Sunday, August 23, 2009

Madeline Island

Madeline Island is the largest of the Apostle Islands located off the northernmost tip of Wisconsin. Madeline is the only one of the Apostles that is not part of the National Lakeshore, so that means ferry service, roads, souvenir shops and fudge. I had the brilliant (?) idea to take our bikes over and ride around the island. Unfortunately, I didn't calculate the mileage of our planned route and it was a bit much for me. By the end my legs hurt so bad that I told Ron if I ever suggested biking again, he should just shoot me. Just so you can laugh at my physical prowess, or lack thereof, it came to 15 miles total. Pathetic, huh?

The weather couldn't have been more beautiful - highs in the mid-70's and a few puffy clouds in a gorgeous blue sky. We loaded the bikes and ourselves on the ferry for the speedy 30 minute, 2.6 mile trip to Madeline Island.

The ferry dropped us off in La Pointe and we immediately saddled up and rode off. I did stop for this shot of a cute little church for my friend Iveytrails who always finds the picturesque churches.

As you can see, the road was freshly paved for smooth riding. This was probably the closest I ever got to Ron. In fact I would have lost him completely if he hadn't waited for me.

Our goal was the Big Bay State Park where we walked out on the beach and I tried to hold the camera with my shaking hands. If it's a little blurry, you understand.

Ron got a shot of me as I bravely smiled on our return trip.

I do have one tip for anybody who wants to bike to the state park. There are three roads you can take. We went out on the Big Bay Road which had very few glimpses of the lake through the trees. Our return was on Middle Road which was nicer and even had a bike lane. (Actually since the lines hadn't been painted yet, it was just a wide road, but nice.) I think the 'road not taken' was probably the best - South Shore Road. Ask before you go.

Here's a stretch along Middle Road that paralleled the shoreline.

Now for the good news, on the returning ferry ride, Ron discovered he had an Ibuprofen with him and within 1/2 hour my legs were fine. And here I thought I was going to have to resort to wine. Although I don't usually talk about restaurants, we asked at the ferry for a suggestion and they sent us to Maggie's in Bayfield. What a cute place - all decorated with flamingos and whatnot and with very good food. Our waitress had worked there for 25 years which I think is as long as it's been open.


  1. I can relate to your biking experience. I'd be looking for the throttle.

    Looks like a beautiful place.

  2. I'm so glad you're spending time in places I've been! I loved Bayfield. Do you know that in the winter they line up the dead Christmas Trees across the ice from Bayfield to Madeline Island? It becomes the "road" for snowmobilers as they go back and forth in all kinds of weather. Neat!

  3. So, do you have 15 miles worth of "Butt shots?"

    How come they didn't name the Apostle Islands after the apostles?

  4. You need to raise the seat a bit on your bike to get a fuller extension of your legs. The way it is set up now, you're using only part of your leg muscles, and working them much harder than you need to while the other parts are just "along for the ride".

    Higher seat = more muscle strength to the pedels = easier travel = less soreness. :c)

    I bike 20 miles most days to work.

    Keep up the good work, your travel blog is EXCELLENT!!!

    Old Snipe

  5. Thanks, Snipe, I'll try that if I ever try it again.

    Mary Ellen, I didn't know about the trees although they would make a nice edge to the road. They did tell us about the residents driving on the ice in the winter. Sounds frightening to me.