The Madeline Island Windsled is a Unique Way to Explore Wisconsin

Living in Bayfield, Wisconsin is a hoot! Being the home of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore creates unique opportunities and challenges. Travel to and from the mainland to the islands is one of those challenges. In the summer months, it’s easy to travel to Madeline Island thanks to local ferry boats. Obviously, the winter months get a little more complicated. That’s why there is a special, passenger only Madeline Island windsled available! What is a windsled, you might ask? Well read on to learn about this unique Bayfield winter means of travel!

For the Madeline Island Windsled and other “must-do” winter experiences in Wisconsin, click here. We offer one of the best resources for your getaway. Use it to discover our suggestions for the best things to do and see in the Bayfield area! Learn about delicious restaurants, unique shopping, outdoor recreation, and many other things to experience during your Wisconsin vacation. Start planning the trip of a lifetime today.

All About the Madeline Island Windsled


Madeline Island  is the largest of the Apostle Islands and is the only one not part of the Apostle Island National Park. Madeline Island is approximately 78 sq miles with approximately 180 year round residents. During the summer, the population explodes to well over 2500 due to a surge in part time summer residents. During the summer, folks coming to and leaving from Madeline Island take the Madeline Island Ferry. The ferry runs as long as it can until the bay begins to freeze over. During the peak of winter, there usually is an ice road going from Madeline to Bayfield. However, there exists a brief period of time when the ferry is unable to run and the ice is not safe to drive on. How could people get to the island? They found the answer with the Madeline Island Windsled.

Wild Wild Windsled

The Windsled is an enclosed boat-hulled craft with huge fans on the back that push the vehicle across the shifting ice. It is very loud carries people only (no vehicles), and also carries the various supplies to the island. School children grades 6-12 that live on Madeline Island rely on the Windsled to go to school. Meanwhile, winter visitors to Bayfield and Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast frequently take the Windsled over to Madeline simply to experience it. It’s popular to ride over to LaPointe, have lunch at the Beach Club, and return to Bayfield to continue the adventure. Currently, the windsled is not operational. There’s no need for it! However, check the Madeline Island Windsled schedule frequently for updates if you want to experience this fun and unique vehicle for yourself.

You Don’t Need a Windsled to Get to Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast!

While taking a Windsled would be a cool way to travel anywhere, there isn’t one that goes to our inn. Fortunately, there’s so many other cool and fun amenities that more than make up for it! Head on over to the Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast for some rest and relaxation. Our cozy bed and breakfast in the waterfront town of Bayfield, WI features luxurious rooms, each fully equipped with the finest eco-friendly amenities. Indulge yourself with our hearty gourmet breakfast first thing in the morning. No matter whether you choose to get out and explore or relax at our Inn, you’re sure to have a great time. We also offer special discounts year round for booking multiple nights, so don’t delay and book today!


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