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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Where to Camp When Visiting Bayfield

My opinion on where to camp when visiting Bayfield has changed.  I used to say stay at Apostle Islands Area Campground.  We paid $40 a night for full hook-up which does include cable after you put down a deposit for the box, but does not include showers (hate that) and if you have a visitor you have to pay $5 each for them to visit your site.  I really don't like campgrounds with fees for every little thing. The extra visitor fee especially seems to say to me...keep out!

Site 35, Full hook-up, no place to park your vehicle

Now that our camping needs are different so is my opinion.  We've graduated from 25 feet to 37 feet, which makes a big difference, and we've also become dependent on wifi.  If you have a smaller unit and you don't care about a reliable wifi signal this campground is convenient to Bayfield's attractions.  Another camper informed us the owner plans to remove cable and wifi options completely next season.  It's also hard to get into most of the bigger sites due to the curve and hill in the wooded section, and the lower section is arrayed in a circle around the playground with smaller sites.  Some of the sites are actually in the playground area, not just across from them which is great if you have small children, not so great if you don't.

Lower section, hope you like your neighbors!

Also on the down side, if you don't get full hook-up and need to dump you have to back down a hill to access the dump station and block the whole road for anyone to get in or out while doing so.  This is something that gets left out of their video tour of the campground.  Also, if you notice in the video none of the sites have a car parked in them, or people with all their stuff, except the small section toward the end of their prime sites.

The prime sites up above the main campground actually look large and level, but sites are assigned to you so I don't know how you qualify to get one of those.  The grassy hill between us and them was covered in Bird's Foot Trefoil which was abundant in the area.

Bird's Foot Trefoil

If you want a larger spot that is easier to get into without fighting curves and hills, our picks would be to stay at the Legendary Waters casino campground in Red Cliff ($35, no cable, no sewer, free wifi) which also includes great views of the bay or to stay at Thompson West End campground  in Washburn which is a city run park that includes cable and wifi for a lot less money than where we stayed at just $25 a night.  Dump station is available, sites are large and well spaced.  Only downside is they are first come first served.

Everlasting Pea

Both parks are a little farther from town, but not much and we will definitely choose one of those next time.  Also, a lot of campers have complained that the owner of AIAC can be cranky.  The many signs enforcing the rules a little too stridently seem to fit with that assessment, not to mention he will not accept credit cards.  Our neighbor had to overnight a check to book a site for 2 days in the future.  I don't think so!


  1. We stayed at Thompson when we were there and thought it was pretty perfect. But as you know, we don't do reservations. ;-D

  2. I couldn't agree more with everything you have said. I forget what site we were in but it looks like the one on the right in your first picture. I'd love to go back to Bayfield but I'll stay somewhere else. I guess you can be a jerk if you are nearly the only game in town.