Friday, February 20, 2015

Array of trails crisscross Apostle Islands

Raspberry Island can be reached via boat or seaplane from Bayfield, Wis. 
Photo courtesy of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore NPS.
Imagine a place where you can hike sandy beaches and enjoy fantastic vistas of the world’s largest freshwater lake, a place of towering pines that bald eagles fly over and black bears scamper beneath, a place where you can explore sea caves or hike across billion-year-old red rock. The place is real – it’s called Bayfield County, Wisconsin.

If Wisconsin were a mitten, Bayfield County would be the peak of the four fingers. With much of it a peninsula, it boasts more shoreline on Lake Superior than any other Wisconsin county. It also offers dozens of miles of trails for those who love hiking.

The picturesque Apostle Island National Lakeshore includes 20 of the 21 Apostle Islands and a stretch of shore on the Bayfield Peninsula. Other than the peninsula section, you won’t be able to reach any of the islands in the national lakeshore by vehicle – but you can sail there yourself or take any one of a number of charters from the nearby towns of Bayfield and Ashland.

Isolation from vehicular traffic makes each island a quiet and secluded paradise of Northwoods wilderness. Almost all of the islands contain hiking trails to enjoy. Among the most popular are trails are found on Michigan and Stockton islands, as well as the Bayfield Peninsula.

Popular day hiking trails in the national lakeshore include:
g Basswood Island
g Mawikwe Sea Caves
Michigan Island
g Raspberry Island
g Stockton Island trails

Read more about day hiking Bayfield County in my Hittin’ the Trail: Day Bayfield County, Wisconsin guidebook.