Accessibility

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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.

 
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore sign, with a large sandstone building in the back ground.
Stop in and see us.

NPS Photo / N. Howk

Visitor Centers

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)

The front desk was remodeled in 2017 to accommodate wheelchairs and smaller persons. The park film is open captioned. In addtion, a large print text script and hearing devices are available upon request. The Interagency Access Pass is available at the visitor center for those who qualify. Access Pass holders will receive a discount for parking, docking, camping, and interpretive services at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

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.

The visitor center (new in 2020) has a push button operated, accessible door at the main entrance. The new custom built front desk is designed to accomodate wheelchairs and smaller persons. The new outdoor exhibits are fully audio described and the audio portions include transcriptions. Audio description and transcription are available from the front desk upon request or can be found on the Little Sand Bay Exhibits page.

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.

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). In addition, a braille copy or large print text of the park brochure is available at staffed locations, upon request.

 
A boardwalk leads to a larger platform with a picnic table, fire ring, and bear-proof storage locker.
Sand Island: Group camping site C

NPS photo / B.Cole

Camping and Hiking

Camping

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.

  • Stockton Island - Quarry Bay
    • Group site A and B
  • Stockton Island - Presque Isle
    • Individual site #1
  • Sand Island - East Bay
    • Group site C
    • Individual site #3

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.

Hiking

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.

 

Exhibits

As 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.

 
A white and red fish tug sits under a pavilion on the other side of a green grassy lawn.
The restored commercial fish tug: Twilite

NPS photo / N.Howk

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.

While the majority of these exhibits are made up of panels with photos and text, there are three audio components, as well as, a hands-on, 3-D bronze terrain model of the Apostle Islands and a variety of rocks found along the shorelines.

Transcription

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:

Audio Description

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).

 
 
In the middle of a small room, an upright stand with an exhibit panel and two exhibit panels on the far wall.
Explore the old lighthouse and learn about life on Michigan Island and the history of this area.

NPS photo

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.

Audio Description

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: August 10, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

415 Washington Avenue
Bayfield, WI 54814

Phone:

(715) 779-3397

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