Part 3 | Devil's Island & The Iron Bridge
Day 3 of our Apostle Islands vacation had us first exploring the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior with a boat ride out to Devil's Island. We have Karen with Adventure Vacations to thank for rescheduling us to Saturday morning, as she kept an eye on the weather and knew that a Friday morning boat ride was just not going to happen due to huge swells and high winds. This is just one of the reasons why she's the best in the biz up there! She books out months in advance for the summer season, so make sure to schedule an appointment for a tour early in the year!
We packed up and checked out of our bungalow and ate breakfast at the Bayfield Inn Lakeside Restaurant. Then we walked down to the Apostle Island Yacht Club to meet our captain for our morning cruise. Captain Kyle told us about the iron ore mining in the late 1800's and into the 1900's, answered our questions about the fish in Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the WORLD (that's pretty crazy), and entertained my questions about the Bad River Tribe reclaiming Amnicon Bay after a 50 year lease to non-natives.
It took us a good hour to get out to Devil's Island and it was quite choppy (Devil's Island is one of 22 Apostle Islands and it's north side is the northernmost tip of Wisconsin). The kids did great, but Veda is used to boating since her daddy is a fisherman. Captain Kyle took us into one of the sea caves which is one of my favorite parts of the tour. My other favorite part is when we get to pull up to Devil's Island and hop off to roam for a bit. We didn't have time to do as much roaming as I'd like, so next summer I'm going to make sure to take some time to see the lighthouse, trails, and the old engine house, which was built using the island's own sandstone.
When we returned to Bayfield, the total trip being 2.5 hours, we walked to the Iron Bridge. You can find the Iron Bridge by parking near the cemetary at the top of Washington Ave. You'll see the start of the Gil Larsen Trail at the sign in the parking lot. We loved hiking this trail, because it was a short 3/4's of a mile on an easily walkable trail through a lush forest along a ravine creek; it even leads to a waterfall! You hike until it gets too steep or until the bugs get too bad (we forgot bug spray) and then you turn around and head back the way you came. There's plenty of places to stop to rest and it's cooler down there with the tree coverage blocking the beating sun.
It was the perfect way to end the afternoon. Veda and I said goodbye to my mom, sister, and nephew who were heading home. Veda and I were excited for our 3rd night on vacation and so we headed back to Madeline Island to visit with some friends. Part 4 is all about our love for this Wisconsin island, and it's coming soon!
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