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Backpacker Magazine – August 2008

Quick Fix: Apostle Islands

You don't need a boat to see this spectacular national lakeshore. Here's how to explore the best of its bluffs and beaches by foot (and paddle).

by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan


6 Hours
Trek High Above Lake Superior

Five-thousand-acre Oak Island has a dappled hardwood canopy, white-sand beaches, and the highest bluff on Lake Superior's Wisconsin shore. Experience them all on this 10.3-mile loop. Take a ferry from Bayfield, then hike northeast, scanning for signs of black bears (look for berry-filled scat). Veer left at mile 1.7 onto the Overlook Trail. Walk 1.8 miles to a 200-foot cliff with center balcony views of 11 other islands and the blocky red sandstone that forms the Hole-in-the-Wall sea arch. Retrace your steps and hang a left on the Loop Trail, passing a sand spit that once hosted a 19th-century logging camp. Ferry info: Apostle Islands Cruise Service (800-323-7619, apostleisland.com)




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