Enjoy Nature on Madeline Island

Big-Bay- Lagoon

A Madeline Island map will show you that there are many spots to visit on the Island by car or bike. Gorgeous sand beaches stretch a mile or so from Big Bay State Park to the Town Park, but that’s not the only beach on the island. There’s Joni’s beach close to town. The beach that joins the parks is a barrier beach, one of few in the United States. Behind the barrier beach is a lagoon which is home to countless types of wildlife, and you can take a walk on the board walk that goes through the lagoon. Various signs along the way will explain what you are seeing. For a closer experience with nature, you can even camp in either of these parks (Big Bay Town Park or Big Bay State Park). For Mother Nature at her majestic best, you can get a view of other islands and Michigan from the lookout at Big Bay Point. Watch the waves as they crash up on the boulders there and imagine what thousands of years of weathering have done to them. Short hiking trails wind along the shoreline, and frequently you can see eagles soar above the pine trees. Various wetlands have been preserved in their natural state through the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve. You can hike longer trails through these wetlands. At the end of your day in the wild, relax and have a soak in a hot tub-many of the island’s accommodations have them-or watch a pink and blue sunset give way to a starry night on the lake. Most bars and restaurants have outdoor seating for you to enjoy.

Madeline Island Camping Choices

There are many reasons to head to the north woods. One of them is Madeline Island camping. Many options are available-all of them within yards of the beaches of Lake Superior. The largest body of fresh water in the world, Lake Superior surrounds this tiny island and creates a 42-square mile playground. You can opt for a primitive camp site if tenting is your preference.

Which park is better for my family or group? Big Bay State Park or Big Bay Town Park? Both parks offer advance web reservations.

Fire wood is available at both locations. However, because of invasive forest insects and diseases, firewood burned in Wisconsin campgrounds must originate from within the state and within 10 miles of the campsite. In addition, firewood that has been harvested, purchased, stored or moved through an Emerald Ash Borer quarantine area may not leave the quarantine area. For more information on campground firewood see Big Bay State park Range of Allowable Firewood.

Take home your memories, not gypsy moths!” Inspect your vehicle and outdoor articles for gypsy moth egg masses, remove and destroy them (burn or drown in water with a little bleach) before you leave the island. Thank you for helping keep Madeline Island free of invasive species!

And of course, it’s a very short walk to the beach. To enhance your camping experience, learn about a primary feature of the island: the culture and heritage of the Ojibwa. Madeline Island treasures its connection to the ancient tribe and preserves their past at the historical Madeline Island Museum on the Island. The museum features the art of the Ojibwa, and many handmade items are for sale in the gift shop. There are also children’s books that will help youngsters learn about the first Americans to come to the Island. For a true island experience, plan some Madeline Island camping: explore the beaches and wetlands, the hiking trails and tall trees, the rock formations and the eagles that soar above them. You’ll want to come back again and again to this peaceful idyllic location.