The Magic of the Madeline Island Ferry

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Located at the gateway to the Apostle Islands on the south shore of Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin, Madeline Island Ferry Line provides passenger, bicycle and car transportation between the picturesque towns of LaPointe and Bayfield. The 25-minute trip provides spectacular views of the Lake itself and several of the 22 Apostle Islands.

As a child, my family spent part of every summer on Madeline Island. And as our girls grew up, they too experienced this magical time each summer. One of the most exciting parts of our trips was the increased anticipation as we drove onto the Madeline Island Ferry to make our voyage across the bay to Madeline Island.

Now we watch our guests come and go, most making a decision to take this same journey over to Madeline Island. And many come back expressing the same joy at this unique form of transportation. It seems that the ferry ride is the transport to a bit of another world.

  • From the ferry, you are able to get a completely different view of Bayfield and the hills surrounding this small city – amazing in the fall!
  • Taking the ferry in the evening for a quick dinner at Lotta’s Lakeside Cafe can be amazing with the sunset over the mainland as you return to Bayfield.
  • Rough water? No fear – the captains maneuver these “boats” with amazing skill.

Madeline Island Ferry Line is also Travel Green Wisconsin certified – working on incorporating sustainable business practices that improve their bottom line. Examples include solar panels on the Ferry Terminal, use of biodegradable, vegetable based hydraulic fluids in engines and more.

Yup, taking the Madeline Island Ferry never ceases to give me joy. But then we get to Madeline Island itself….ah, there’s more to the story.

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