The National Park Service (NPS) is committed to making all practicable efforts to make NPS facilities, programs, information, services, employment, and meaningful work opportunities accessible and usable for all individuals.
Accessibility comes in many different forms from wheelchairs, hearing, blindness, and more. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has strived to help make park facilities accessible for each type of accessibility need. In 2017, the park received the “Accessibility Excellence” award for their beautifully-crafted, accessible campsites on Sand Island and Stockton Island-Quarry Bay.
Official Park Map and Brochure
The official park map and brochure is available at most visitor contact locations throughout the park, including visitor centers and staffed islands (during the summer months). The park brochure is also available in a variety of formats: Braille, audio description or text-only. You can also to request a paper copy be mailed to you.
Bayfield Visitor Center and Headquarters
There are 3 accessible parking spots. There is a ramp entrance on the west side of the building with an accessible, push button operated door. The women’s bathroom also has an accessible door. An elevator is available on the east side of the building. (During winter months, when the visitor center is closed, please call (715) 779-3398 x0, during business hours for elevator access)
Little Sand Bay Visitor Center
There are accessible parking spots on the east side of the visitor center as well as in the main parking lot, near the restrooms. A paved path leads to the visitor center and to the Twilite exhibit. Restrooms in the main parking lot are accessible.
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
There are accessible parking spots in the main parking lot. The entrance has push button operated, accessible doors. The building has accessible restrooms, drinking fountains, and an elevator to reach the second floor and observation tower.
Stockton Island Visitor Center
From the south dock of the harbor, a boardwalk provides access to the visitor center and Accessible restrooms. In addition, a boardwalk continues to Stockton Campsite #1, which is an Accessible platformed campsite. The new Amphitheatre is also available via boardwalk. This amphitheatre provides scattered benches with handrails, as well as open spaces for wheelchairs and companions, and a ramp to the firepit.
Camping and Hiking
Accessible campsites are located on Stockton Island and Sand Island. All sites have a wooden tent pad, a boardwalk leading from the dock to the campsites, and vault toilets located near each location which can accommodate wheelchairs. Accessible picnic tables, fire rings, and bear lockers are at each location. During the summer, potable water may be available along the boardwalk at Presque Isle and Sand Island.
Camping permit reservations are required and must be made in advance by visiting Recreation.gov or contacting the visitor center at (715) 779-3397 x2.
The trail from Sand Island - East Bay to the Sand Island Lighthouse is currently in the process of being turned into an accessible boardwalk, with the eventual goal of reaching the lighthouse grounds at the north end of Sand Island, a distance of 2 miles. As of the end of 2021, the boardwalk is built approximately 1 mile to the north of the East Bay Dock.
ExhibitsAs a park, we work to incorporate universal design and accessible standards into our exhibits, so all visitors can gain the same information and experience. This may include visual, audio, and hands on components, but also transcription and audio description, as well. Our two newest exhibits at Michigan Island and Little Sand Bay are great examples of this accessible design work. Scroll down for access to the Audio Description and/or transcription each of these exhibits. During summer months, audio description and/or transcription may also be available on site.
Little Sand Bay Exhibits
Exhibits at the Little Sand Bay Visitor Center are all outdoors, to allow for year round visitation. Exhibits are broken into three main areas: the fish tug: Twilite, the visitor center patio, and the kiosk. The Twilite exhibits tell the story of commercial fishing and the challenges of making a living in this area, as well as showcase the restored fish tug: Twilite, completed in 2019. Patio exhibits tell the stories of Little Sand Bay, a gathering place for generations, and provides a detailed satellite map of the Apostle Islands and region. The kiosk shares park information as well as vital kayak safety information.
There are three audio components which accompany the exhibits. Each "audio box" contains 6 messages, ranging in length from one to two minutes. Use the following links for transcriptions of the audio messages:
A complete audio description of the exhibits is available as an .mp3 file, found below. A listening device with audio description may be available when the visitor center is open (June - Labor Day).
Michigan Island Exhibits
Michigan Island can be accessed via a dock on the southwest side of the island. There are 123 steps to reach the light station grounds. During the summer months (mid-June to Labor Day), volunteers staff the light station and provide tours of the grounds and lighthouses (fee applies). The new tower, available as part of the tour, requires climbing 139 steps to reach the top. The exhibits at Michigan Island, completed in 2016, are located in the original lighthouse building and are only available during the summer months.
A complete audio description of the exhibits is available as an .mp3 file. A listening device with audio description may be available on site.
Last updated: January 4, 2022