Bayfield is the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, found at the northernmost point of Wisconsin. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is made up of 21 islands and twelve miles of mainland wilderness. Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands, is not part of the National Lakeshore. The 21 islands of the National Lakeshore feature a natural landscape trimmed with sea caves, sandstone cliffs, and miles of pristine sand beaches.
One of most popular features of the National Lakeshore is the sea caves, accessible by kayak and boat in summer. In wintertime, these sea caves become the renowned ice caves, drawing visitors from around the world. The ice caves form every winter and can be viewed from the trail above, which is accessible year-round. The trail above the caves begins at the Meyers Beach parking lot. Occasionally conditions allow for the ice beneath the caves to become solid enough to support foot traffic and visitors are able to enter the caves and view the ice formations up close. Always check with local authorities regarding conditions before heading out onto the ice.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore offers excellent kayaking opportunities. There are a number of guided half-day or full-day tours available, which is highly recommended for first-time paddlers especially.
For a complete list of outfitters licensed to take boat or kayak trips into the National Lakeshore visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore website or the Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau website.