In addition to 43 National Historic Landmarks, 18 National Natural Landmarks, and 2421 places listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there are three National Parks in Wisconsin. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, and the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. All three are very good reasons to plan a driving trip to Wisconsin during summer. I would love to visit The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, though, if I had the time to go.
To get to the islands, you can kayak out or take your own boat. Or, you can take the National Park Service operated excursion boat, with a maximum of 140 passengers, the offer narrated sightseeing tours, island shuttles, and charter boat trips. Check with them at call 800- 323-7619 or visit on-line at www.apostleisland. com for reservations and information. Apostle Island Cruises operates in the park as a concessioner to serve the public within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. They offer narrated sightseeing cruises, island shuttles, and charter trips to islands and offshore locations throughout the national lakeshore. Check the National Park Service website for more information on getting there.
There is plenty to do at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. In addition to the obvious boating, sailing, and kayaking, there are campgrounds, hiking trails, fishing, and guided activities. Take a guided lighthouse tour, a Manitou Island Fish Camp tour, or a Hokenson Brothers Fishery tour. There are also campfire activities in the afternoon and evenings at the Presque Isle on Stockton Island from late June through Labor Day. There are plenty of opportunities to catch Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Coho Salmon. Call ahead or check in to one of the visitor centers to find out if your campground is open. Due to winter storms there was a lot of damage to the camping areas and docks on the islands.
History buffs will love this National Lakeshore. From the earliest times of Ojibwe Native Americans, to early settlers, loggers,trappers, hunters, quarrymen, fishermen, lighthouse keepers, and farmers have lived and worked on these islands. There is still evidence of their homes.
The reasons for visiting Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are as varied as the people who go there. What would you want to do there? I would love to be able to explore the hiking trails, and camp along the lakeshore. I would be taking a fishing pole with me, that’s for sure!
To get directions to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center from Minneapolis, click here. It’s a 205 mile drive from the airport. For information about other visitor centers, click here.