Park History

A black and white photo of four people posing for a picture sitting on the ground and smiling.
The Apostle Islands is for everyone to enjoy including future generations.

NPS Photo

This unique collection of islands became a designated National Lakeshore on September 26, 1970. The purpose of the lakeshore is “to conserve and develop for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public certain significant islands and shoreline of the United States.” The law recognizes the significance of the lakeshores' natural, historic, scientific, and archeological features for the purpose of protecting these features and making them available for public education and enjoyment. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore encompasses 69,372 acres, of which 27,323 acres are submerged lands in Lake Superior.

We work closely alongside federal, state, tribal, local and private partners to accomplish our mission and maintain close, positive relationships with our gateway communities, area businesses, local citizens and many friends of the park. Our staff is committed to preserving and protecting the Apostle Islands natural, cultural, and historical resources.

For more information and comprehensive history of the Apsotle Islands read People and Places, a Human History of the Apostle Islands, a Historic Resource Study of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (A large 8.7mb pdf)

Come to the Apostle Islands to discover the wonder, beauty, and history of twenty one islands and twelve miles of mainland shoreline that make up the National Lakeshore.

Green tree covered land surrounded by water off in the distance on a foggy day framed by pine trees in the foreground.
Apostle Islands peeking through the fog.

NPS Image

Last updated: September 21, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

415 Washington Avenue
Bayfield, WI 54814


715 779-3397

Contact Us