Apostle Islands Half Day Trip
Paddle by Kayak or Voyageur Canoe as you Explore the Apostles
The Apostle Islands archipelago offers a variety of natural and cultural treasures to explore. Join us on a paddle to wave-sculpted sea caves, a historic lighthouse, or sunken shipwrecks. Choose your vessel – Voyageur canoe or sea kayak.
We provide Voyageur canoes or tandem kayaks, staff, equipment, and interpretation. These trips include and engage everyone regardless of their age, ability, or previous experience. Come experience the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore from water level.
Meet your group at 9:00 am at the designated launch. Get geared up and participate in a kayaking orientation before taking off for your paddle. Expect to return to shore at noon.
We have several routes to choose from, including paddling from Meyers beach the to spectacular Mawikwe Bay sea caves. Other options include the Fedora, Ottawa, and Coffinberry shipwrecks of Red Cliff Bay or the unique ecosystem of Bark Bay Slough.
Your trip will have a pre-selected first choice route, but the route may change depending on water and weather conditions.
What To Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE CHOICES: Much of the time is spent along the beaches and shorelines of the islands, exploring the shipwrecks and the sea caves. The islands are made up of red sandstone, covered with a mixed forest of birch, pine, oak, and maple. Except for a few cliffs, the terrain is gentle and rolling. We have several routes to choose from, each revealing a different dimension of this archipelago. Wind and weather largely determine the route, and storms may delay paddling.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: You will travel in sea kayaks, which hold 2 or 3 people plus all necessary gear, or 24-foot Voyageur Canoes, which hold 6 to 10 people plus all necessary gear. No previous experience is needed to complete this trip, in fact, it's great for beginners. To protect the environment, WI uses Leave No Trace camping and travel techniques.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the summer months range from 45 F to 85 F. Rainfall can vary, but you should be ready for the possibility of rain. Weather in the area is strongly influenced by Lake Superior and can change suddenly.
YOUR GROUP: The group size typically ranges from 10 to 18 participants, plus 2 or more Wilderness Inquiry staff. 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.
ACCOMMODATIONS: There are bathroom facilities at most put in and take outs. Your trip leader will communicate further with you about available facilities.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: A suggested clothing list will be sent upon confirmation of your participation in the event. We encourage all participants to bring a rain coat (just in case) and wear shoes that can get wet.A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Your 10% deposit is non-refundable. 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!
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.
On which Apostle Islands trips do we camp on the islands?
The Apostle Islands Kayak Island Camping trip is the only trip where you actually set up camp and sleep on the islands. If you have a private group that would like to customize an island camping experience, we can likely accommodate.
During all other Apostle Islands trips, participants stay at our Little Sand Bay Base Camp, located on the main land approximately 0.5 miles from the Lake Superior Shoreline. Kayak trips on Lake Superior are organized on most days, in which you will explore the sea caves and other highlights of the Apostle Islands area. All activities depend upon safe weather conditions.
Will I get to see the sea caves on my Apostle Islands trip?
The sea caves are the most popular feature of the Apostle Islands area - and with good reason! It is our intention to explore the caves by kayak at least once during every trip. This is dependent upon safe paddling conditions on Lake Superior, as safety is always our top priority. On a clear day, we should be able to paddle to the sea caves and even travel through the insides of the caves by kayak.
Do I need previous kayak experience to join a trip in the Apostle Islands?
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!
No Dates Scheduled
Call us to arrange one of these trips for your group: