Discover the Bayfield Peninsula’s astounding beauty and bounty with cookbook author and local food expert Beth Dooley. Days are devoted to paddling to sea caves, hiking trails to waterfalls, and enjoying Lake Superior’s sandy beaches. Prepare yourself for mouth-watering feasts fashioned from local and organic ingredients, capped off with wine and beer. Beth Dooley, local food enthusiast and author of the recently published Minnesota’s Bounty and The Northern Heartland Kitchen, sources and prepares the best meals that Bayfield has to offer. Tour organic farms, pick berries, and meet some of the area farmers who are doing amazing things with food, like growing apricots in northern Wisconsin!
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Welcome to WI's Little Sand Bay Base Camp! Explore your surrounding area and end your day with a feast.
Your trip starts in early afternoon at Wilderness Inquiry's beautiful Little Sand Bay Base Camp. We'll participate in a sea kayak orientation and begin to explore this area's beauty. In the evening, we'll fashion a dinner of artisan cheeses, smoked lake fish, grilled farmstead meat, farm fresh vegetables, local grains and hand-picked berries. Artisan cheese makers and local growers who can share stories of their life on the land may join us.
Day 2: Depart on a paddling excursion to to explore the skeleton of the famous Fedora shipwreck near Buffalo Bay.
Wake to the scent of strong coffee and dig into a hearty breakfast of farmstead bacon, steel cut oatmeal, yogurt, fresh berries and local jams and honey. Depending on weather and the direction of the wind, options for the day include paddling out to explore the skeleton of the famous Fedora shipwreck near Buffalo Bay or paddling to the Mawikwe Bay Sea Caves. In the evening, we'll head to the beach for a shore dinner including; Lake Superior whitefish, pan-fried over an open fire, wild rice, and fresh salads. Our friend Nick, a local guide and ricer, will share Native American legends as we enjoy s’mores over a beach fire.
Day 3: Paddle to Sand Island during the day and enjoy a Wisconsin barbecue in the evening.
Who can resist the scent of sizzling sausage and griddling pancakes? We’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast before paddling out to Sand Island to explore the Swallow Point Sea Caves. Enjoy a picnic lunch of local sausages, farmstead cheeses and brick oven breads at beautiful Justice Bay beach. Our last night’s dinner is a sumptuous Wisconsin barbecue, capped by picking fresh berries at an organic orchard for dessert.
Day 4: Enjoy one final adventure before saying farewell to your trip mates.
Enjoy morning coffee, take a short hike to "School Bus Rock" and enjoy a delicious brunch of farm-to-table bacon, fresh eggs, sheep or goat yogurt, homemade jams and local pastries. Say goodbye to your new friends before heading home mid-morning.
Dates & Fees
What to Expect
MEALS: Since the focus of this trip is local foods, you will enjoy a variety of treats grown, prepared, or distilled in the area. We’ll prepare meals with the guidance of Beth Dooley. Count on hearty breakfasts with local berries, syrup and sausages, picnic trail lunches with multiple cheeses and meats, and lively dinners like fresh caught Lake Trout. We’ll enjoy happy hours together at Base Camp after the day’s outdoor activities.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: No previous sea kayaking experience is needed to complete this trip. You will travel in sturdy Current Design or Eddyline sea kayaks which hold 2 or 3 people plus all necessary gear. An average day’s travel consists of 2-5 paddling and/or hiking hours, depending on weather conditions. Travel distances vary from 4-6 miles each day. On some days we will travel by van or car to local farms or distilleries.
ACCOMMODATIONS: You will enjoy your stay at our Little Sand Bay Base Camp–Beth Dooley says staying here is really “glamping.” At night you will sleep in comfortable platform tents with cots. Typically, there are 2-3 people per 4-person tent. Our Little Sand Bay Base Camp has very nice, very clean bathrooms and shower facilities with hot water.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 6 to 18 participants, plus 3 or more Wilderness Inquiry guides. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities, including people with disabilities. Our trips are cooperative in nature. WI staff will assist you in whatever areas you need, however, most people pitch in where they can.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group equipment. You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money. Wilderness Inquiry can usually arrange for you to borrow most items. Also, looking into gear rental options can be a cost-effective option.Read more »
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Little Sand Bay Base Camp at 1:30 PM (local time)
End: Little Sand Bay Base Camp at 10:30 AM (local time)
This trip begins at 1:30 PM at our Little Sand Bay Base Camp, near Bayfield, WI, where parking is available. The trip ends at 10:30 AM at the same location. Van transportation between Minneapolis or Duluth and Little Sand Bay is typically not available. Detailed meeting place directions will be sent to you when you are confirmed for the trip. Booking a flight? We recommend flying in the night before your trip to Duluth or Minneapolis St. Paul airports, and flying out from Duluth after 2:30 PM and from Minneapolis St. Paul after 6:00 PM. Call us at 612-676-9400 if you have questions.
Do I need paddling experience to join a canoe or kayak trip?
Paddling trips with WI are appropriate for beginners and seasoned paddlers alike. On the first day of all trips, basic paddling strokes will be taught by the trip leader. Each trip gives participants multiple opportunities to practice their skills. Participants with more experience will have plenty of opportunity to paddle during the trip, and even to help teach less experienced paddlers!
What is the base camp like on the Apostle Islands trips?
We refer to our property as the Little Sand Bay Base Camp. The camp is approximately 1,500 feet from the Lake Superior lakeshore near Little Sand Bay in Northern Wisconsin. Our base camp offers camping at its most comfortable and accessible. All tents are large enough to stand upright, and are set up on comfortable wooden platforms. Hot showers, private bathrooms, a roofed pavilion space, and an indoor seating area for leisure time are other key features. The camp consists of 40 acres of woods with wood chip trails, 5 campsites, and a gear warehouse. Watch this short video to see what it is like.
What are our transportation options for the Apostle Islands trip?
One option is to take your own vehicle and meet your group at Wilderness Inquiry's Little Sand Bay Base Camp. You can park your vehicle here for the duration of the trip. Another option is to use WI's van transportation, which typically leaves from WI headquarters in Minneapolis early in the morning on the first day of the trip and returns to Minneapolis the evening of the last trip day. There is an additional fee of $75 to use WI's roundtrip van transportation.
I use a wheelchair, can I still participate?
Yes, our Basecamp is accessible and this trip is pretty accessible overall. Of course, each person is different so we will ask you to complete a standard health form. If we have any questions we will call you to discuss them. We do not recommend this trip for people who use electric wheelchairs, unless they bring their own van or ability to transport their power-chair.
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
We require a nonrefundable deposit of 10% of the trip fee or $100, whichever is smaller. So, for example, if the trip fee is $250, the deposit would be $25. If the trip fee is $3995, the deposit would be $100.
If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!