Apostle Islands Cruise Service

My long weekend plans got cancelled, so my first reaction (almost a reflex) was to call up to the Apostles and see what was available. As it turns out, my only choice was Stockton which is about a 15 mile paddle each way. I have paddled to it before (from farther away) but since I only have two nights and the trip out would start in the afternoon, I looked into the shuttle to take my boat and me out there. This would leave a lot of time (and energy) to explore in that area. Also slightly less weather dependent than a solo paddle (which this will be). I’ve spent more time on the bike than in the boat this year…

Question is - have any of you done this, and if so any thoughts? It’s $60 round trip with the boat, no problem with that. However, they need at least 12 people to do the run and they “should be OK” with having enough people. The thing that concerns me is that I might get out there and have to wait a couple days to get back. Is this the case? They didn’t want to commit and although my schedule is a little flexible, it’s not quite that flexible. Obviously, ‘the lake is the boss’ and is the ultimate word in what happens. May end up day paddling from LSB instead…

Only two days…
You have a couple of choices. Little Sand Bay like you said or take the ferry to the big island and camp at the park. Depending on the wind/ weather you can head in any direction from Madeline and the ferry runs all the time. Stockton is ok, but not too much different than the park on Madeline…lots of people camped close together. They have showers in the park too! Tom

Thanks for the info - the state park on Madeline had crossed my mind but I didn’t think there was a good place to launch a kayak from it. Any suggestions?

At this point, having camped at Stockton/Presque Isle before, I may just pass on that option. Camping at LSB has a lot of good paddling options (but no showers, at least as of a couple years ago). Madeline Island sounds good too. Oh, the problems I face… Probably have to fit in a stop at Tom’s if I go there.

There aren’t any launch sites right in the campgrounds, but there is the beach and to the south there is another landing if you wanted to paddle to Long Island. There are two light houses or “lights”. It isn’t an island that gets paddled too often. I like the two light houses on Michigan which isn’t that far from Madeline. The smaller one can’t be seen from the water. Long stairs to climb to get up there, but it is kind of neat to look down on the smaller lighthouse from the top of the taller one. I think there are other places to launch from on Madeline too. The nice thing about Madeline is once you’re done camping and paddling, you don’t have to unload the kayak and load the car…just wait for the ferry and enjoy the ride! Tom

More Madeline
Taking the ferry to Madeline and launching from Big Bay SP is an option I’ve considered. It’s a short carry to the beach from the parking area, as I recall, though I don’t know if they allow overnight parking there. Call the park office.

Looks like about 12 miles of paddling from Big Bay to the campsites on Stockton, most of it along the shore of Madeline, with perhaps a 3-mile crossing.

Lemme know what you learn, if you pursue this option.

Good Luck!



I did end up cancelling the Stockton reservation. Too much hassle to basically get the same sardine-packed camping experience as Little Sand Bay/Town of Russell where I’ll probably end up instead. If the weather’s good I’ll check out the mainland caves and the lighthouse on Sand Island; haven’t been to either for a few years or so. Also got my Labor Day permit this a.m.! :slight_smile:

Madeline’s Big Bay State Park was booked solid. I have driven through but didn’t spend much time there (non-paddling trip). Would have been fun though.

Thanks for all advice, and good to hear that LSB now has showers.