vertical, colored photograph of Raspberry Island Lighthouse’s east side shows the wooden structure painted white with a red metal roof that has two tall brick chimneys. The lighthouse has a red to brown cement foundation. The grounds include two sidewalks that connect the south and north doors of the lighthouse and form a triangular pattern connecting on the east side of the house. Within the triangle created by the cement sidewalks there are flowers planted in six garden beds. The lawn surrounds these beds and to the east is comprised primarily brown grass with a small portion of grass remaining green. The structure is a two-story structure with a one-story addition to the east and a light tower that is attached to the structure and rises above it. Windows are trimmed in black. The portion of the lighthouse closest to the viewer is a one-story structure with one window facing east and is attached to the two-story lighthouse. The second story has one window on the first floor to the left of the one-story structure and a window on the second floor above the roof line of the one-story structure. There is a covered porch to the left or front of the lighthouse. There are steps to the right side of the structure with an awning over the steps. The wooden light tower rises on the south of the structure just behind the covered porch. It has one small window just above the roof line of the second story structure. The tower has a catwalk around the top with a fence around it. The lens room that sits in the middle of the catwalk is black in color with a black metal roof with a lightning rod attached to the peak. Glass windows are all around the lens room.  

CAPTION: Raspberry Island Lighthouse

CREDIT: TERRY PEPPER

IMAGE 3 of 8: Devil’s Island Lighthouse

DESCRIBING: A small rectangular photo, second in a line of identically sized lighthouse photos, with the lighthouse tower extending upward through the frame. 

SYNOPSIS: Devil’s Island Lighthouse is white with a red roof and stands in a forest with a cliff face and lake below. The lighthouse stands in the top left of the photograph under blue sky. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The lighthouse’s base is white and cylindrical. A wider white cylinder sits on top of the base. Several white beams connect this wider cylinder to the base and the ground. On top of the wider cylinder, there is a narrower cylindrical lens room with windows and white lattice. There is a red dome-shaped roof on top of this room. On top of the dome there is a small red ball. A pole-shaped lightning rod rises from the left side of the room and ends in a fork facing the sky above the roof. Below the lighthouse, a green deciduous forest covers the center of the photograph. The forest transitions to a rocky cliff and water that covers the bottom half of the photo. The cliff face appears layered and contains several weathered indentations. It is tan on top and transitions to a reddish color at the bottom. In the very bottom of the photograph, dark blue lake water is shadowed by the cliff face.   

CAPTION: Devil’s Island Lighthouse

CREDIT: LAYNE KENNEDY

IMAGE 4 of 8: Outer Island Lighthouse

DESCRIBING: A small rectangular photo, third in a line of identically sized lighthouse photos, with the lighthouse tower extending upward through the frame. 

SYNOPSIS: A tall white, cylindrical tower rises out of an evergreen forest. A red, brick two story house, about half the height of the tower is visible directly behind the tower. The evergreen forest surrounds both buildings, and blue sky with fluffy, white clouds is visible above the trees. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: About ¾ of the way up the tower, is a lone window. There is a black-railed balcony on the top of the tower, going completely around the small glass room with conical, black roof, that would have held the original light. The brick house has white window frames, a red roof, and a brick chimney. 

CAPTION: Outer Island Lighthouse

CREDIT: DENNIS O’HARA

IMAGE 5 of 8: New and old Michigan Island lighthouses

DESCRIBING: A small rectangular photo, fourth in a line of identically sized lighthouse photos, with a lighthouse tower extending upward through the frame. 

SYNOPSIS: Two lighthouses stand on a field within a forest under blue sky. The new Michigan lighthouse stands in the foreground and takes up much of the photograph. The old Michigan lighthouse is in the background on the right side of the photograph. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The new Michigan lighthouse has a narrow white vertical cylindrical base. White metal beams connect the top of this to concrete slabs in the ground in a pyramid shape. A small white building with brown trim, windows, and a slanted roof extends from the base of the lighthouse under the pyramid-shaped beams. The narrow cylindrical base of the lighthouse is topped with a wider white cylinder. On top of this, there is a circular railing and a lens room with a dark dome-shaped roof. The old Michigan lighthouse in the background of the photograph is comprised of white tapered masonry with a lens room with wood siding on top. A white two-story building with brown trim and a slanted shingled roof extends from the base of the lighthouse to the left. Both lighthouses stand in a field and are surrounded by green deciduous forest.  

CAPTION: New and old Michigan Island lighthouses

CREDIT: NPS

IMAGE 6 of 8: Ashland Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse

DESCRIBING: A vertical, colored photograph of a lighthouse.

SYNOPSIS: A white, square lighthouse is set in front of a light blue sky. The tower sits in the center of a brown breakwater platform with blue calm water in the front of it.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION:  The tower is wide on the bottom and becomes narrower until it reaches the top. The tower has 4 sections of it. The bottom section is square shaped with flattened corners & has a window on the left side and a door in the front. The second section is square shaped that becomes narrower near the top. It has two windows on each side that are above each other. The third section is round with a round port window on the left and center of it. The fourth section is rounded with windows, has a red triangular shaped roof with a ball shaped top. A catwalk goes around the top section just below the windows.

CAPTION: Ashland Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse

CREDIT: NPS 


IMAGE 7 of 8: New La Pointe Lighthouse (Long Island)

DESCRIBING: A vertical colored photograph of a lighthouse.

SYNOPSIS: A vertical colored photograph of the New La Pointe lighthouse on Long Island. There are trees, clouds, and the sky.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A vertical colored photograph of the New La Pointe lighthouse on Long Island. The lighthouse sits behind green trees that are half the height of the lighthouse tower. The tower is white and round shaped that is narrow at the bottom, has a wide rounded middle section, and a narrower round top section. The top section is round shaped with windows with a triangular roof with a ball on to and a metal arrow on the very top. A catwalk goes around the top section just below the windows. There are metal bars that crisscross along the outer edges of the middle section of the tower to the ground.

CAPTION: New La Pointe Lighthouse (Long Island)

CREDIT: NPS

IMAGE 8 of 8: Chequamegon Point Lighthouse (Long Island)

DESCRIBING: A vertical photograph of a lighthouse and a tower with the light.

SYNOPSIS: A vertical photograph of the Chequamegon Point Lighthouse on Long Island and the tower that holds the light.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A vertical photograph of the Chequamegon Point Lighthouse on Long Island and the current tower that holds the light. The lighthouse sits back behind some branches that have some red leaves on it. The lighthouse has three sections. The bottom section has white metal bars that are the corners of this sections. There are white metal bars that crisscross the sides with two x’s per side. The middle section is square shaped. There are windows on each side. The top section is round shaped with windows, a red triangular shaped top roof with a red ball on top. On the left side of the lighthouse is a white colored tower with an appearance much like a paper towel roll. A green light hidden within the trees is on the top of the tower. There are green trees behind the lighthouse and tower. In the foreground there is blue water and tan sand with scattered areas of grass. There are two large concrete blocks that sit on the edge of the beach and water.

CAPTION: Chequamegon Point Lighthouse (Long Island)

CREDIT: TERRY PEPPER 

RELATED TEXT: The first Apostle Islands lights were built in the 1850s and 1860s on Long, Michigan, and Raspberry islands to guide ships to ports in Chequamegon Bay. From the 1870s to 1890s lights were added on Outer, Sand, and Devils islands to guide ships around the islands to ports at the west end of the lake. Ashland added a light on its breakwater in 1915. These lights inspired lighthouse historian F. Ross Holland Jr. to write: “Within the boundaries of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is the largest and finest single collection of lighthouses in the country.”





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TEXT and IMAGE: Navigation to Recreation

DESCRIBING: A color photograph centered between two columns of text and placed above the Planning Your Visit heading divider. 

SYNOPSIS: A side view of a large, white, single masted sailboat resting at anchor with the sails down. Two people stand at the bow, looking forward. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The sailboat image sits by itself on the page with a plain background and the mast and lines stretching down to each end of the boat, forming a rough triangle. The two columns of text are formatted around this triangle. 

CAPTION: Sailboat

CREDIT: Neil Rabinowitz


RELATED TEXT: Circumstances regularly conspire in life to cause us to wonder, “Who is the boss?” Here the answer is simple, as commercial fisherman Julian Nelson put it: “The lake is the boss. No matter how big you are or what kind of a boat you’ve got, the lake is still the boss. Mother Nature dictates a lot of things.”

Through the centuries people have used Lake Superior as a route of travel and commerce. Ojibwe and other tribes navigated the lake in large birchbark canoes that voyageurs adopted for the fur trade by the mid-1600s. The 200- year fur trade was an international economic enterprise held together by birch bark, a tribute to Native American technology. Today the Great Lakes shipping industry still links commerce between North America’s heartland and the entire globe.

The building of seven light stations in the Apostle Islands between 1857 and 1915 marked the rise of modern shipping on Lake Superior. With both ships and cargoes greatly increased in economic value and human safety at issue, shippers and port communities energized the federal government to build navigation aids. That light stations attract many visitors, not just guide ships, signals a major shift in how we value these islands today. The 2014 legislation adding the Ashland Harbor Breakwater Light to the national lakeshore also adding the Ashland Harbor Breakwater Light to the national lakeshore also officially recognized that conserving historic light stations is a purpose of the park.

Now more than simply a source of raw materials, the islands are a great resource for recreation and rejuvenating human spirits. They also protect habitat for wild creatures without whom they, and we, would not be complete. Nothing so symbolized this shift in values as the designation of the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness within the park.

Although sailboats, power boats, and sea kayaks now mostly replace the schooners, freighters, and voyageurs’ canoes that once plied the islands’’ waters, one thing remains the same . . . the lake is still the boss. Careful planning and attention to the weather are as important as ever in making your visit to the Apostle Islands safe and enjoyable.

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MAP: Apostle Island (Wenabozho ominisan)

DESCRIBING: A large, map that covers most of this side of the brochure.

SYNOPSIS: This is a general overview map for orientation and is oriented with north at the top. The map displays highways, major towns, car ferry routes, land ownership status, place names in Ojibwe and English, and features within the National Lakeshore. All 22 of the Apostle Islands are shown, highlighting in green the 21 which are part of the National Lakeshore and a 12 mile stretch of the mainland from Meyers Beach to Little Sand Bay. The islands and Bayfield Peninsula are located at the northernmost point of Wisconsin. The islands are an archipelago stretching off the northeastern point of the peninsula. This map covers an area of Lake Superior, mainland, and islands that is approximately 50 miles by 50 miles.

For more detailed information, please visit the various MAP DETAIL subheadings. 

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CHART: English Names to Ojibwe Names

A chart listing the 22 Island Names, first listed in English and then listed in Ojibwemowin (the Ojibwe language). Ojibwemowin is traditionally an oral language, so it is important to not just see the words, but to hear them. Hearing and speaking these words helps preserve the culture of this special place.

In the following list, each island name written in Ojibwemowin includes a link to hear the word spoken by a native speaker. 

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MAP DETAIL: Lighthouses

Lighthouses are indicated in the key and on the map with line drawing of a lighthouse with a white base and black top. 

There are nine lighthouses located within Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Eight are located on islands and one on a breakwater. Outer Island Lighthouse is located on the north end of Outer Island. The Devils Island Lighthouse is at the northern tip of Devils Island. Sand Island Lighthouse is located on the northern tip of Sand Island. Raspberry Island Lighthouse is on the southwestern tip of Raspberry Island. Michigan Island had two lighthouses (old and new) located on the southernmost tip of Michigan Island. Long Island, a peninsula that juts in a northwesterly direction from the mainland Bad River Reservation, has two lighthouses located at the northwestern tip. These are the New La Pointe Lighthouse, located east of the Chequamegon Point Lighthouse which is located at the furthest tip of the peninsula. The ninth lighthouse, the Ashland Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse, is located at the end of a breakwater near Ashland Wisconsin.

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MAP DETAIL: Ranger Stations

Ranger Stations are indicated in the key and on the map by small black squares containing a white inset image of a station with a flag on the roof. Stations staffed in summer are located on Sand, Raspberry, Stockton/Presque Isle and Oak Islands. Ranger Stations are located on trails a short distance from docks on each island.


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MAP DETAIL: Key

They key has symbols that highlight important sections on the map.

Orientation will be from left to right.

Top row:

Directional symbol of a circle with an arrow in the center pointing up for north.

A mileage ruler that has kilometers on the top and miles on the bottom. They are in increments of 5.

Second row:

The Lake Superior within Apostle Islands National Lakeshore symbol is a blue filled, rectangle with a black outline.

The trail symbol is a white rectangular box with a black outline. A horizontal dashed line is in the center.

The dock symbol is a light blue rectangular box with a black outline. A green shape, representing a land with a black rectangle attached to the land. The text explains the symbol is not to scale.

The ranger station symbol is a black filled square. In the center of the square is a white shape of a house with a flag on top.

The boat launch symbol is a black filled square. In the center of the square is white shape of a boat going up a ramp with waves on the bottom of the ramp.

Third row:

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore symbol is a dark green rectangle box with a black outline.

The picnic area symbol is a black filled square. In the center of the square is a white shaped picnic table.

The Backcountry campsite(s), National Park Service symbol is a hollow triangle shaped like a tent.

Fourth row:

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Gaylord Nelson Wilderness symbol is a light green rectangular box with a black outline.

The trailhead symbol is a black filled square. In the center is a white shaped person with a backpack and hiking stick.

The campground, not National Park Service symbol is a black filled squared. A white shaped triangle shaped like a tent.

Text on the left side of rows three and four:

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore boundary extends one-quarter mile into Lake Superior from the islands and the shoreline of the mainland section of the park. 

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MAP DETAIL: Marinas, Boat Launches, and Docks

For more information about boating in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, please visit the website

Marinas, indicated in the key and on the map by small black squares containing a white inset image of an anchor are located along the shore of the Bayfield Peninsula at Ashland, Washburn, Pikes Bay, Bayfield, Roys Point, Red Cliff and Schooner Bay near Red Cliff Point. There is also a marina at La Pointe on the western end of Madeline Island.

Boat launch ramps are indicated in the key and on the map by a white image of a boat on a ramp set in a black square. Boat ramps are in the marinas at Ashland, Washburn, Bayfield, Red Cliff and La Pointe. Additional ramps are found in the Bad River Reservation off highway 13 east of Ashland and at Little Sand Bay off Old County K north of Bayfield.

Docks are indicated in the key and map by a single black line about one-eighth of an inch long and a sixteenth of an inch wide. Docks are located at Little Sand Bay on the mainland, and on the Islands at the: east side of Sand Island, southeast side of Raspberry near the light station, southern end of Devils Island, east side of Rocky Island, west side of South Twin Island, northern tip of Outer Island near the light station, southeastern end of Otter Island, southwestern and of Manitou Island near the Fish Camp, southwestern side of Oak Island near the Ranger Station, Quarry Bay on Stockton near the Brownstone quarry, Stockton/Presque Isle near the Visitor Center, southern end of Michigan Island near the light station, north side of Long Island near the newer light sand on the west side of Basswood Island across from Red Cliff marina.


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MAP DETAIL: Camping

For more detailed information about camping within Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, please visit the website

There are campsites within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, along with primitive camping zones. Most of the camping is on the islands, where visitors need to find their own mode of water transportation to the sites. The campsites may be near docks, sandy beaches, or hiking to reach them. Visitors must research if they can reach the campsite with their type of mode of water transportation.

There is one campsite on the mainland that is a 6-mile hike starting from Meyers Beach.

Camping is located on the following islands (alphabetical order):

The designated campsites are marked on the map with the Backcountry campsite(s), National Park Service symbol.

All the sites within the park are tent sites only!

Camping outside of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore:

There many area campgrounds in the area that are either tent, RV, or have both types of sites. These sites may be easier to reach for visitors.

The towns that these sites are listed on the map are (towns listed from the south to the north:

These locations are marked on the map with the Campground, not National Park service symbol.

Madeline Island is not part of the National Lakeshore. A car & passenger ferry takes visitors to the islands on a daily basis, depending on weather.  

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MAP DETAIL: Trails and Trailhead

For more information about trails in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, please visit the website

Trailheads are indicated on the key and map with black square with a hiker using hiking stick in the center of the black.

Trails are indicated on the key and map with a white rectangular box with black hash line through the center.

Trailhead: Mainland at Meyers Beach entry point to the Lakeshore Trail.

Trails on the Mainland: Lakeshore Trail extends from Meyers Beach to the Mainland Campsite.

Trails on Islands: Trails are located on twelve islands.

Outer Island Trail extends from the campsite on the southern tip north to the lighthouse with a spur trail running from the lighthouse south east to the lake.

Devils Island trail extends from the southern most point on the island near the dock, boathouse, and campsite to the lighthouse at the north.

South Twin Island trail extends from the campsite located on the western shore of the island near the campsite/dock to the southern shore of the island.

Rocky Island trail extends from the dock and campsites on the eastern shore of the island south to the southern most tip of the island. The Rocky Island trail also extends from the dock on the eastern shore of the island west/northwest to the western shore.

Sand Island Trail extends from the East Bay Dock north past campsites, to the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island.

Otter Island Trail extends from the dock and campsite at the southern point of the island to the north/northeast tip.

Raspberry Island trail extends from the dock east to the beach. The trail also extends from the dock past the lighthouse northeast to a point midway along the island’s eastern shore.

Manitou Island Trail extends from the dock northeast to the campsite. The Manitou Island Trail also extends from the dock to the southeast to the southern most tip of the island.

Oak Island Trails begin at the dock located midway on the western point of the island. The trail extends from the dock southeast to campsites then turns north, northeast turning west to join two other trails. One trail goes north to an overlook with a spur trail from the overlook trail extending east/northeast to a campsite. The second trail that is joined goes in two directions. The trail can be taken to the northeast to a campsite or to the southeast back to the dock.

Stockton Island Trails begin at one of two docks. Presque Isle dock provides access to the Julian Bay Trail and the Anderson Loop trail as well as the Trout Point Trail which extends from Presque Isle across the island to the northeast tip and campsite. The trail from Presque Isle can also be taken to Quarry Bay dock at the south western point of the island where there are campsites and if taken further to the southwest west to the Brownstone Quarry.

Michigan Island Trail begins at the lighthouse and continues to the northwest campsite.

Basswood Island loop trail begins at the dock on the western shore of the island. The trail goes south to two campsites. The trail turns north at the southern most campsite and continues past the Brownstone Quarry north to the MdCloud-Bringham Farm where it turns east, then south returning to the dock.


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MAP DETAIL: Picnic Areas

Visitors who like to have a picnic, have options on the islands and on the mainland. Visitors will need to find their own water transportation to get these sites. These areas have a picnic table to sit at. The picnic sites within the National Lakeshore will be near the docks.

Islands that have a picnic area (alphabetical order):

Mainland locations that have a picnic area (alphabetical order):

These locations are marked with the picnic area symbol. 

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MAP DETAIL: Mainland Overview

The nearby communities of Cornucopia, the Red Cliff Reservation, Bayfield, and Washburn are located off of Highway 13. Highway 13 intersects with Highway 2 at the south end of the map and runs north and west along the shore of the Bayfield Peninsula. Ashland and the Bad River Reservation are located off of Highway 2, running east – west across the southern part of the map.

The primary visitor center is located in Bayfield, with seasonal visitor centers located at Little Sand Bay, 11 miles north on Highway 13, and Stockton Island 22 miles by boat. The multi-agency Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is open year-round and located near the junction of Highways 13 & 2.

The three primary, drivable mainland locations of the national lakeshore are Bayfield, Little Sand Bay, and Meyers Beach. Bayfield hosts the park headquarters and primary visitor center. Boat tours, boat rentals, and island camping shuttles can all be found in town, as well as the car ferry to Madeline Island, the only Apostle Island not part of the national lakeshore. Little Sand Bay is located within the boundaries of the Red Cliff Reservation and has a seasonal visitor center, the historic Hokenson Fishery, and a kayak launch. Also, on site, the Town of Russell has a boat launch, picnic area, and campground. Meyers Beach has a picnic area, the trailhead for the Lakeshore Trail, and primary kayak launch for the nearby mainland sea caves.

The mainland areas of the Bayfield Peninsula are made up of a variety of public, private, and tribal lands. The northern point of the peninsula includes the mainland portion of the national lakeshore, colored green, on the west, and the Red Cliff Indian Reservation (Gaa-miskwaabikaang), which includes Frog Bay Tribal National Park, on the east, colored salmon.

Madeline Island is directly east of Bayfield. It is the largest of the Apostle Islands and not part of the national lakeshore. The community of La Pointe has a car ferry terminal and Madeline Island Historical Museum. Big Bay State Park and Big Bay Town Park are 8 miles east of La Pointe. A small portion of Bad River Indian Reservation (Mashkii Ziibii) is located at the eastern point of the island.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is designated in tan on the southwest corner of the map on the peninsula. Located near the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is the Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge. East of Ashland, is the Bad River Indian Reservation, covering a large area north and south of Highway 2, and colored salmon. 

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MAP DETAIL: Islands Overview

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore contains an archipelago of 21 islands in a scattered mosaic of land and water located off Bayfield Peninsula’s northeast shore of Lake Superior. The archipelago is bounded by Eagle Island in the west, Devil’s Island in the north, Outer Island in the east, and Long Island in the south covering an area of roughly 30 by 30 miles.

This description contains the locations of islands and a general overview of services available on each. For in-depth descriptions of the services, visit the map detail elements for each type. Visit the language chart for the Ojibwe name for each island. Island dimensions are approximate and are given in west to east by north to south. The Islands are designated as Gaylord Wilderness in light green within Apostle Islands National Lakeshore unless described otherwise. Non-wilderness areas are denoted in dark green.

This description begins with Eagle Island, which is located two miles off the northeast coast of Bayfield Peninsula. From Eagle Island, descriptions move from west to east. Many of the islands are described based on their relation to Oak Island, which is a central island located two miles off the northeast shore of Bayfield Peninsula:

Islands to the north of Raspberry Island:

Islands to the north of Oak Island:

Islands to the northeast of Oak Island:

Islands to the East of Oak Island:

Islands to the South of Oak Island:

Hermit Island is two miles southeast of Oak Island. Size: a mile and a half by one mile. It contains a Brownstone quarry on the southeast shore.

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TEXT: Planning Your Visit

Visitor Centers. The old county courthouse in Bayfield houses the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Visitor Center. Exhibits and programs introduce the park’s history, natural history, and recreation options. Books, maps, and other items are available for purchase. From June to September, Little Sand Bay Visitor Center offers exhibits, sales items, and an information desk. Stockton Island Visitor Center is open daily in summer as a self-service facility.

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland is operated through a federal, state, and nonprofit partnership. It is open daily and free, and offers films, exhibits, regional archives, and sales items.

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TEXT: Boat Trips

Daily excursions (fee) depart Bayfield in summer. Water taxis (fee) link Bayfield to island points. Check schedules at the visitor center in Bayfield and on the park website.

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TEXT: Boating

Little Sand Bay and other points offer public boat launch areas. Use NOAA nautical chart #14973 or #14966 to navigate. Floatplanes and personal watercraft (PWC) are not allowed in park waters.

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TEXT: Sea Kayaking

Launch sites are at Little Sand Bay and Meyers Beach. Other sites, lessons, and equipment rentals are in Bayfield, Cornucopia, and Red Cliff. Find approved outfitters on the park website.

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TEXT: Fees

A camping permit is required (fee). Check the park website or ask park staff for details about this and other fees. Most fee revenues fund park resources and services.

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TEXT: Accommodations and Services

Visit the park website or contact a visitor center for camping reservations. Backcountry campsites offer the park’s only overnight accommodations. Find various camping opportunities in Red Cliff, state parks, and national forest lands. Find stores, campgrounds, motels, and restaurants in nearby communities.

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TEXT: Regulations and Safety

Check the park website, visitor centers, and ranger stations for safety tips and regulations on hunting, fishing, camping, and firearms. For Ice Caves information and safety visit the park website or social media. State and federal boating regulations are enforced. State and federal laws prohibit the pumping of holding tanks or oily bilges into the lake.

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TEXT: WARNING: Dangerous Waters

Lake Superior waters are dangerously cold. Sudden storms arise. The 50°F waters can cause hypothermia. Get reports from the US Coast Guard in Bayfield, ranger stations, and marine channel 7, 162.525MHz.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

The goal of accessibility is to provide information and experiences that advance knowledge, understanding and personal experiences to all. In the spirit of this, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore offers braille and large print format versions of this brochure at visitor centers. The Junior Ranger booklet is available in braille at Park Headquarters. Parking and ramps are signed with universal signage as accessible. Routes with hardened surfaces, and three-feet wide lead to visitor centers and exhibits at Park Headquarters in Bayfield, Wisconsin, Little Sand Bay, and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center where there is little to no slope.

Little Sand Bay:  Toileting facilities with 180 degree turn radius and grab bars are available at Little Sand Bay across the street from the Visitor Center. Once on the National Park Service dock at Little Sand Bay, a ramped viewing platform with viewing scope looks towards Sand Island. Exhibits at Little Sand Bay include tactile, three-dimensional, push button "audio box" units contains 6 messages, ranging in length from one to two minutes. A complete audio description of the exhibits is available as an .mp3 file. A listening device with audio description may be available when the visitor center is open (June - Labor Day). 

Michigan Island:  Once on Michigan Island, a ramped entrance with three-foot-wide door entries lead to exhibits in the old lighthouse. A complete audio description of the exhibits is available as an .mp3 file. A listening device with audio description may be available on site. 

Island Camping:  Once on Stockton Island at Presque Isle or Quarry Bay and on Sand Island East Bay, boardwalk leads from the dock to campsites that feature a wooden tent pad, picnic tables with a cutaway to allow wheelchair access, fire rings, and bear lockers. Toileting facilities feature 180 degree turn radius and grab bars. During the summer, potable water may be available along the boardwalk at Presque Isle and Sand Island. Reservations for camping are required and must be made in advance on Recreation.gov or by contacting the visitor center at (715) 779-3398 extension 2. Presque Isle’s amphitheater has a board walk route with levels that are ramped. Hiking on three-foot-wide boardwalks is available on Sand Island beginning at East Bay dock.


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OVERVIEW: More Information

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. Learn more about national parks at www.nps.gov.

Contact the Bayfield Visitor Center for more information about planning your visit. 

ADDRESS: 415 Washington Ave. Bayfield, WI 54814

PHONE: 715-779-3398

WEBSITE: www.nps.gov/apis

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