A Great Place in a Great Lake: The Apostle Islands and Lake Superior

In the northernmost reaches of Wisconsin lies the Apostle Islands, a small archipelago within Lake Superior. This location is well-known for its enchanting sea caves, hiking trails, and adventure opportunities for thrill seekers. Visiting here is like being transported to another world and era, with lots of history and magical sights. We’ve shared a guide to help you create a comprehensive itinerary. Let’s dive in!

Explore the Magnificent Sea Caves

Perhaps you’ve seen Apostle Island sea caves as a desktop wallpaper or in the portfolio of an award-winning landscape photographer. It’s no surprise that this location has attracted so many people. These geographic formations feature arches, tunnels, and sea caves that give off an otherworldly vibe. These were formed naturally after erosion from Lake Superior, with the swirling patterns created by layers of sandstone. 

Narrated cruises of the Apostle Islands are available, so book ahead of time to make sure you get a seat. Guided kayak tours are also available for those who want to get up close and personal with the caves. For those who prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of hiking opportunities along the shoreline at Meyer’s Beach, where you can enjoy stunning views of the caves from above. In rare instances, the lake ice freezes solid enough to allow walking on the frozen surface, offering a unique view of the fairytale-like ice caves. However, this is only permitted when the Park Service deems it safe for access.

Check Out the Enchanting Lighthouses

Lake Superior has plenty of markers that show its historical importance to maritime trade. Some of the most visible and popular attractions are the lighthouses. There are nine lighthouses that can be found on the Apostle Islands, so make sure to add these to your itinerary. 

Among the most recognizable are Raspberry Island Lighthouse and the Sand Island Lighthouse, both of which are within the archipelago. When you visit them, it’s like you’re being transported to the 19th century. To learn more about these historical markers, you can join a guided tour at four of the markers.

See the Diverse Wildlife

The islands have a diverse ecosystem that features the iconic fauna and flora of the northern United States. Native animals include black bears, white-tailed deer, and bald eagles. To see these majestic creatures, join birdwatching activities, hike the trails within the islands, and camp in designated areas. Just make sure that you don’t disturb these animals in their natural habitat. On the other hand, fishing is available if you want to bring something home! Lake Superior has plenty of fish species like bass, trout, and walleye. 

Try Kayaking or Sailing

Your adventures don’t have to be limited to the Apostles Islands. Lake Superior has plenty of other sights waiting for you to visit. You can sail to the open waters of the immense lake, check out the signature sandstone shoreline and the magnificent scenery, or catch the sunset on a sea kayak or paddleboard. 

Accessing the Apostle Islands 

The best ways to access the Apostles Islands are through Bayfield, Red Cliff, or Cornucopia. The communities along the south shore and on Chequamegon Bay have all that you need for an unforgettable visit. Each town or city offers unique eateries, shops, art galleries, and lodging/camping options. You can also find outfitters with sea kayaks, paddle boards, and other equipment for rent. Other businesses also offer charters into Lake Superior.  These localities will provide whatever you need for your Lake Superior adventures. When venturing out without a guided tour, be sure to check with the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for important safety information. For more details, please contact us today!

The Apostle Islands and Lake Superior offer a truly unique adventure for any adventurer. From the mesmerizing sea caves and historic lighthouses to the diverse wildlife and exciting water activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you choose to explore by kayak, hike the scenic trails, or simply relax and take in the stunning views, you’ll find that this region is a paradise for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike. This guide is just the beginning—start planning your trip today and discover the magic of the Apostle Islands and Lake Superior!