As you may know, my mom, my daughter and I just got back from an incredible trip to Madeline Island, Wisconsin. Throughout all of my travels, I had somehow never made it to that part of the world. If one would have asked me what was in Wisconsin, I would have probably said cheese, cows and grassy farm land. Though they do seem to have a plethora of these things, there is so much more.

I guess no one had ever really told me of the beautiful North Woods (though I had heard mention of it in Bob Dylan’s songs), nor of the amazing islands that speckle Lake Superior just off the coast of the mainland. I had never thought of the area as home to the Chippewa, where they live alongside moose, fox, deer, bald eagles and timber wolf (to name a few of the incredible animals of the area). I had never known where wild rice grows or how it is harvested.

To say I was in awe, as we drove north from Minneapolis to Bayfield and boarded the ferry to Madeline Island, would be a bold understatement. We passed through miles upon miles of the lushest farm land I had ever seen, dense forests of lichen covered trees, to arrive at the shore of the grand Lake Superior. We took the last ferry to the island, arriving slightly after dark. After a good night’s rest, we woke to the sound of Canada Geese and the smell of a fresh dewy morning. As I walked outside to sip a cup of tea, while gazing over this foreign (to me) body of water, I was struck with a sense of amazement. How could I have never heard of this place before? This was just the beginning of of awestruck moments that filled my week to come.

Below is the first in a series of photo essays I will be sharing with you. Nether my mom nor I are photographers, but I hope these images still inspire you to visit this amazing place. I can confidently say that throughout all of my travels (and there have been many), I have never found a place with as much beauty as Madeline Island. Enjoy!

MI Our View

The view from our place at The Inn on Madeline Island.

MI Boat

One of the many little boats that would pass by our place every day.

Our daily morning visitors. The parents would protect their little ones while they pecked eagerly through the grass.

Our daily morning visitors. The parents would protect their little ones while they pecked eagerly through the grass.

MI Tossing Rocks

Elsi Rae tossing rocks into Lake Superior.

MI Iceburgs

The last of the icebergs floating around the island.

MI Town Park 1

Heading down the walkway at Big Bay Town Park.

MI Town Park 2

The view from the walkway at Big Bay.

MI Town Park 3

Huge trees at Big Bay

MI Town Park 4

The view from the beach at Big Bay.

MI The Harbor 1

The Harbor

MI The Harbor 2

Boats awaiting their summer visitors.

MI Red Tug Boat

The sweet little red tug boat

An old school gas pump

An old school gas pump

MI Wood Carvers

Elsi’s favorite place to relax, Island Carvers.

MI Fox 1

Peaking over the fence at the local fox.

MI Fox 2

Yes, I said fox. In a sandbox.

MI Street

The main street in La Pointe

MI Tommys

Tom’s Burnt Down Cafe (this photo doesn’t do it justice… Google it to see more).

MI Museum 1

Loom on display at the Madeline Island Museum.

Photo: MI Museum 2 Caption: Sweater rug on display at the museum. Photo Link:

Sweater rug on display at the museum.

MI Road

One of the incredible views from the road that circles the island.

MI Deer 1

A common sighting on the island.

Photo: MI Deer 2 Caption: More deer!

More deer!

MI Log Cabin

An old log cabin.

MI Trailer

An old trailer camouflaged by the lichen covered trees

MI Crane

One of our many wildlife sightings

Photo: MI Trailer An old trailer camouflaged by the lichen covered trees

And more wildlife… an snapping turtle!

MI Elsi Lake

Elsi playing in the (cold… remember the icebergs?) lake.

MI Beach

One of the many sandy beaches on the island

MI Plane

The island runway

MI Turtle 1

Teaching Elsi about the turtle Grammy found her

MI Turtle 2

Letting the turtle go in the harbor

MI Sunset

Our last sunset on the island

MI Ferry

Looking back on the island from the ferry

I would love to hear from you! Have you visited this area before? Or are you lucky enough to be from these parts? Do you know of another amazing place that just must be visited? Please leave a comment to let us know. Maybe I will be able to visit it too someday!


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