Stockton Island

Second only to Madeline Island in size, Stockton Island is the most popular to visitors of the Apostle Islands.

Over seven miles long by almost three miles wide, with twenty-three miles of shoreline, one would think there would be plenty of room for all. And there is, though at times it can feel a little close at the Presque Isle Dock.

Stockton is only fifteen miles from Bayfield.

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There is too much to see, to experience, and to  comprehend here on Stockton Island.

It is a two mile hike to the islands largest quarry over a well maintained trail, and an easy walk.

But seeing the quarry and digesting the human experience of the quarry are two different things.

The cutting of huge blocks of sandstone, the moving of those blocks to barges, and then to ships, and then to the cities of the Midwest where they became beautiful buildings - to digest all that requires time, and a full measure of imagination.

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On the other hand, is it really important that we comprehend the fact that men, women, and children were coming to this island well over 3,000 years ago?

Do we really need to know what a tombolo is?

Who really cares what life was like for a fisherman's family at their summer camp in 1940?

And why should anyone want to know how many square miles it takes to support a black bear, what a pitcher plant is, or the difference between a crane and a merganser?

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Of course the answer to those four questions above is "no, no, not very many, and damned if I know." But if you have an inquiring mind you will have a very good time at Stockton Island.

When you step on shore at Stockton you become a guest of the National Park Service. Actually that event happens a quarter mile out into the lake, which is a good thing to remember when you drop anchor - because then Park Service Rules rule.

Sailors tend to have a problem with rules. They confuse the freedom of movement that comes with owning a boat with the concept of accountability to local authorities.

The best way to experience the islands of this National Park is to camp on them.

The center of most activity radiates out from Presque Isle Bay with its dock and visitor center. Near by are camping areas, and the expected Park Service programmed activities. There are at least 15 miles of groomed trails on the island, so there is plenty of room to spread out.

But don't stop at the dock.

Two trails should not be missed by any visitor.

Stockton Island
Be sure hike the two miles over the tombolo to Anderson Point.
The views are outstanding.

The photo above by Mark Fay is an air view from the north with Julian Bay in the foreground. In the distance is Madeline Island.
. And walk the short distance to Julian Bay. It matters not if the day is stormy or calm - it is an unforgettable place
I've enjoyed your company on this cruise. If you need to depart, I understand. Just do the click thing to the link below.

You are welcome to stay aboard!

Our wind is backing to the east a bit, so we'll tighten the foresail and main for a close reach to the end of Hermit Island, and then let them out for a wing & wing past the tip of Oak to the Manitou dock.

Return To Chequamegon Bay and the Apostle Islands

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