Sea Kayaking Apostle Islands Info Reques


I am an eperienced whitewater paddler. I have routinely done 15+ trips per year on Class IV or -V rivers for the past 10 years. I have moderate eperience in backpacking. But have limited experience in sea kayaking, compass and chart use, etc.

My wife has done some whitewater paddling, but is not an avid whitewater paddler. She has limited backpacking experience.

We recently bought sea kayaks and are looking to do a trip to the Apostle Islands in late August or early Sept of this year. We have never been to the area. We have cold weather paddling gear, ie dry suits, wetsuits, paddling jackets, etc. We have been practicing in the local lake and are in the midst of acquring sea kayak specific safety gear, ie compass, paddle float, bilge pump, etc. Having never been to the Apsotle Islands, I am looking to get as much info as possible, on suggested beginner routes, safety advice, etc. We would like to do up to a 4 day/3 night trip.

I look forward to any suggestions.



You might want to look at what Trek and Trail, a local outfitter does. I’m not saying that you need to go on one of their trips but check out their itenerarys and see what looks good. A lot of trips they do sound like what you’re looking for.

Realize that Sand Island (4 miles from Little Sand Bay) and Stockton Island (18 miles from Bayfield) are the only two that have water, so you’ll need to bring a water purifier, etc. Plenty of bears up there too, so you’ll need to lock up your food (where available) or hang it.

I’m pretty excited about going back in a couple weeks!

When we went last year, we stayed on Oak a night, paddled from Oak to Raspberry to Sand, and then spent several nights on Sand. Was a great trip.

Raspberry Island
That sounds like it might be a good route - mostly sheltered because it’s next to the mainland. Raspberry has a great lighthouse on it too, but the lighthouse and grounds are closed this year for restoration.

Usually you would land at the sandspit and hike about 1/2 mile or so to get to it, but this year you can’t even get close to it. You’ll see it from the water as you paddle by…

Lighthouse closed???
Huh,was just at the lighthouse about a week and a half ago…completely opened and still giving tours…

We also landed at the sandspit there and walked the .8 mile trail to the lighthouse grounds.

Did you mean that it will be closing?

We paddled up there quite a bit and I would recommend traveling a little further north to some of the other islands if you have 4 days to spend…granted you can reserve a camping on those islands.

Sand was by far the worst recently for black flies. We were attacked relentlessly…so we packed up early the following morning and left.

Fair amount of bears on Sand as well…had several up at our kayaks near the main dock.


Haven’t been up there this year yet (week away) but I read in the Park Service’s newsletter that they were restoring the outside of the lighthouse so the grounds would be closed. You could walk the trail to the grounds but not get any closer. Wonder if they’re holding off, or maybe it’s done. Interesting. I’d just hate to walk that path and figure it out once I got there…

In a month

– Last Updated: Jul-29-05 4:57 PM EST –

I am heading there in a month. My plan is York to Devils to York to 3 nights on Sand. Starting and finishing at Little Sand Bay. Was going to spend 3 nights on Devils but someone else has the site...

Maybe I'll see ya. Look for the guy in a green QCC weeelding cameras.

I’ve got Rocky for three nights but not Devil’s. Leave a week from tomorrow morning. Wasn’t me, sorry!

I stand corrected about Raspberry Island. I looked up the NPS website and found the newsletter. Must have confused Outer Island with Raspberry…

We had great weather when we were up there recently…that is for the first day…headed out with a favorable weather report and then it turned into a small craft advisory half way into our paddle. Funny how Superior will sneak up on you like that.

We’re headed to the Isle Royale in a couple of weeks.

Have fun in WI.


kayaking Apostles
Read “Kayaking on Lakes Superior and Michigan,” by Newman, Ohmann and Dimond for route information. Also check the park service website for camping regs.

My favorite Islands are Cat and Devils. The farthest crossing between any island is 4 miles. Watch the weather, use common sense and have a good time.

Apostle Islands Trip
I’m from Chicago and planning to go car/van camping, kayaking, and hiking in the Apostle Islands area on Labor Day weekend. I was planning on camping at Sand Bay and doing one day to the island and back and driving west one day to launch elsewhere and explore the sea caves.

I’m an experienced Lake Michigan kayaker, in good shape (able to paddle 10 miles per day plus hiking), respect the water/weather, strong swimmer, and an enthusiastic yet flexible person ready to have a fun outdoor adventure. If you are the same, we’d get along well!

Women kayakers or mixed company only, please (I’m married, but my husband cannot attend). Hope to hear from you soon!

We’ll Get to Bayfield Sat Sept 10
That would be great!.. but we’re not going to get there until the following weekend… ):

I made camping reservations today for a 4 day /3 night trip. We plan to leave Little Sand Bay on Monday Sept 12, go to Sand Island then to camp on York. The next day, go to Raspberry Island and then Camp on the North end of Oak Island, near the overlook. The next day we hope to go the Manitou fish camp and then return to camp at the southern end of Oak. The last day we will paddle out to a lake front B&B near Red Cliff, where we will relax for a few days. The owner offered to give us a ride back to our van.

We then plan to drive over into the Boundary waters area of Minnesota and spend most of the following week there. It would be great if you, or better yet you and your husband, could join us for a while!!

Next week
Starting Sunday and going thru Saturday solo. Just wondering if anyone else was going to be out there. I’m doing York, Devils, York to Sand Island (three nights there).