• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Kayaking, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:


Family Friendly

Secluded & Peaceful. Gorgeous views of Lake Superior. Evening Ranger Programs. Tent pads. Pit toilets. Great hiking. Camp near the dock, or pack in to a secluded spot.

To get out to the Apostle Islands you have to travel by boat. Many people choose to sea kayak, but with small kids we opted to take the ferry/taxi through the Apostle Islands concierge (apostleisland.com ). However, there was one man who brought his kayak over on the ferry and then paddled around Stockton Island during the day so there are definitely options!

You need to reserve your campsite in advance through the National Park Service, and once we had done that we made our reservation with the ferry. At Presque Isle there are 19 sites that are first come, first serve once you get there. We arrived on a Sunday morning just as most people were leaving so we could choose almost any site we wanted.

At Presque Isle there is a Ranger station, a spigot for fresh well water, and pit toilets. We saw a few campers with more "car camping" equipment that just camped close to the dock and made trips back and forth with their gear. One couple even had a cooler. We had backpacking gear as we planned to spend our second night at Quarry Bay which is a 3.5 mile hike.

There are multiple day hiking options - the most popular being the hike over to Julian Bay and the beach.

We also reserved site #20 at Quarry Bay and on our second day we hiked the 3.5 miles over there. Its a relatively flat, easy hike with a short section along the beach. We opted to bush wack through the trees rather than get our feet wet with the high water line.

Site #20 is right on the water and more sheltered than the sites at Presque Isle, so we had less wind. There is a not water here, so we filtered water from the lake. Quarry Bay also has a dock, so the ferry was able to pick us up there and save our kids the hike back to Presque Isle.

Overall it was one of our favorite adventures to date and we are so glad we did it!

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Food
  • Layered clothing
  • Swimming Suit (if the weather will be warm - Lake Superior is cold!)
  • Cooking Equipment
  • Water Filtration (if staying at Quarry Bay)
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It was our first time out to the Apostle Islands. Stockton was a great experience. The hike to Brownstone quarry was great (make sure to check yourself for ticks afterwards) and Julian Bay was awesome. We didn't get a chance to hike to Trout Point, but talked with a group that went - very buggy and thick cover throughout the 12 miles stretch. The campsites along the peninsula are all easy to access (less than 0.5 mile hike). Would definitely recommend for beginner backpackers or avid campers. If we came again, we'd definitely bring kayaks.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Wonderful place to spend a few days with the family. Lots of great beach sites and hiking!

8 months ago
8 months ago

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is one of my all-time favorite places. It's been a number of years since I camped on Stockton with my family, but it was an amazing experience! We spent a lot of time swimming around and exploring Julian Bay. Would definitely recommend this to anyone!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Jess Curren Explorer

Outdoor adventure loving mom of 3 amazing kids and wife to the best husband a girl could ask for. We sold everything in 2013 to travel the United States in our Airstream travel trailer. We bike, hike, backpack, and love to explore new places as a family.

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