Big Bay Town Park

Big Bay Town Park, La Pointe: Address, Phone Number, Big Bay Town Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Big Bay Town Park
Beaches • Parks • Hiking Trails
Read more
Write a review
Beautiful public beach, scenic overlook into Big Bay Lagoon.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

75 reviews
Very good

Bettendorf, Iowa40 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
This park is perfectly maintained and free. There is a donation box, which we were happy to put money in as we had been to the State beach park the day before and it cost us $11 for our out of state car. This park's beach actually adjoins the state park beach, but this beach was sandy and you could walk on it. This park also has many hiking trails and a beautiful boardwalk. You can also rent kayaks and canoes to take into the inland lake - which was stunning. This park alone is worth the trip to Madeline Island!!!
Written September 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hayward, WI67 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
On a whim, we decided to go camping for the weekend of Fourth of July. We called several campgrounds along the north shore but most of the campgrounds were already full. Thankfully, Rand at Big Bay Town Park offered to place us on a wait list....several hours later he called back to say that there was one available! Not only was the campground host friendly and helpful but the grounds and facilities were beautiful and well-kept! Bathrooms clean, quiet at nighttime, and safe-feeling! We loved that we could walk down to the beach right from the campground or take a quick 6 mile drive with our motorcycle to town for breakfast. Madeline Island is a gem with lots to do - you just have to look for it! Can’t wait to go back!
Written July 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Harris, MN82 contributions
Jul 2020
My wife and I recently visited the town park for her birthday and given the pandemic, the park was the highlight of the island. The state park wasn't selling day passes only annual, so for a day non-resident visitor, it wasn't in our budget. The town park was perfect, we left a small donation. The water was super nice and calm and we enjoyed walking on the shore looking at rocks. We would go back to the town park and try to camp there.
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anita T
1 contribution
Aug 2021 • Family
Always love Fern and Rand. They are extremely helpful and friendly. Any time I have an issue they fix it almost immediately. Fern also does a great job at keeping the bathrooms clean. Which is particularly important to me in our situation with COVID now. Always a joy staying at our favorite site “32”, and being able to hop, skip, and jump, down to the beautiful lagoon and beach. Things are always well kept, and in order when we want to get to sleep by 10pm. I’d Love to be able to give 10 stars!
Written August 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chicago, IL216 contributions
Jul 2013 • Solo
This excellent camping location is overshadowed by Big Bay State Park but is a gem in itself.

I only discovered Big Bay Town Park when trying to make late camping reservations at the State Park. Unclear of site availability from the State Park reservation website, I called and received a recommendation to also look at BBTP. I may have gotten the better deal. And chances are that most people researching camping either wouldn’t discover this campground or would not immediately recognize that the State and Town parks with the same name are different.

BBTP has the typical (single) loop of campsites. Individually, the sites are fine and plenty large. There’s not a lot of foliage buffering the sites left and right, so you can pretty much look into most other neighboring camps. I was lucky. The high heat and threat of rain (it did) kept most campers away. But more importantly, be aware but don’t let this keep you from staying here. Just bring your own privacy if this matters to you. And recent comfort facility improvements put this on par with most any state park. There is no electric hookup available. Considering you are perched on a ridge over a rich bog, marsh and lake estuary, the bugs were present but not overly annoying. Individual results may vary.

It is also noteworthy that if you have young kids (or are prone to heavy drinking), choose a site that is not directly on the bank (sites 15 – 26 or so). The grade is maybe 70% and a slide down the slope could be painful and fishing someone out of the forest and marsh land below would probably require a rope. And sites 33 – 36 are directly on the public parking lot where the daytrippers come and go.

Much more importantly, the campsites are adjacent to a miles-long swimable beach and canoe rentals. The water flowing out of the bog lagoon is warmer than Superior making the water near the channel outlet more tolerable. Season and waterflow will affect this outcome.

Also loved the canoe livery, operated on an honor system. Just grab a boat and gear and pay for the time you keep it – about $10/hour. 2 hours is plenty for most people to explore the lagoon (not for use in the lake). Kayaks are also available but from a different outfitter that requires reservations.

I spent 2 nights at this campground and it made my trip. I never made it over to Big Bay State Park. I think with the completion of the upgraded facilities, this park will see increasing demand. Reservations can be made online.
Written July 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Darci M
Des Moines, IA20 contributions
Jul 2013 • Solo
I stayed three nights in early July 2013 at the Big Bay Town Park Campground. The crew was busy finishing up landscaping and parking lot improvements after a wet spring that delayed construction of the new shower house. They have done a fabulous job! The facilities are brand new, clean and it is so nice to have hot water, friendly campground hosts and the fabulous beach. Robert and Elizabeth are the new campground hosts and they sure add a warm touch to the place. I had several opportunities to visit with them and they were truly fabulous.

A few notes for campers new to the park: the sites are all wooded and while a close walk to the lake are not lakeside. My non-electric tent site was on the hill overlooking the lake but it is a sheltered glimpse rather than full view. The walk to the beach requires a short walk that takes you down a few flights of wooden stairs and across a bridge. You can then walk along the wooden boardwalk to enjoy the trees and plants along the shoreline or hop off directly onto the beach. The beach is very nice, but be aware that the bottom of the lake is typical lake superior with lots of pebbles and small rocks. There are also canoes and kayaks to rent once you reach the beach so very easy access. In addition to the new bath house which has flush toilets and sinks with warm water, there are also pay showers. They are $1.75 for the first three minutes with additional 30 seconds for each quarter. The water is great pressure and warm almost instantly. There is firewood for sale at the campground but be sure to get ice in town before heading out the 7 mile drive from LaPointe. In all a great place to stay. Unequaled beauty, warm friendly hosts and many recent improvements.
Written July 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jacky L
New London, MN14 contributions
Jul 2013 • Family
I've been camping on Madeline for about 28 years now. Ya, things have changed a lot since that first trip. Things are now more modernized for those that need it to be. Not as happy about that as some. But, you can't beat the most beautiful views from above over-looking the lagoon, plus the hike to the State Park, yes it's boardwalk for a ways for those who can't walk on the sand. This makes it really nice for those who are handy capped to enjoy the spectacular view of the beach, which seems to go on for miles. This is rather a cheap get away if you really enjoy camping or just a great hike for the day. Bring camera and a picnic lunch if you have the time. Kids will remember it for years to come! I know it was the only place my children ever asked to go to every Summer, which became our little get away with out spending a huge amount of money as if going to Florida. Enjoy, Jacky Lindquist - New London, MN
Written January 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Milwaukee, WI273 contributions
Jul 2013 • Couples
My husband and I visited this park in late July. We took a 2-hour canoe ride in the lagoon (honor system payment for the canoes - $10/hour or $35 for the day, I believe). We were seemingly the first ones in the lagoon that day - we set out early on purpose and started paddling at 8 am. The lagoon was incredibly peaceful and fun to paddle around. We saw a number of painted turtles sunning themselves as well as a few heron! The beach at the park is large and picturesque. We did not swim in the lake - it seemed pretty cold, even in July! - but enjoyed laying on the sand and looking at the beautiful rocks and pebbles at the shoreline. This was a great way to spend several hours!
Written August 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wisconsin46 contributions
Jul 2015 • Couples
Decided to go to the "town" park instead of the state park. Found out they share the same long sandy beach. Trails, free canoe rental, camping, and a great beach will have me coming back.
Written July 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kathleen H
Minnetonka, MN1 contribution
Aug 2012 • Friends
If you want electricity for camping, try the State Park first. The electric campsites are basically in the parking lot of the camp ground. We are not used to camping in such close quarters. The tents were about 5 ft. apart. The other sites in the woods are much better. Beautiful beach though, but very crowded when we were there.
Written August 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 75
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Big Bay Town Park