Bayfield, Wisconsin & Apostle Island National LakeshoreExplore the beauty.
Come and Visit Bayfield and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Along the windswept beaches and cliffs of Lake Superior, visitors experience where water meets land and sky, culture meets culture, and past meets present. The 21 Apostle Islands and 12 miles of mainland host a unique blend of cultural and natural resources. Lighthouses shine over Lake Superior and the wilderness areas. Visitors can hike, paddle, sail or cruise to experience these jewels of Lake Superior.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore exists as a coastal park at the northeastern tip of the Bayfield Peninsula, the northernmost mainland point in Wisconsin. It consists of twenty–two (22) separate units (21 islands and a 12-mile mainland unit) dedicated to the preservation and public enjoyment of significant historic, scenic, natural, and recreational resources in Ashland and Bayfield Counties. There are many mysteries that await your discovery here.
The waves of Lake Superior hide many stories from ready view. The waters around the islands have been the scene of many shipwrecks. Sailors on doomed vessels looked toward the island shores with hope and desperation; some made it to safety, some did not. The light stations, with their towers and houses and outbuildings, are well known and visited by many. Other sites, less often visited, offer equally obvious evidence of human presence. Follow the loop trail on Basswood Island from the group campsite southward: as you approach the island’s southern tip, you will suddenly find yourself at an overlook high above the remains of the Bass Island Brownstone Quarry. Stone walls like fortress ramparts loom above the quarry pit; here and there chunks of rusted iron equipment lie on the forest floor.
The traces of prior lives are not always as dramatic as a lighthouse nor so massive as the walls of the brownstone quarries. It takes a keen eye to spot a low masonry foundation in the woods near group campsite “A” on Sand Island, and even if one finds it, there seems nothing remarkable about the spot. Yet these are the remains of the one-room schoolhouse where the children of Sand Island’s farmers and fishermen once learned their ABC’s.
Come explore the mystery and beauty that make the Apostle Islands. We are certain you will be intrigued and invigorated by what you will experience.
Stunning natural scenery, windswept beaches, historic lighthouses, nature-carved rock formations, marine wildlife, crystal clear water, intricate sea caves and fascinating shipwrecks – this is Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Twenty one beautifully crafted islands in Lake Superior positioned off the coast of the Bayfield Peninsula in northern Wisconsin. Come and find yourself on a quiet forest trail, a soft sandy beach, or atop a breath-taking vista.
Kayak out to our famous water-sculpted sea caves. Catch the ferry over to Madeline Island or set sail on one of our famous Apostle Islands lighthouse cruises. Hike into the sunny berry fields and apple orchards to pick your own sweet, juicy bounty. Or, wander through our shimmering ice caves that will truly bewitch you with their crystalline twinkling. In Bayfield, Wisconsin, you’ll discover a million things you’ll want to do. And not one you have to do.
Your Relaxation Awaits
What makes Bayfield so special that those who discover it want to return again and again? That depends on who you ask. For some, it’s the beauty and serenity of the Apostle Islands. For others, it’s our cozy, charming small town feel. Others will say it’s the unique shopping and delightful dining options to be found in town and over on Madeline Island. Come relax, rejuvinate and reconnect in Bayfield.