Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Mark R. Fay-Faystrom Photo
The Chequamegon Peninsula of northern Bayfield county plows into Lake Superior from the Southwest and pushes in front of it twenty two islands that form the archipelago of the Apostle Islands. It is the home of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, a National Park named after the islands and a fruit growing microclimate surrounded by thousands of acres of public forest. Traditionally an area of rich natural systems and low human population, it has escaped wanton commercial development and its accompanying ugliness and congestion. Logging and fishing has given way to tourism as a predominant income source for many local residents and the establishment of the islands and the immediate mainland shoreline as a National Park now brings thousands of visitors to the region. The area has become known for its amazing natural beauty and opportunities for self-motivated recreation. People come to the region to sail, hike, kayak, ski and of course to cycle.
There are hundreds of paved miles of small county roads winding throughout the fruit and farming areas and the public forests. Madeline Island, (the only developed island) is crisscrossed by miles of designated self-propelled lanes. Within the vast county and federal forests inland, meander thousands of dirt logging roads, trails and fire lanes. On Mount Ashwabay recreation area, three miles south of the city of Bayfield, the off road cyclist finds twenty miles of marked ski trails open for cycling during the summer. Below area few suggested rides for any level of cycling. Of course, the cyclist is urged to stop in the bike shop for details and group ride hook-ups.