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Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Scattered over 750 square miles of Lake Superior coastal waters, the National Lakeshore includes 21 of the 22 Apostle Islands, (69,372 acres), plus a 12-mile stretch of mainland shoreline on Lake Superior’s south shore. Habitat is northern hemlock/hardwood forest, boreal forest, beaches, dunes, bogs, lagoons, and sandstone cliffs of Lake Superior. The islands provide nesting habitat for more than 150 bird species and serve as a rest stop for more than 250 bird species during spring and fall migrations.

Directions: The Headquarters visitor center is located one block north of State Highway 13 in Bayfield at 415 Washington Ave. The Little Sand Bay visitor center is located in the park’s mainland unit 13 miles north of Bayfield, off Cty. K.

Gazetteer: Page 103 (prior to 10th edition). | Page 23 (10th edition).

Amenities: Primitive camping on the islands.

Notes: The islands have six historic light stations, (guided tours available June-Sep). The headquarters visitor center is located in the old Bayfield County Courthouse, a National Register building. Stockton Island supports one of the densest populations of black bears in the country. The islands’ sea caves are spectacular in any season.

Restrictions: Colonial nesting areas on Eagle, Gull, and Otter islands are closed seasonally. Bald Eagle nesting areas are also closed seasonally.

Phone: 715/779-3397 (National Park Service).

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore map

Web site: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Signature Species: Piping Plover.

Rarities: Sub-arctic plants like butterwort and bird’s-eye primrose.

Hours: The headquarters visitor center is open May-Oct, 8am- 5pm daily; Nov-Apr, 8am-4:30pm Mon-Fri. The Little Sand Bay visitor center is open daily June- Sep.

Seasonality: Spring, summer & fall. The islands are only accessible by boat. Excursions operate from Bayfield May-Oct. Public docks are found on 13 of the islands. Boat and Kayak launch facilities in Bayfield and Little Sand Bay.

Accessibility: Mainland visitor centers are fully accessible.

Nearest food & lodging: Bayfield.