An Introduction to Madeline Island

Bayfield and Madeline Island might be a fun destination for your next vacation—or even just a weekend getaway.

Located in Lake Superior just off Wisconsin’s North Coast, Madeline Island is a popular tourist destination.  The largest of the 22 Apostle Islands, it’s 14 miles long and 3 miles wide.  It’s the only one of the islands with commercial development or permanent habitations.

You’ll be on the island’s rugged northern shore, a quiet, secluded part of the island that’s rarely seen by tourists.  Most visitors tend to spend their time in the area in and around La Pointe.  Other popular attractions are Big Bay State Park and Big Bay Town Park.  Both are on the south side if the island; they share the same 1 ¼ mile sandy beach, and offer camping, swimming, hiking, and paddling.

On the island, you’ll find a wide range of entertainment and dining options.  Other attractions include shopping and galleries, walking tours, boat tours and fishing charters, hiking trails, a historical museum, an equestrian facility, and canoe, kayak, bike, or moped rentals.

Over on the mainland, Bayfield is home to dozens more galleries, shops, and restaurants.  You’ll also want to check out the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua and the Isle Vista Casino.  The Bayfield area is home to over a dozen orchards and berry farms; come October, you’ll want to get in on the Bayfield Apple Festival.

To learn more about Madeline Island, you can visit the Chamber of Commerce website at  From there, you’ll find links to the Madeline Island Ferry Line, the Apostle Islands National Seashore, local restaurants and galleries, and various other attractions.  To learn more about Bayfield, visit

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