We have spent most of our time, while in Wisconsin, enjoying our immediate surroundings. like I have mentioned before, we have a house right on the shore of a 216 acre lake with woods surrounding us filled with dear, wolves, foxes porcupines, beaver and much more. Do not fret, we take our precautions when entering the territory of wild animals and we are the guests.
However, there are some sights that we planned on visiting while here. Admittedly, the one we went to yesterday was completely unknown to us until we were here and Mama Nomad did some digging around on the internet and came across it. I honestly do not know how she does it. But she finds the most unique, interesting and fun things for us to do. We probably do not tell her enough, but the Nomad Men really appreciate her efforts.
Anyway, Mama Nomad showed me some pictures of a place called The Apostle Islands. No, it is not where Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and others vacationed. They are some islands on the Western end of Lake Superior near the town of Bayfield, Wisconsin off of the Bayfield Penninsula. What really grabbed me were the sea caves! There are tall bluffs with caves cut into them by Mother Nature. If you rent kayaks, you can explore inside them. Or, if you go during the winter, while the lake is frozen, you can walk in them with ice shoes.
We went before you could rent kayaks and after the lake had thawed (we actually saw some people swimming in the 45°F to 50°F water). So, in order for us to check things out, we had to explore on foot from the top of the bluffs. In order to do this, we had to go to the Meyers Beach entrance of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, near Cornucopia, Wisconsin. This will allow you to journey on the Lakeshore Trail, which leads you right above the sea caves. There are bathroom facilities, Lake Superior beach access to put your own kayaks into the water and picnic tables available. Parking is on the honor system but inexpensive enough; $5 for the entire day.
We began our journey, after applying bug repellent liberally, by going down to the shore and taking in the view of Lake Superior. You can see at least one of the Apostle Islands from here. Afterwards, we headed on down the Lakeshore Trail. It is around 2 miles from the parking lot to the sea caves. The first half of the journey is actually walking across a boarded trail; meaning there were two 12 inch boards, side by side, to walk on.
Eventually we came to a service road and the trail continued on the other side. The first few hundred feet of the continuing trail was on one 12 inch wide board and then, eventually, no more boards. Not to worry, the trail is completely marked and well worn. But, if you plan on hiking it, do not just wear tennis shoes. Some places have small trees and logs to cross streams. And other areas are steep going down and up. They place timbers horizontally across the pathway to aid you, like steps. But, in some areas they are absent. A walking stick is highly recommended by The Nomads.
There is an abundance of flora in all directions. You cannot see Lake Superior from the trail (most of the way), but there are literal streams of flowers that are worth stopping and checking out. In addition, there are a multitude of different plants, trees and an occasional animal.
Along the way you will see small trails that deviate off of the main one. Let me save you time, they are not really worth exploring until you get to the natural bridge. You will see a few scenic views. But they are not as breathtaking, in my opinion, as the sea caves.
There is an area, you CANNOT miss it, that has a natural bridge. You are warned not to cross it and I would listen. There is a man made bridge for you to go across the chasm. However, on both sides, there are side trails that go to the edge and they let you see better views of the sea caves.
Please take this note seriously. If you get vertigo, are very afraid of heights, not confident with knowing if the ground is solid or not beneath your feet or are in experienced with using sturdy trees and tree limbs as support, then STAY ON THE MAIN TRAIL. People slip, fall and die while exploring off trail. But, if you are experienced in the above, you can get a view that is only rivaled by being in a kayak or on foot (in winter). As I am experienced, I, of course, had to see it and grab some shots (which we are sharing here).
After we saw the sea caves, we turned around and headed back. That was the main thing we wanted to see. And, with none of the boats running to give you tours to the other islands, we called it a day. If you are in Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan, I suggest you take some time and visit the Apostle Islands. The views are fantastic. Just go when the boats are running or you can rent kayaks to get the full experience. Safe Travels.