I’m currently listing a luxury lake home on the north shore of Lake Superior’s Madeline Island. But even if you’re not looking for that sort of lake experience, Madeline Island is a great place to visit on your next vacation—or even just for a weekend getaway.
When you go, you’ll find that the Madeline Island Ferry makes getting there part of the fun. The Madeline Island Ferry Line operates four ferries, the Motor Vessel (MV) Bayfield, MV Madeline, MV Island Queen, and MV Nichevo. They take cars, bicycles, and pedestrians between Bayfield and La Pointe. The view is spectacular; this is one of those times when the journey is as enjoyable as the destination.
The trip takes about 25 minutes; the schedule varies by season. On busy summer weekends, ferries depart every few minutes. On a weekday in the off season, you may need to wait an hour or so. If you do, you’ll have to sit and look at the water while listening to the wind, the waves, and the gulls. The last time that happened, I had a book with just in case. Somehow, I never quite got around to opening it.
Loading is first-come, first serve. The only exception is for dump trucks, large construction equipment, and other oversized vehicles; they may need to wait for the next ferry. (And yes, if you live on Madeline Island you can expect to pay a little more for furniture and appliance deliveries.)
Madeline island has a school that educates children through 5th grade. Middle and high school-age children attend school in Bayfield; for them, the ferry is their school bus. For those who live on the Island and work in Bayfield, the ferry is a routine part of their daily commute. Still, I don’t think I’d mind a commute like that.