Kayak at Big Bay State Park

La Pointe, Wisconsin


Added by Sarah Rykal

Kayak along Wisconsin's only state park on beautiful Lake Superior, with some freshwater sea caves to the west and the one of the Midwest's oceans to the east.

Hop aboard the Madeline Island Ferry and head over to the largest Apostle Island. Bring your own kayak (atop your car) or rent one in La Pointe, Madeline Island's lively and eclectic town. Then make your way down Highway H to Hagen Road (a drive of 6 miles) to Big Bay State Park.

Launch from beautiful Barrier Beach, a protected cove with a breathtaking view of Lake Superior. You'll have to carry your kayak across a field of grass to get to the beach. This is not the most fun part of the trip, but the upcoming paddle is well worth the effort.

Paddle southeast from the cove and curve around the sandstone cliffs to see the state park from the water, a view that is always more fun and adventurous than the view from land. After about a mile of paddling, you'll reach Big Bay Point, where you can maneuver through sea caves and turquoise waters. Leave time to explore, as these caves are fun. And on a clear day, you may be able to see Michigan's Porcupine Mountains in the distance.

If you're up for a longer paddle, head back north past Barrier Beach to the Big Bay Lagoon and relax in its peaceful waters.

If you're a beginning kayaker on this great lake, you may want to consider a kayak tour of this spot. While the cove definitely protects paddlers from high winds, Lake Superior can be unforgiving.  

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