Madeline Island and Big Bay State Park, Wisconsin

Madeline Island is the largest of the Apostle Islands and the only one not a part of the National Lakeshore. Located just a few miles from the mainland, the island is inhabited by a couple hundred hardy souls year round and accessed in winter by ice road. The island is mostly vacation homes however with a section set aside as Big Bay State Park. We took the ferry from Bayfield and drove the short circuit around the island before heading to the park for a hike. We opted for a trail along the coast that featured more of the beautiful sandstone, but with shorter bluffs and ledges that made it possible to climb around on and access the water. When not picking our way across boulders and ledges on the shore we walked through the open mixed forest above, enjoying the alternating shade and sun. After we had our fill of walking we headed back through town on the way to the ferry and made an obligatory stop at Tom’s Burnt Down Cafe – a cafe that really did burn down and was never repaired. I don’t know the whole story here is but the structure remains somewhat jerry-rigged and festooned with colorful decorations and amusing painted quotes.

Beach on Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Beach on Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Tom: “Stay right there. Smile. Now move back – there's nothing underneath you.”

Tom: “Stay right there. Smile. Now move back – there’s nothing underneath you.”

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Beach, Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Beach, Big Bay State Park, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Tom's Burnt Down Cafe, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Tom’s Burnt Down Cafe, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Tom's Burnt Down Cafe, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Tom’s Burnt Down Cafe, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Tom's Burnt Down Cafe, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Tom’s Burnt Down Cafe, Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

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