There is nothing a kayaking trip on Lake Superior can’t cure.
It’s been a few years since we got out on the big lake, and from all we’ve been hearing about the Apostle Islands, we knew it was our next weekend. Navigating your way through a trip focused on a single activity, like an all-day kayak trip, can be overwhelming. We made sure we focused our sights on our kayaking day and spent the rest of our weekend enjoying the little things.
We spent our weekend at Apostle Islands Area Campground – not the nicest spot in town but the price and location were right. We spent our first afternoon exploring Bayfield shops and walking around. The next morning, we took the ferry from Bayfield to the largest of the Apostle Islands, Madeline Island. We biked over to Big Bay State Park, hiking the trail along the beautiful cliffs and rocky shore. Eventually we found our way back to town, had quick bite to eat, founds some yummy ice cream and caught ferry back to Bayfield.
We strategically didn’t have a plan. We knew the big dig was kayaking, and we were ready to embrace all that Superior had to offer on our third day in Bayfield, just before we road tripped back to Minneapolis.
Up until this point, it had been a very cloudy, rainy, cold trip-but this day was different. It turned out to be a perfect, upper 70s and sunny day. I really don’t think I saw a cloud all day, and the best part was that there was NO wind. When it is windy Lake Superior can extremely dangerous place, as many people die kayaking Superior every year.
We hoped into our tandem kayak and spent the day on Lake Superior, dipping and diving in and out of the sea caves. Our guides would lead us through tight holes in the caves and let us wander off into dark spaces if we wanted. That was another part that made this day so special – actually being able to go through these tiny dark cracks in the caves that you never imagined you’d fit through. Sitting in the water in a kayak looking up at these 25-30ft cliffs and crawling through these caves has to be one of my favorite adventures I have ever been on.
There are plenty of Apostle Islands kayak trips leaving every few hours. Trek and Trail is a great place in town to get signed up for one of these trips, as they seem very experienced and helpful to all kinds of kayakers. They even let us change our kayaking day when the other looked too rainy – so they’re highly recommended. If you’re looking to go further into the islands, make sure you specify that beforehand. Our trip went on the coast near Bayfield and was just enough for us, but if you want to take a longer trek out to the islands, carve out a little more time and find an outfitter than will
When you’re on a trip for a specific purpose – like we were when we set out to kayak Bayfield – don’t try to fit everything into the trip. If you went to kayak, don’t wear yourself out with other activities. To fully experience what the trip has to offer you, you can’t cram it all in. It’s a hard lesson for someone like me who likes to see everything I can possibly can. Travel isn’t meant to wear you down; it’s meant to build you up.
Apostle Islands Weekend Recommendations
Don’t Miss: The sea caves, Big Bay State Park/Madeline Island and (weather permitting) getting out on the water in a kayak or boat.
If You Have Time: A boat tour of all the islands.
Skip: Driving to the Apostle Islands Maritime Cliffs State Natural Area (because Google Maps won’t take you there…oops) and getting a tandem bike (unless you’re really talented…unlike me).