About 6 miles from town (bring your bike, the shoulder is big and road relatively flat, in good condition), this state park is pristine. Kayaks can be rented & paid in town then just meet up at the beach right here. Another alternative is to drive to the park adjacent to the campground and launch your own, or if your kayak is light, portage from the camp ground which is not too far. Sites are REALLY nice, ample space, wooded or partially wooded and mostly quiet (unless you get a big young family nearby because the moist woods echo). Would have rated excellent however bathroom only had 3 stalls and 2 showers with only 1 outlet NOT near the sink. No benches in the bathroom except near the showers. I did not investigate the other shower rooms; this was the one closest to #22 which by the way is across from the path to the beach. Canoes can be used and there is a significant river/pond area which you can view from the impressive boardwalk. This boardwalk extends for most of the beach, just off shore in a wooded "spit" or area of land/sand bog and runs for about a mile, in great condition! An interpretive guide of 12 signs nicely done and benches here and there. The beach is sandy for a long distance as far as you can walk (does not get deep fast) and if weather warm, the cool water refreshing. Paths for bikes, walkers make for beautiful hiking, especially where the shoreline juts out onto enormous boulders with hidden smaller beaches below. Stay a few days to make your ferry fare worth it, because it does cost $50 round trip for a car and 2 people/bikes. One thing I noticed was the weather, temperature varies greatly depending on the side of the island, the coast, in town, inland or even just a bit up into the campground, so 60-70"s if sunny is really quite pleasant. I'd also highly recommend the museum in town and local lake superior fish at the beach club (lake trout or whitefish both excellent). Madeline Island is a slower place so bring a book and don't expect cell/internet service unless you're in town, although a technology detox is good for you!
- Also Known As:
- Big Bay State Park Campground, Madeline Island Hotel Apostle Islands
- Big Bay State Park Campground, Madeline Island Hotel