John L's Old Maps / Supplementary Pages:

 Views of the Apostle Islands 

Part 2: Summer and Winter Photos
Archived Page – August 1, 2006 Edition.
Revised, expanded edition is here.

Click on images to open them up in separate window.
If you are running Netscape 4.x, see the note here.

An excellent .pdf map can be downloaded from here.


Old Map Collection – web version 4.1 (9/7/03):
"  Part 1: c.1710-1857
"  Part 2: 1873-1920
Supplementary Pages:
Evolution of Northwest Territory
Photos:  Source of Brule & St. Croix Rivers
Photos:  Railroads and Trails
"  Views of the Apostle Islands – Parts 1, 2 (this page), 3



Summer Photos

11: An aerial photo of Gull Island on the eastern edge of the Apostle Islands group, situated just off the northeast tip of Michigan Island. Between May 15 and September 1, one must stay at least 500 feet away as the island is a protected gull rookery. (Image is from the Terraserver site.)

11A: Straight off the northeast coast of Madeline Island is a nice view of the southwest end of Michigan Island, approx. 3 1/2 miles away. A telefoto view is shown here in which the Michigan Island lighthouse may be seen (just barely) toward the far right.

11B: Sighting along the left edge of Michigan Island – whose fairly straight shoreline on that side runs another 3 1/2 miles to the northeast tip (pretty much parallel to the line of sight) – one may spot Gull Island as seen in this view obtained with my camera's telefoto lens. The line of sight is indicated on the Terraserver image here. On this particular sunny day in June, 2004, the sightings of Gull Island and the far distant shoreline of Michigan were occasionally obscured by patches of thick white fog and also frequently confused (sometimes seemingly elevated) by the uneven texture of the lake. According to Volume III of Geology of Wisconsin – Survey of 1873-1879 (published in 1880), Madeline, Michigan and Gull Islands are the above-water manifestations of a continuous ridge.

It is really no big deal to see Gull Island from Madeline, especially at night when the light from the Gull Island beacon should be easy to spot. At this particular site, one must not stray off the narrow public easement (between the town road and the water) onto private land! You will probably be eaten alive by sand flies as punishment. Island-spotting among the Apostles from driveable locations certainly is not something that one often reads about, but it's something to do along with the great boat tours of the area until I become amphibious! (Watch me get hung up on the Steamboat Island reef!) My enthusiasm in being able to see Gull Island from this spot masked a developing problem with my feet which I initially thought was simply the result from standing in briars. Soon the pain became almost unbearable, but I just had to take a photo of the problem before taking steps to relieve it. Click here for a shot of at least 17 sand flies penetrating my sock to do their thing. Real professionals they were.

11C: Looking in a more northerly direction from about the same spot on Madeline Island, one sees the very close Stockton Island. No, it's not the mainland; we left that way behind as we travelled the length of Madeline as far as we could go.

12: Moving over to the western edge of the Apostles, one can get a good view of Sand Island, about 2 1/2 miles northwest of the dock at Little Sand Bay, the site of an Apostle Islands National Lakeshore visitor center.

13: Approximately seven miles straight west of the visitor center, Eagle Island can be seen. An enlarged view of the island is shown in Photo 13, and a telefoto close-up is here. As for Gull Island, one must stay at least 500 feet away between May 15 and September 1. Gulls, great blue herons and eagles rule this place. Click here for a late-afternoon shot taken from the end of the dock in early June, 2005.

13A: About 1 1/4 miles straight northeast of Cornucopia is Meyers Beach whose parking lot was often overfilled in the summertime, spilling into the entrance road and up onto Highway 13. This situation was relieved in the early Summer of 2005 with better access and a larger lot. On this photo, we see a flotilla of kayakers returning from a visit to the nearby shoreline caves. Four miles north (and a little east) is another view of Eagle Island. Despite the persistance on many so-called "updated" maps of an old name – a term generally considered to be derogatory to Native Americans – the actual name of this bay of Lake Superior is Mawikwe Bay. A telefoto view of Eagle Island taken from the beach in the winter is shown here.

13B: A telefoto view of Eagle Island from the parking lot above Meyers Beach. The arrow points to the direction (straight north) and approximate location of the Eagle Island Shoals which are not to be confused with the unnamed (?) shallows immediately south of Eagle Island, the site of the submerged Steamboat Island. Hoping to arouse some curiosity about this forgotten lost island – what with the massive interest these days in lighthouses, shipwrecks, sea caves, shopping, kayaking and various other recreational activities in the area – we offer our Steamboat Island page. A similar view of Eagle Island taken in the winter is shown here.

14: Special Added Mainland Attraction – something to see if you find yourself anywhere in the vicinity of the Apostle Islands: With a vertical drop of just several feet or so, the Siskiwit Falls near Cornucopia are certainly not the highest in the state but are something to behold nonetheless. A side view is shown here. To avoid trespassing on private land, these falls are best approached from the nearby road by walking along the river from the bridge.

15: The lighthouse on the north end of Devil's Island.

16: On Rocky Island, looking northeasterly across the water at South Twin Island. (Almost looks like one of those typical tropical-island brochure scenes.) These two islands may have been more closely associated or even connected in the recent past – as one may see on Map 13A (dated 1857) on the first maps page where they are labeled "Two Islands"; a closer view of this map is shown here. On the earlier-published version of Bayfield's map of his 1823-25 survey (discussed more in Part 1), three distinct land masses are indicated, as the northeast tip of Rocky Island is significantly highlighted; see the closeup of this area on the map here. On the later-published version (1828) – detail shown here – Rocky appears intact and more closely associated with South Twin island.

17: The "driftwood factory" along the west shore of Rocky Island.

18: Out among the islands one often sees them as pancakes floating on the water. Here we have (from left to right) Otter, Rocky, South Twin, North Twin, Ironwood and Manitou Islands.

19: Here is a hazy, distant view of Little Manitou Island with its file cabinet-sized Little Manitou Light. (Almost looks like a stranded R2D2 from "Star Wars.")

20: An offshore photo of La Pointe on Madeline Island taken from a car ferry in August, 2003 during the busy tourist season.

20A: A view of the swamp-fed Big Bay Lagoon that has its outlet at the north end of the town park beach on the east side of Madeline Island. Here we are facing south, and a closer view of the islands in the middle part of the lagoon is shown here. I can imagine Henry Schoolcraft standing on this spot and pinning a name on each one.

20B: Back on the mainland, here is an interesting rainbow seen a few miles west of Ashland.

For a more up-close and personal look at the Apostle Islands, take a virtual tour at the site! Click on "The Islands."

Winter Photos
(Links to a couple winter shots of Eagle Island are noted above; see for Photos 13A and 13B.)

21–25: A few mid-March, 2004 photos taken around LaPointe.

26–27: The ice road as seen from the upper west tip of Madeline Island as one looks northwesterly toward Bayfield on the mainland about two miles away. When the ice is thick enough to drive on – usually most days in January through March – the ice road acts as a bridge, allowing commerce to proceed efficiently. The used Christmas trees mark the median strip of this multi-lane freeway. There are those awkward times (as Photo 27 would suggest) when the ice is forming or breaking up – and when the ferries are iced in – when island residents and visitors depend on a particularly unique and efficient means of transportation to haul themselves and their stuff back and forth. When these photos were taken (March 15, 2004), the ice could still support snowmobiles, the occasional hardy pedestrian and very lucky small-truck drivers. But the time was nigh for "normal" driving to cease and that large, propeller-driven, amphibious snowmobile – the windsled – to rule the frozen waves.

28–30: The windsled, a new Windmark Ice Angel IV that can hold at least 25 passengers, loads up in Bayfield for an afternoon run to Madeline Island. It probably only took five minutes to get there; one can lose track of time when experiencing such a thing for the first time. Photo 30 shows the windsled's approach (with the landing gear about to be deployed) to Griggs Landing on the northwest tip of the island. (A close-up of the front is seen here.) A word of advice: Wear some hearing protection! Bring along a couple big wads of cotton if nothing else.

To learn about winter travel among the islands and the evolution of windsleds from a primary authority, read On Thin Ice – Windsleds at Madeline Island by Charles R. Nelson (2001), available from the Windsled Museum website. This unique book is loaded with interesting photos, historical accounts and mechanical details. It also drives home the fact that the windsled is the ultimate all-season emergency vehicle on the lake, blowing away probably anything the Coast Guard can throw at whatever situation.


























" Return to Part 1.
" Go to new fall photos in Part 3.
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This page was last modified on 8/1/06 at 4:30 PM, CDT.
All photos are by John L. unless credited otherwise.
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Department of Bacteriology, U.W.-Madison