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7 Things To Do While Visiting the Apostle Islands Area

Updated: Feb 26


Summer Season

By far the most visited time of the year is summer between July and September. For this reason you may want to consider watching the weather and visiting during a 'shoulder season' such as June or September. June can be buggy, (but generally not as bad as the nearby boreal regions like the Boundary Waters) and September can be fantastic but windier for paddlers. Early October begins the color season, but it can also snow!


#1 Paddling!

When it comes to getting out in the islands, we think sea kayaking is the best way. Why? because a kayak allows you to get close and personal with the caves and the water. Paddling gives you time to contemplate, a rarity in todays' world. But to get to the islands by paddle you need at least a full day. Sand, York, Raspberry, Oak, Hermit, Basswood, and Madeline are all islands within reach for novice to intermediate sea kayakers. Not all in one day though! Pick one to visit and plan on eating lunch there.

For safety reasons we recommend taking a tour if you don't have prior sea kayak training and experience. We run kayaking/hiking trips to Sand Island. You can check out what we offer here.


And if you don't have a full day to spend we offer half-day tours to the world-famous sea caves which are actually on the mainland.


#2 Hiking

The area has some great hiking options. The best all-around resource we've found is the Landmark Conservancy Trails guide. Also great options are Mt. Valhalla Recreation Area which is part of our National Forests, and Mt. Ashwabay Ski Area which has great summer hiking with views of several of the Apostle Islands from the top. You can just head up the hill from the ski lodge or hike one of the many marked ski trails.


There are also thousands of acres of public land throughout our local county and national forests, free to roam.


#3 Road Biking

County Highway C between Cornucopia and Washburn is 20 miles of low-traffic (usually) biking. Some folks pedal the peninsula by connecting County C with Hwy 13 for a 52 mile ride.


Forest Road 236 runs from Ino to Highway C and is fairly famous for it's almost zero traffic and smoothly paved roads. Head up highway C to the 236 pull-off and park. You can ride 40 miles round trip from Ino and back.


#4 Trail Biking

Our area has recently gained a lot of press as being one of the top mountain bike single track destinations in the upper Midwest. CAMBA north is located at the previously mentioned Mt. Ashwabay ski area, which also hosts great winter fat biking opportunities.


Winter Season

WAY less people visit us during the winter, but for those who love the cold months and less traffic, you should give our area a visit.


#1 Dogsledding

Try your hand at dogsledding with Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing. They offer a complete hands on experience for all ages. Drive your own sled or ride with an experienced guide through groomed forested trails of the South Shore of Lake Superior. Kids very welcomed! Wolfsong’s Seppala Siberian Huskies are all very friendly and love meeting everyone. More info at www.wolfsongadventures.com


#2 Ice Caves

Our mainland sea caves turn in to ICE caves every winter, however since these are sea caves the only way to access them is by walking on the ice. To check the ice conditions visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Cave Report. If the caves are safe you'll likely need a place to stay! We offer the Apostle Islands Suite and Bunkhouse, with a shuttle to the cave parking lot on busy Weekend days. (When you won't find parking in the park)


#3 Skiing

Our area has fantastic Cross Country ski options and quaint downhill skiing as well. For Cross Country skiing options we recommend visiting the SkinnySki website map. They have the most up to date trail conditions. Zoom in on the 'NW Wisconsin' area.

For downhill/alpine we have our local hill Mt Ashwabay. It's only $28 to ski all day!


Other things to do near Cornucopia & The Apostle Islands

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