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Winter In Summer at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore


Getting to Madeline Island in winter is easy. Just take the "ice road" from Bayfield. Bayfield County, Wisc., photo.

Sure, it's summertime, and the weather is hot, but there's talk of winter at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore next week.

Unfortunately, it's just a talk about winter and not a forecast for cooler temps. Still, if you're in the vicinity of this national lakeshore on Monday, you might want to stop in to learn what winters were like on Madeline Island.

Madeline Island is presently the permanent home for about 300 people. But it also attracts thousands of visitors each year. In summertime, visitors reach the island by car ferry or boat. A winter visit to the island means crossing the ice.

Even though winter means dealing with cold and snow, island residents look forward to the ice road and the freedom of access it allows to the mainland. This is just one of the unique aspects of life on the largest Apostle Island that summer visitors never experience.

On Monday, July 6th, join Steve Cotherman, director of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Madeline Island Museum, as he describes some of the positive and negative aspects of living on Madeline Island in the winter.

This marks the first presentation in the national lakeshore’s summer guest lecture series. These programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Apostle Islands and are offered free to the public on Monday evenings in July and August at 7:30 p.m. All programs are presented in the auditorium of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore's headquarters visitor center. The visitor center is located in Bayfield's Old County Courthouse on Washington Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets. Seating is available for 60 people and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Throughout the rest of the summer, the guest lecture series will feature a variety of lectures including Monitoring Bald Eagles for Environmental Contaminants, Bats of Northern Wisconsin, A History of the Ojibwe in the Chequamegon Bay area, Developing a “Real Time Wave Observation System,” and “The National Parks: This is America”…a Ken Burns Film.

For more information and a complete schedule of programs, call Apostle Islands National Lakeshore at (715) 779-3397, extension 399.


Sorry I'm too far from Apostle Islands to hear the talk. We thoroughly enjoyed a visit to the park last summer - but remarked during wonderful weather in June that life is undoubtedly different here in the winter!

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