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Visiting Madeline Island – These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things

Monday, August 28th, 2017

If your trip to the Bayfield Peninsula and Chequamegon Bay is planned for June – October, you’ll want to be sure to venture to beautiful Madeline Island. One of the 22 Apostle Islands, Madeline is the largest (about the same size as the island of Manhattan) and the only one not part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Transportation to and from the island is via the Madeline Island Ferry Line in the spring, summer, and fall and by ice road in the winter – on the years when the temperatures freeze at least the water in the bay.

A few of our favorite things to do and see on Madeline Island are outlined below. As it’s nearly impossible to cover all the options, we highly recommend you augment this information with other resources, such as the Madeline Island Chamber of Commerce.

The Madeline Island Ferry docked

Whether you choose to bring your car over on the ferry or walk on, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you occupied for a full day, or just a morning or afternoon. For the history buffs, those with curious kids, or if there’s a need for an indoor activity on a rainy day, check out the Madeline Island Museum. Full of rich history and informative exhibits and activities, the museum provides fun for all ages.  Another historical site on the island is the St. Joseph Mission Cemetery (also known as the Old Indian Cemetery), dating back to the mid-1800s.

For the outdoor activity enthusiast, Madeline Island offers several hiking trails and the option of a flat place to bike (a favorite for mainlanders since Bayfield is built on a hill).  You can rent or bring your own bikes, or opt to whiz around the island on a moped.  Kayaking or canoeing at Big Bay Town Park can provide a new experience or just a new view for the seasoned paddler.
Kayaking Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands
Big Bay Town Park and Big Bay State Park are on the opposite side of the island from the ferry landing.  Biking or driving to the parks provides a great view of the interior of the island as well as the opportunity to hike between the parks on hiking trails or relaxing on one of the several beaches associated with the parks.  Take in the view, enjoy the sometimes-singing sand, cliff jump (if you know the right spots and exercise caution of course), or dip your toe in Lake Superior.

Things run on “island time” on Madeline Island and in the opinion of some, there’s no better way to spend the afternoon than by watching the world go by from the deck of Tom’s Burned Down Café.  With its plethora of signage, great people watching, live music, and eclectic ambiance, it’s an island spot not to be missed.  The Island Eats Food Truck is most often parked right outside Tom’s, providing yummy food using local ingredients.

In the summertime, food spots include the long-standing spots of the Beach Club, the Pub at the Inn on Madeline Island, Grandpa Tony’s, and the Mission Hill Coffee House.  Along with the Island Eats Food Truck previously mentioned, Old Rittenhouse Inn staff favorites include Café Seiche, the Farmhouse Restaurant, and the Madeline Island Bakery.
Lazy river on Madeline Island
For the artist among your group, check out Woods Hall Craft Shop (featuring handmade woven rugs and other arts) and the Bell Street Gallery featuring a wine bar, a variety of art from local and national artists and often, live music.  You might even consider staying on “The Rock” (as locals call Madeline Island) for one of the many classes offered by the Madeline Island School of the Arts.
Madeline Island museum
Unique gifts, a spirited environment, good food, unparalleled people-watching, beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, and lots of fresh air await you on Madeline Island.  Of course, once you’re done with your afternoon or full day on the island, we certainly hope you will consider making your way back to Bayfield for an evening meal at the Old Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant and/or booking a stay in one of our fine guest rooms.  We look forward to your visit!

Ferry Done, Wind Sled Runs, 2014 Year for Ice Caves??

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Apostle Islands and Bayfield Activities - Frozen Sea Caves

It has been four years since the Meyer’s Beach area Sea Caves were accessible from the lake. Could this be the year? As of last weekend, the Madeline Island Ferries are no longer running. (see Windsled information below). Temperatures continue to fall below zero. We’ve not seen an extended cold snap like this for decades. If this trend continues we will indeed have access to the Frozen Sea Caves!

Words cannot really describe how cool the Frozen Sea Caves are, so we will try to show it with some images over the next few weeks!

A call to the Ice Caves hotline today yielded no news: the caves are still considered CLOSED to lake side access at this time. Hikers: note that the land-based trail from Meyer’s Beach Road remains OPEN, and is amazing in its own right.

We will update this blog post as any new information about the Ice Caves becomes known, so bookmark this page

In the meantime, if you are looking to get over to Madeline Island, here is your only option until the Ice Road opens:



Monday – Friday
Trips leaving the Island: 7:10am, 9:00am, 11:30am, 3:45pm, & 4:30pm
Trips leaving Bayfield: 7:20am, 9:30am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, & 5:00pm

Trips leaving the Island: 9:00am 11:30am, & 4:00pm
Trips leaving Bayfield: 9:15am, 12:15pm, & 4:15pm

Trips leaving the Island: 9:00am, 12:00pm, & 4:00pm
Trips leaving Bayfield: 9:15am, 12:15pm, & 4:15pm

No Fooling… All Rooms $99 w/Dinner This Weekend | Ferry to Mad Isle Running

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Old Rittenhouse Inn Bayfield WIThe Ferry to Madeline Island is Running!
Schedule subject to change due to ice/weather conditions.
Monday – Friday
Trips leaving Bayfield: 6:15 am, 7:30am, 9:15am, 1:45pm, 4:00pm, & 5:30pm
Saturday – Sunday
Trips leaving Bayfield: 7:30am, 9:15am, 1:45pm, 4:00pm, & 5:30pm.

No Fooling! All Rooms $99 w/Dinner
For prices listed below, $99 refers to the rate for those who wish to dine at Landmark Restaurant one night of their stay. The second rate is the discounted weekend special for those who DO NOT wish to dine with us. For example: Room 9 is $99 w/ dinner; $129 w/out dinner, a great deal either way! All rates based on double occupancy. To reserve call 715-779-5111 and mention the Last Minute Specials email by 5pm, Friday, April 1.

FRIDAY ONLY April 1, 2011*
Rittenhouse Inn
Room 7: King, Whirlpool, Fireplace @ 99/129
Suite 11: King Suite, Whirlpool, Fireplace, Lakeview @ 99/175

SATURDAY ONLY April 2, 2011*
Rittenhouse Inn
Suite 12: King Suite, Whirlpool, Fireplace, Lakeview @ 99/175

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, April 1-2, 2011*
Rittenhouse Inn
Room 1: Queen, Fireplace, Lakeview @ 99/109
Room 2: Queen, Fireplace, Lakeview @ 99/109
Room 3: Queen, Fireplace, Lakeview @ 99/109
Room 5: Queen, Whirlpool @ 99/129
Room 6: King, Whirlpool, Fireplace @ 99/129
Room 8: King, Whirlpool, Fireplace @ 99/129
Room 9: King, Whirlpool, Fireplace @ 99/129
**Suite 10: King Suite, Whirlpool, Fireplace, Lakeview @ 99/175

The Fine Print
* This Last Minute Internet Special applies only to the weekend of April 1-2, 2011. The prices are per night, based on double occupancy, and include a continental breakfast for two. When space permits, additional guests are welcome at $35/person/night. Rooms are sold on a first come, first serve basis. This week’s offer does not apply to existing reservations, is Not Valid in conjunction with other promotions, and is not available for online. Please CALL 715-779-5111 and mention the last minute emails.
**Additional $50 for Saturday-only stays in suites.

Any questions, please call or email. We look forward to your visit.

The Phillips family