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Big Bay State Park, La Pointe

#1 of 10 in Things to do in La Pointe
Big Bay State Park is a state park of Wisconsin, United States, on Madeline Island, the largest of 22 Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. The 2350acre park has picturesque sandstone bluffs and caves and a 1.5mi sand beach. It encloses unique habitat types including lakeside dunes, sphagnum bogs, and old-growth forest. Bald eagles return annually to the park to nest and rear offspring.
The park, established in 1963, has picnic areas with tables, grills, water and toilets; a campground with drinking water, showers and toilets; an indoor camp for nonprofit groups; an outdoor group camp; and more than 9mi of trails, including nature trails. The park is open year-round, though winter visitation is mostly limited to hunters, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers.
All vehicles are required to purchase an admission pass, though pedestrians and bicyclists may enter free. To reach the park, visitors must take a 20-minute ferry ride from Bayfield, then travel approximately 5mi north on Highway H.
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Big Bay State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
78 reviews
  • Having got to the island a visit to this fine park is essential, easily found, well laid out trails, beautiful views, great fall foliage, wear boots as some paths are wet and indeed short sections...  more »
  • Gorgeous park with lots to do and very well maintained trails. Great for bird watching and rock hounding - the trail that wraps around the Bay is a must do!  more »
  • An absolutely stunning park. Everyone should experience it. The trails and views are second to none. Be aware that there are only 4 flush toilets and 2 showers per gender for the entire park. It's not a huge camping area so it wasn't a big problem, but you may have to wait for a shower. The only reason I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 is because only 2 of the 4 toilets flushed properly and they could have been cleaned better. There were the same smears on the walls the whole 6 days we were there and it could have easily been wiped off. Also be advised that you need to go to the airport for a dump station. The beach is amazing as are the trails around the park. You can fairly easily bike into town and there are little stores that have everything you need. I am so glad we had the opportunity to camp in this park. The pictures do not do it justice.
  • Very beautiful place on the island. Loved exploring it. Feels like edge of the world. Park is huge and is easy to explore with the maps all around the park. Also parking is available at all major spots. Cliff is beautiful and very short walk from the parking. Just minutes from the cliff is beach, also beautiful. However, there are so many mosquitoes in the park and bug spray is must. Also the park has 11$ for a day which is actually lot after paying enough for the ferry.

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