Apostle Islands National Lakeshore


Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Infobox_protected_area | name = Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
iucn_category = V


caption =
locator_x = 168
locator_y = 35
location = Ashland County and Bayfield County, Wisconsin, USA
nearest_city = Bayfield, Wisconsin
lat_degrees = 46
lat_minutes = 57
lat_seconds = 55
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 90
long_minutes = 39
long_seconds = 51
long_direction = W
area = 69,372 acres (280.74 km²)
established = September 26, 1970
visitation_num = 182,396
visitation_year = 2007
governing_body = National Park Service

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a U.S. national lakeshore consisting of 22 islands (Apostle Islands) and shoreline encompassing 69,372 acres (281 km²) on the northern tip of Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Superior.It is known for its collection of historic lighthouses (called "the nation's finest"), sandstone sea caves, a few old growth remnant forests, and natural animal habitats among many other things.

Introduction

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore located on the top of Wisconsin’s Peninsula in Lake Superior the “largest, cleanest, and coldest of the Great Lakes.” [Wisconsin's Apostle Islands. NSP. 4 Feb. 2008 ] The lakeshore, surrounded by beaches, cliffs and water, provide twenty one islands of entertainment, for Minnesotans, Wisconsinites, and other seasoned visitors.

History

The Apostle Islands are a result of the glaciers that once covered North America. “Geologically they are originally part of the main land at the edge of the great riff or fault which formed the depression to which the waters of Lake Superior collected.” Ross, Hamilton N. The Apostle Islands. 2nd ed. Batavia, NY: Batavia Herald, 1951.] When the glaciers melted there was a lot of water left over that begin to shape the islands. Over time, the waves from the waters of Lake Superior caused erosion that formed the islands. The reason the islands are composed of mostly red sand stone, is due to the glacial shift. It is widely assumed that Indian’s were the first to inhabit the island. “There is some evidence that they were seen and possibly visited sometime in the fourteenth century by Indian’s who were making their way to Isle Royale near the north shore of the land in search of copper.” Not long after, a French explorer by the name of Etinne Brule who like many French Canadian’s was trying to discover a new way to the East Indies. "The French are believed to have named the islands 'Apostle' meaning 12, because they believed in the practice of giving names of religious significance to Geographic locations." [Culture and History. 18 Oct. 2007. NSP. 3 Feb. 2008 .] It is said that fur traders were the first explorers to settle. A village was built from the money that the fur traders brought in.

United States Senator Gaylord Nelson sponsored the federal legislation that established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. [http://www.wilderness.org/AboutUs/Nelson_Bio.cfm] [http://www.nps.gov/apis/parkmgmt/wilderness.htm]

Recreation

Many of the islands offer public docking or marinas at a small fee. The shorelines offer some historical sites such as the many lighthouses throughout the islands. Fishing on Lake Superior is a popular activity for boaters and non-boaters alike the lake offers different species of trout as well as some species of salmon. In certain seasons when the water is warmer visitors can catch fish from the shore in water as shallow as ten feet. Visitors to the island will need a Wisconsin fishing license as well as a Great Lakes trout/salmon stamp.

Camping is a very popular choice of the islands visitors. The options are vast from more civilized sites that offer many amenities; such as well water, toilets, and food lockers, to name a few, all the way to sites that are deeper in the woods, further from other campers and offer nothing more than a fire ring. Of the twenty-two islands camping is offered on eighteen of them. Camping fees for an individual or for an undesignated site for one night is ten dollars, for a group the cost is twenty dollars a night.

Hunting is permitted on certain islands for certain periods of the year. Game available for hunting on the islands include white-tail deer, black bear, grouse, and other small game is offered as well. Deer hunting is limited to fifty hunters a year; those fifty are chosen through a lottery system. Hunting black bears is limited to two islands only, and being that the apostle islands are part of a national park there are many rules and regulations that only apply to that specific area so it is recommended that hunters make sure that know and understand the different laws and regulations prior to hunting.

To get from island to island many visitors choose to kayak. Visitors can either bring their own kayaks and equipment or they can rent from a local shop. The waters around the lake can be very unpredictable and potentially dangerous to inexperienced or unprepared kayakers, so it is recommended to come prepared with any emergency equipment and to also check the possible weather conditions prior to getting in the water. The islands also offer something to scuba divers as well. There are many unique opportunities to dive by some interesting rock formations as well as some shipwrecks. To scuba dive anywhere within a quarter-mile of any islands shore a diver must first obtain a permit from the park center; permits are free.

Lighthouses

For most of the century, the Apostle Islands Lighthouses have guided ships and boats through the rough waters of Lake Superior, and through the Apostle Islands.

Sand Island lighthouse has been thought to be the most beautiful light house to visit. This lighthouse is approximately 44 feet tall and was one of the first lighthouses to be lit in 1921. Provided by the volunteers of the national park service, boats tour this island June through late August every year. Some of the other lighthouses to visit are: Michigan Island, LaPointe Light on Long Island, and Outer Island Lighthouse.

Local Towns

Bayfield is frequently associated with the Apostle Islands because of the close location to the lakeshore area. The town offers a variety of recreational activities and is very visitor friendly; the town becomes more popular during the summer months, when people are constantly coming and going to and from the islands. In Bayfield, visitors can locate "the headquarters and visitors center of the National Lakeshore, (which) can supply you with helpful materials to enhance your cruising among the islands."Brazer, Marjorie C. Cruising guide to the Great Lakes and their connecting waterways. Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc, 1985.]

Washburn is another popular town associated with the Apostle Islands, which is located 10 miles from Bayfield. The town provides the people of Ashland and surrounding areas, which do not offer cruising facilities, a marina to utilize. Washburn is "devoted mainly to country government and tourism." Tourists can find much useful information in the town’s shops, restaurants, and visitor’s centers, which they can highly benefit from before beginning their journey.

Notes

Gallery

References

* [http://gorp.away.com/gorp/resource/us_ns/wi/win2_apo.htm Apostle Islands National Lake Shore. 2008. GORP. 4 Mar. 2008]
* [http://www.bear.org/website/Bear-Facts/Color-Phases.html Black Phase Black Bear]
* [http://www.nps.gov/apis/naturescience/environmentalfactors.htm Bog on Stockton Island]
* [http://www.nps.gov/apis/naturescience/birds.htm Gulls on Gull Island]
* [http://www.nps.gov/apis/index.htm National Park Services (2006, August 23). National Park Service. Retrieved February 18, 2008]
* [http://www.travelwisconsin.com/Article_Detail.aspx?ArticleID=99&menuid=61 Travel Wisconsin. 2008. Wisconsin Department of Tourism. 4 Mar. 2008]
* [http://www.nps.gov/apis/naturescience/plants.htm White Manderin]

National lakeshores

* Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, near Munising, Michigan, on Lake Superior.
* Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, on the southern coast of Lake Michigan.
* Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, in Leelanau County Michigan, on Lake Michigan.

External links

* [http://www.nps.gov/apis/ National Park Service: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore]
* [http://www.wsn.org/northwest_wi/index.html Wisconsin Stewardship Network]


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