50th Anniversary

An image of sunset over a wooded island, reflected in the water, within the number 2020.
Logo of the 50th Anniversary.

Credit / Jon Okerstrom

Caring for our place on Gichigami

On September 26, 2020, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will recognize 50 years since its designation as a national lakeshore. All year long, Apostle Islands-area residents, businesses, and visitors will commerate this special place on Lake Superior (Gichigami), and its significance to our culture.

Established by an act of Congress (Public Law 91-424) on September 26, 1970, the purpose of the park is “to conserve and develop for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public” the islands and their related geographic, scenic, and scientific values. Whatever your fancy - camping, hiking, paddling, sailing, boating, fishing, or just strolling along a beach - Apostle Islands is a place to escape, explore, and connect. This celebration isn't just about commemorating the past, but also looking forward to the next 50 years of stewardship and inspiration of our place on Gichigami. Plan your visit and find your special place on the Lake.


50th Anniversary Logo

Creating and marketing an approved anniversary product is a great way to be a part of the Apostle Islands 50th Anniversary and show your appreciation for this special place. Consider becoming an Official 50th Partner.


Join the fun!

The Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore promote an appreciation for, and preservation of, the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. They help support the educational, recreational, and resource protection efforts of the National Park Service; raise funds to support park projects and events, and increase community involvement with the Islands.

This valuable partner will be coordinating efforts to mark this important occasion. Visit their 50th Anniversary website for more information about events or how you or your business can be involved.

Special Events

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, a number of events have been cancelled or rescheduled, but we're going to keep thinking 50 years through 2021, too! We hope to have more special anniversary events over the next year. We'll update this schedule as we are able:

Logo of the 50th Anniversary.

Superintendent's 50th Anniversary Welcome

Boozhoo (Hello),

As we enter into the 50th anniversary of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, I ask you to reflect on the value of human foresight.

  • Without the conscious efforts of many people to create public lands, how much land would be left for you to visit?
  • Would black bears, martens, piping plovers, and river otters still have a home?
  • Would there be beaches on Lake Superior open to sail or paddle to?
  • Would eagles have trees in which to nest & would plovers still exist without safe shorelines for nesting?
  • Would there be places of solitude to escape and inspire?
  • And could you find a beach on which to gaze at the Milky Way or see the shimmering auras of the northern lights?

Public lands are the gift to the next generation & to those of us here today. They are also a tribute to all of us who know or have known this lake, Gichigami. This lake is the boss. It creates its own weather. It sculpts the fiery red sandstone cliffs, creating sea stacks which “float” offshore and sea caves which lure you into their mysterious curves. If you listen closely, it shares the voices of all who have not heeded its warnings. If you look into its swirling depths, you see the hundreds of boats laying on its floor still waiting to find its sandy shores. Heed its warnings and enter its waters only with respect and with the right gear.

I ask you to join us in acknowledging foresight and the shared responsibility of stewardship. Think about this place and others which add meaning to your life. Feel the wind in your face and the sand between your toes. Find a freedom of spirit as you run along the sandy shores or plunge into the ice cold waters. Search for quiet and contemplate why it is so hard to find. Then capture the stars in your eyes and consider the immensity of the universe as it folds around you. Let this place touch your soul to remind you what it means to be alive and what it is like to experience wild...

We invite you to join us in being a part of caring for this special place.

  • Volunteer to replant beach grasses to help stabilize the sandy shores or to staff one of 9 historic lighthouses or become an island campground host.
  • Encourage children to become Junior Rangers and help them to discover what this place means to them.
  • Care about the clarity of the air we breathe and the cleanness of the water we drink.
  • Learn how cultures are shaped by the places we live and find ways to explore more about how our identities are created by these special places
  • Add annual visits to national park service sites to your bucket list and share your photos of them with the world.
  • Join a park partner to raise funds for this park or buy an officially logoed anniversary item to give 5% back to projects in the park.

We hope you will choose now to become an active steward of this place as we move into the next 50 years. Please help us to continue the legacy of caring which the Anishinaabe Ojibwe started when they first arrived here. Join us!

Miigwech (Thank you),

Lynne Dominy
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Logo of Sleeping Bear Dunes 50th Anniversary

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

We're not the only annversary in 2020. Our "park sibling," Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is turning 50 this year as well. Located on the eastern shore of another Great Lake, Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes will be sharing festivities all year long.

While 2020 hasn't been the best year for travel and celebrating, we still believe that great things come in pairs. Within a day's drive, you can take in two anniversaries, two states, two great lakes, two national lakeshores, and have twice the birthday experience! We'll both be celebrating well into 2021.


Last updated: January 20, 2023

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Bayfield, WI 54814


715 779-3397

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