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“Freezingly, beautifully spectacular!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
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Activities: Hiking, Camping
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Attraction details
Owner description: A cluster of 21 islands dotting the waters of Lake Superior; great for hiking, boating and camping.
Minnetonka, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Freezingly, beautifully spectacular!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

We drove from our fantastic Bed and Breakfast in Ashland, WI (The Inn at Timber Cove http://www.innattimbercove.com) through Bayfield to visit the Apostle Island Sea Caves (http://www.nps.gov/apis/mainland-caves-winter.htm).
It was incredibly cold and windy, but we persevered to see the caves (open for the first time in five years!). The key is to arrive before noon to park (face out), don't drink much water (no place to pee out there!), and eat a big breakfast (if you stay where we did that won't be a problem!). It is a good mile or more hike to the caves, with beautiful frozen structure to see after the first 1/2 mile. Photo opportunities galore!
Our party slithered through caverns and tunnels, scaled frozen walls and climbed through ice "picture windows" from one side to the other. So glad we went! There is a 2 unit bathroom in the parking lot, and the line took a good 20 minutes to get through (because of all the winter clothes layers, I suppose). The parking was facilitated by the Border Patrol, and they were very friendly and helpful. There is a parking fee (based on the size of your vehicle) of about $5.00. Snow shoes were not useful, and many people who did wear them took them off and carried them. Highly recommend a pair of "YakTrax", at least put one on per person for traction on the slippery spots. Some people pulled plastic sleds with extra gear (a good idea).
I can't wait to visit in the summer and see them from a kayak!

Visited January 2014
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50 reviews from our community

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English first
Butler, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wild beautiful history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

The water of Lake Superior is crystal clear. The Apostle Islands are absolutely beautiful. I Kayaked and camped thru the islands on an Outward Bound trip and I have to recommend sea kayaking this area. The camping is excellent with nice sites. There are bears, so you need an air horn and use the bear boxes for food storage. There is a light house, old logging sites, old fishing homesteads that blend the wild with the historical, which works for me. At one campsite there was the old safe from the logging camp. To heavy to remove I guess. It just sits, open with trees around it and plants growing in it. There are some "sea" caves that can be paddled thru, and some fascinating coastline where the water has eroded the red rock.
The water is chilly, even in September, so make sure you're properly equipped. The weather can change quickly so make sure you have a weather radio and know what you're doing, or like me, have someone with you that knows what they're doing.
I highly recommend this trip. Even the campground that is accessible by car is worth the effort for a weekend getaway if you live in WI or MN.

Visited September 2013
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Evanston, Illinois
Level Contributor
70 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Lake Superior at its finest at the Apostle Islands”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

We had three very full days at the Apostle Islands. Day 1: we took our bikes to Madeleine Island on the ferry and rode to the state park, which is a pleasant ride with a worthy payoff. The park has a scenic area on the water, next to sea caves. Day 2: We took cruises to Stockton Island and Raspberry Island, so we could see other islands. The islands have wonderful beaches with clear water. Raspberry Island has a historic lighthouse and a ranger gives a good tour. You can also take a short hike. Day 3: We had a pre-arranged kayak tour with Living Adventures, a local kayak tour company. For $99, they drive you to Myers Beach, give you a demonstration, and the group with two guides kayaks along the shore, in and out of sea caves. It was an experience I'll never forget. It happened to be foggy and eerie - all the better. At noon-ish, we stopped for lunch on the beach, and the guides set up a table with delicious wrap sandwiches, drinks, cookies - very tasty. Then we headed back to Myers Beach. It was a full and busy trip. Be prepared - weather can change instantly, although we traveled during a hot spell. If you like kayaking, hiking and biking, you can do all of these at the Apostle Islands. We have not been to Pictured Rocks in Michigan UP - that's probably next.

Visited August 2013
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Little Chute, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We were going kayak on Lake Superior to see the sea caves up close, but were feeling uncomfortable in the sea kayaks. We had our training session with Lost Creek Adventures in Cornucopia, and decided to end it after that. We drove over to Meyers Beach, parked the car, and walked down to the mainland lake shore. We had our dog with us, and he was allowed on the beach. We were able to see some sea caves from a distance. There's a hiking trail there that allows you to see the sea caves from above. I would've loved to do that, but I was wearing my water shoes. We also drove to Little Sand Bay Visitor's Center and saw more amazing views of Lake Superior. The main NPS visitor's center is in Bayfield, in the old courthouse. The whole area is very picturesque! Lake Superior is quite chilly!

Visited July 2013
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
132 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Awesome Beauty!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

There is no wrong way to experience this area, whether it's by boat, cruise, kayak, or by foot. It has only been in the past few years that this area has been developed to allow more access to this beautiful area.

I was blessed by spending my summers in the area. I have been fortunate to visit every island…each has its history and something unique to offer. You really won’t be disappointed with a visit to any of them.

We went to the Meyer's Beach lakeshore entrance to hike the Lakeshore Trail. The trail can be challenging at times, very muddy in some areas, and “thick” with mosquitos, but the payoff is magnificent when we reached the sea caves. On this part of the trail, you get to trek through a quiet forest and glimpse the red-hued sea caves from atop the cliffs.

Be prepared for any type of weather. When we started the wind was blowing off the lake, temperatures were in the 50s, and we needed fleece. By the time we reach the end of the trial the wind had shifted to the south, temperatures were in the high 70s, and we were taking off as many clothes as we could.

Visited September 2012
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