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Madeline Island

Are you hankering for a life intertwined with nature, or looking for a seasonal escape to disconnect from the noise and bustle of the city? Madeline Island is the place to be. With a seasonal population of only around 300 in the winter and 2,500 in the summer, and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore right at your doorstep, you’re set for a truly laidback and refreshing lifestyle. 

Whether you’re looking for a charming cabin tucked away in a pristine forest or a sprawling waterfront lot to build your summer home, Madeline Island real estate presents endless possibilities. 

Our guide invites you to discover life on Madeline Island and its blossoming real estate market.

Min. Price
Max. Price
Beds
Baths
1249 South Shore Rd LaPointe, WI 54850
$1,250,000
5 Beds 3 Baths 4,000 SqFtListing No. 6114356Property Type: Housecamera (50)Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI
Details
3400 North Shore Rd LaPointe, WI 54850
$985,000
3 Beds 2 Baths 2,200 SqFtListing No. 6114120Property Type: Housecamera Virtual Tourcamera (44)Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI
Details
3501 Big Bay Rd LaPointe, WI 54850
$849,900
3 Beds 1 | 1 Baths 2,100 SqFtListing No. 6114481Property Type: Housecamera (31)Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI
Details
3670 North Shore Rd LaPointe, WI 54850
$839,900
3 Beds 1 | 1 Baths 1,763 SqFtListing No. 6114116Property Type: Housecamera Virtual Tourcamera (46)Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI
Details
1570 North Shore Rd LaPointe, WI 54850
$825,000
3 Beds 0 | 3 Baths 2,706 SqFtListing No. 6112734Property Type: Housecamera (50)Listing Courtesy of Elena Tritchkova-Lamoreaux, eXp Realty, LLC- WI
Details
3756 North Shore Rd LaPointe, WI 54850
$750,000
2 Beds 1 | 1 Baths 1,400 SqFtListing No. 6109078Property Type: Housecamera Virtual Tourcamera (50)Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI
Details
796 South Shore Rd LaPointe, WI 54850
$475,000
2 Beds 2 Baths 1,354 SqFtListing No. 6110044Property Type: Housecamera Virtual Tourcamera (50)Listing Courtesy of Terri Lynn, Rusty's Real Estate, LLC
Details
668 Main St #1 LaPointe, WI 54850
$400,000
3 Beds 2 | 1 Baths 2,080 SqFtListing No. 6112884Property Type: Condocamera (33)Listing Courtesy of Elena Tritchkova-Lamoreaux, eXp Realty, LLC- WI
Details
 1249 South Shore Rd, LaPointe, WI 54850
CONT OFFER ACCEPTED WI
camera (50)
price

$1,250,000

beds

5 5 Beds

baths

3 3 Baths

lot size

4,000 SqFt 4,000 SqFt

listing no.

6114356Listing No. 6114356

property type

HouseProperty Type: House

gallery photos

camera (50)

Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI

 3400 North Shore Rd, LaPointe, WI 54850
CONT OFFER ACCEPTED WI
camera VIRTUAL TOURcamera (44)
price

$985,000

beds

3 3 Beds

baths

2 2 Baths

lot size

2,200 SqFt 2,200 SqFt

listing no.

6114120Listing No. 6114120

property type

HouseProperty Type: House

virtual tour

camera VIRTUAL TOUR

gallery photos

camera (44)

Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI

 3501 Big Bay Rd, LaPointe, WI 54850
camera (31)
price

$849,900

beds

3 3 Beds

baths

1 | 1 1 | 1 Baths

lot size

2,100 SqFt 2,100 SqFt

listing no.

6114481Listing No. 6114481

property type

HouseProperty Type: House

gallery photos

camera (31)

Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI

 3670 North Shore Rd, LaPointe, WI 54850
camera VIRTUAL TOURcamera (46)
price

$839,900

beds

3 3 Beds

baths

1 | 1 1 | 1 Baths

lot size

1,763 SqFt 1,763 SqFt

listing no.

6114116Listing No. 6114116

property type

HouseProperty Type: House

virtual tour

camera VIRTUAL TOUR

gallery photos

camera (46)

Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI

 1570 North Shore Rd, LaPointe, WI 54850
camera (50)
price

$825,000

beds

3 3 Beds

baths

0 | 3 0 | 3 Baths

lot size

2,706 SqFt 2,706 SqFt

listing no.

6112734Listing No. 6112734

property type

HouseProperty Type: House

gallery photos

camera (50)

Listing Courtesy of Elena Tritchkova-Lamoreaux, eXp Realty, LLC- WI

 3756 North Shore Rd, LaPointe, WI 54850
camera VIRTUAL TOURcamera (50)
price

$750,000

beds

2 2 Beds

baths

1 | 1 1 | 1 Baths

lot size

1,400 SqFt 1,400 SqFt

listing no.

6109078Listing No. 6109078

property type

HouseProperty Type: House

virtual tour

camera VIRTUAL TOUR

gallery photos

camera (50)

Listing Courtesy of Sally North, eXp Realty, LLC- WI

 796 South Shore Rd, LaPointe, WI 54850
camera VIRTUAL TOURcamera (50)
price

$475,000

beds

2 2 Beds

baths

2 2 Baths

lot size

1,354 SqFt 1,354 SqFt

listing no.

6110044Listing No. 6110044

property type

HouseProperty Type: House

virtual tour

camera VIRTUAL TOUR

gallery photos

camera (50)

Listing Courtesy of Terri Lynn, Rusty's Real Estate, LLC

 668 Main St #1, LaPointe, WI 54850
camera (33)
price

$400,000

beds

3 3 Beds

baths

2 | 1 2 | 1 Baths

lot size

2,080 SqFt 2,080 SqFt

listing no.

6112884Listing No. 6112884

property type

CondoProperty Type: Condo

gallery photos

camera (33)

Listing Courtesy of Elena Tritchkova-Lamoreaux, eXp Realty, LLC- WI

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program of the Lake Superior REALTORS® MLS;. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information is supplied by seller and other third parties and has not been verified. Open House information is subject to change without notice.
Lake Superior (DAAR) data last updated at July 12, 2024 8:57 AM CT
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Overview of Madeline Island

Madeline Island

Madeline Island is the quintessential summer escape. Throughout the season and into fall, the island receives around 75,000 to 90,000 visitors who come to enjoy its distinctive mix of tranquility and vibrancy.

Accessible only via a 25-minute ferry ride from Bayfield, Wisconsin, Madeline Island has become the best-kept secret for sailors, boaters, and adventure enthusiasts. Meanwhile, its verdant parks and scenic marinas attract weekenders and mainlanders, thanks to its varied camping spots, biking trails, and exciting foodie scene.

What Madeline Island is known for

Like most islands in Lake Superior, Madeline Island is known for its idyllic beaches, coves lined with tall pines, and serene waters. In warmer months, the island’s sandy beaches and shallow lagoons are perfect for swimming, paddleboarding, and soaking in the sun. Big Bay State Park attracts nature lovers and birdwatchers, while historic buildings and lighthouses make morning strolls or bike rides more interesting.

The island is also the perfect jump-off point for exploring Apostle Islands gems at your own pace in a kayak or canoe. Beyond these natural attractions, visitors and residents also love the various eateries and cultural attractions on the islands.

Geographic and demographic info

Madeline Island is the largest of the twenty-two Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, with a total area of 77.6 square miles. It’s located off the north coast of Wisconsin, near the town of Bayfield. The island is roughly 14 miles long and three miles wide, with a diverse landscape that includes:

  • Rolling hills and forests
  • Sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Superior
  • Rocky cliffs and bluffs
  • Wetlands and sand dunes

Interesting facts about Madeline Island

Madeline Island

An island steeped in history and rich in natural marvels, it’s no wonder that Madeline Island has some pretty interesting highlights and sidelights. Here are just some of them:

  • Largest Apostle Island: While it’s the largest of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, it isn’t part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
  • Glacial landscape: The island was shaped by glaciers, creating rolling hills, rocky cliffs, and sandy beaches.
  • Diverse ecosystems: The island boasts a variety of ecosystems, including forests, prairies, wetlands, and sand dunes.
  • Home to endangered species: Rare birds like the Piping Plover and the American Bittern nest on the island.
  • Stargazing paradise: Due to minimal light pollution, the island offers unparalleled views of the night sky.

Historical significance

Madeline Island’s storied past can be felt through the numerous historic buildings on and around the island. For a deeper understanding of the island’s history, visit the Madeline Island Museum, where you can explore what makes it a cultural landmark. Here’s a quick glimpse into the island’s past:
  • First inhabitants: The Ojibwe people inhabited the island for centuries before European contact, calling it Moningwunakauning (“place of berries”).
  • Changing flags: Throughout its history, the island has flown the flags of three nations: France, Great Britain, and the United States.
  • Named after an indigenous woman: The island is named after Madeleine Cadotte, daughter of an Ojibwe chief, who married fur trader Michael Cadotte.
  • Fur trade hub: During the 18th and 19th centuries, the island was a major center for the fur trade.
  • Mission established: Jesuit missionaries established a mission on the island in the 1660s, bringing Christianity to the Ojibwe people.
  • Unique cultural blend: Today, the island reflects its rich history with a blend of Ojibwe traditions, European influences, and contemporary American culture.

MADELINE ISLAND REAL ESTATE

Madeline Island

Madeline Island real estate offers a unique opportunity to own a piece of this picturesque and historically rich destination. Here’s an overview of market trends, available property types, and some typical and special home amenities you can find on the island:

Market trends

Given the geographic nature of the community as well as efforts to preserve its rustic, isolated environment, Madeline Island homes for sale come in limited numbers. Second home buyers make up a significant portion of the market, along with rental property investors who want to take advantage of the rising number of seasonal visitors on the island.

If you’re looking to own a piece of Madeline Island real estate, here’s what you can expect:

  • Steady Demand: Madeline Island attracts individuals seeking a serene and nature-centric lifestyle, leading to a limited but steady demand for properties.
  • Seasonal Fluctuations: The real estate market may experience seasonal fluctuations, with increased interest during the warmer months when the island becomes an even more popular destination.
  • Investment Potential: Properties on Madeline Island have great investment potential, whether for personal use, as vacation rentals, or for future development.

Available property types

If you’re in the market for Madeline Island property for sale, you have a surprising variety of options to choose from, such as:

  • Charming cabins: Tucked away in pristine forests, cabins provide a cozy retreat surrounded by nature.
  • Waterfront lots: Sprawling waterfront lots offer the opportunity to build a custom summer home with breathtaking views and easy access to Lake Superior.
  • Historic homes: Historic homes come with plenty of character and a sense of the island’s cultural heritage.
  • Vacant land: For those looking to start from scratch, vacant land is available for development, allowing you to create your dream property.

Typical and special home amenities

Owning a slice of this Lake Superior paradise means you get to enjoy the following perks:

  • Lakefront access: Many properties boast lakefront access, so you can easily enjoy water activities like swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. And with the island’s small size, even properties found further inland provide quick access to the water.
  • Scenic views: Properties on Madeline Island often offer stunning views of Lake Superior, rolling hills, and lush forests.
  • Proximity to parks: Every home is just minutes from natural attractions like Big Bay State Park, with its hiking trails and bird watching opportunities.
  • Privacy: Whether a cabin or a larger home, privacy is often a key feature of Madeline Island homes, allowing residents to fully enjoy the tranquility of the island.
  • Modern amenities: While embracing the island’s history and back-to-nature vibe, many homes come equipped with the latest home amenities for a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Cultural proximity: Some properties are located near cultural attractions or historical sites, providing a unique blend of modern living and historical richness.

As you explore Madeline Island real estate, consider your preferences, whether you seek a peaceful retreat, a summer home, or a year-round residence with a connection to nature and history. The market offers a diverse range of properties to suit different tastes and lifestyles.

LIFE ON MADELINE ISLAND, WI

While the thought of the island being accessible only by ferry can be daunting, life here is far from disconnected. That’s because there are plenty of things to do in Madeline Island, WI. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a quick weekend escape, Madeline Island offers a diverse array of activities for residents and visitors alike.

Getting around

  • Ferry System

    The only way to reach Madeline Island is via a ferry ride. The Madeline Island Ferry Line operates year-round and takes about 25 minutes from its initial departure point in Bayfield, WI. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended during peak seasons.

  • Local Transportation

    On the island, personal vehicles are widely used but transportation options such as bicycles and golf carts help promote a sustainable way of life. Walking is also highly recommended.

Climate and quality of life

Madeline Island boasts four distinct seasons, each adding a unique charm to the island’s ever-changing environment. The natural surroundings featuring sandy beaches, rolling hills, and wooded areas create a tranquil and scenic backdrop that perfectly sets the mood for the idyllic lifestyle during the warmer months. In the winter, the island turns into a wonderland where snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are the main activities, along with ice fishing, fat biking, and exploring the renowned ice caves of the Apostle Islands.

Cost of living

With all the recreational perks it offers, living in this paradise may cost more than living on the mainland. As a primarily holiday destination in a rather remote setting, housing, groceries, transportation, and other costs are relatively higher, and rentals are limited especially during peak seasons.

Schools

Madeline Island offers a distinctive educational experience with its limited yet noteworthy institutions.

  • La Pointe Elementary School

    Catering to students from kindergarten to 5th grade, La Pointe Elementary School provides a unique and personalized learning environment. The small student body fosters a close-knit community, and dedicated teachers contribute to a passionate and engaging educational experience. But take note of the absence of middle or high schools on the island.

  • Madeline Island School of the Arts (MISA)

    While not a conventional academic institution, MISA stands as a creative hub, offering year-round and seasonal adult workshops in various disciplines such as painting, writing, photography, and quilting. The school provides a distinct learning experience set against the inspiring backdrop of Madeline Island.

  • Bayfield schools

    Students attending 6th grade to high school often go to Bayfield, which is served by Bayfield Elementary School and Bayfield High School.

    Homeschooling or online learning are also viable alternatives for those finding mainland schooling logistically challenging.

Outdoor adventures

Madeline Island

Madeline Island is all about the outdoors. Home to Big Bay State Park and a gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the island offers an endless array of activities amid undisturbed nature.

  • Hiking and Biking: Explore scenic trails through forests and along Lake Superior’s shores. Big Bay State Park and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are famous Wisconsin destinations where you can indulge in hours of exhilarating hiking and biking.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Glide on the crystal clear waters of Lake Superior, spotting wildlife and exploring hidden coves with guided tours available for all levels. You can also paddle your way and explore the famous sea caves and spectacular cliffs of the Apostle Islands.
  • Swimming and Beachcombing: Relax on sandy beaches, swim, sunbathe, and search for unique treasures like driftwood.
  • Golfing: Tee off at the renowned Madeline Island Golf Club designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., offering lakefront views and diverse challenges.

Culture and the arts

With its colorful history and beautiful surroundings that inspire creativity, Madeline Island offers an extensive array of art and culture activities and destinations.

  • La Pointe Village: Walk the charming streets of La Pointe Village and immerse yourself in Ojibwe culture, explore historic sites, and visit charming shops and galleries.
  • Apostle Islands Lighthouses: Marvel at historic lighthouses on boat tours, capturing stunning photos and learning about maritime history.
  • Madeline Island Museum: Discover the island’s past through exhibits showcasing Ojibwe heritage, fur trade artifacts, and island life stories.
  • Art galleries and studios: Dive into the vibrant art scene with galleries, workshops, and art walks featuring local and regional artists.
  • Live music and Theater: Enjoy live performances at local venues, and attend productions at the historic Big Bay Town Park.
  • Madeline Island Chamber Music: Take music lessons and immerse yourself in classical music with live performances of world-renowned musical artists in unique island settings.

Dining and shopping

Local Shops and Boutiques:

Explore the charm of La Pointe with its array of local shops and boutiques, offering unique finds and treasures. If visiting during the summer, don’t miss the vibrant La Pointe Farmers Market for fresh produce, local crafts, and delicious treats.

Distinct Dining Experiences:

Indulge in culinary delights at iconic establishments such as:

  • Tom’s Burnt Down Café: Located in the remains of a burnt-down building, this unique spot offers a laid-back atmosphere with several decks and live music during the summer.
  • The Beach Club: With stunning views of Lake Superior, this restaurant provides a casual dining experience featuring Wisconsin favorites like cheese curds, sandwiches, and salads. The outdoor patio is perfect for daytime relaxation.
  • The Inn on Madeline Island: An upscale eatery with a great pub and waterfront views, specializing in fresh seafood dishes and classic Midwestern staples. The sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere adds to the overall dining experience.
  • Grampa Tony’s: A casual and family-friendly restaurant serving classic Italian-American cuisine. Known for its affordability and generous portion sizes, it offers a cozy interior for a laid-back night out.
  • Farmhouse Kitchen and Inn: A must-visit for farm-to-table cuisine, this restaurant features locally-sourced and organic ingredients and a warm and inviting atmosphere in both indoor and outdoor seating areas.

Community events

Don’t miss community events like festivals and markets to connect with fellow residents and revelers:

  • Family Fall Fest (October): This family-friendly celebration of the fall harvest and island life features local vendors, food, art demonstrations, interactive activities, and live music.
  • Madeline Island Music Festival (July): Enjoy classical music performances by renowned artists held in churches, historic buildings, and other unique settings.
  • Chequamegon Chef’s Exhibition (June):Indulge in gourmet creations from regional chefs paired with local wines and beers at this fundraising event benefiting the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
  • Point to La Pointe Swim (August): Participate in an open-water swim across Lake Superior, a challenging and scenic event for experienced swimmers.

TIPS FOR BUYING A MADELINE ISLAND PROPERTY

Given the community’s unique characteristics, navigating the Madeline Island real estate market is not a simple process. These tips can help set you off on the right foot.
  • Define your goals: Determine if you seek a permanent residence, vacation home, or investment property to streamline your search.
  • Stay informed: Keep up with Madeline Island’s market trends, understanding seasonal fluctuations and factors influencing property prices.
  • Local expertise matters: Engage a knowledgeable local real estate agent familiar with Madeline Island for valuable insights and guidance.
  • Visit in person: If possible, visit Madeline Island to grasp the community vibe, explore neighborhoods, and understand the local lifestyle.
  • Inspect thoroughly: Before purchasing, thoroughly inspect the property’s infrastructure, checking for potential issues.
  • Review rules: Understand rules and fees if the property is part of an HOA or community.
  • Consider future development: For vacant land, check local zoning regulations and consider potential future development.
  • Financial planning: Establish a budget, secure financing, and be aware of additional costs like taxes and maintenance.
  • Negotiate smartly: Collaborate with your agent to negotiate based on market values, the property’s condition, and unique features.

WORK WITH THE EXPERTS IN MADELINE ISLAND REAL ESTATE

We at Broad Street Brokers boast over 40 years of combined experience in Wisconsin real estate. Our seasoned agents are well-versed in the unique intricacies of Madeline Island, Bayfield, Washburn, Ashland, Port Wing, and surrounding communities.

If you’re seeking to buy or sell on Madeline Island or in the nearby areas, our local expertise ensures a seamless and efficient real estate journey. Whether it’s expanding your property portfolio or finding your first lakefront home, we’re here to provide you with the guidance you need to fully understand the market and find the perfect property for you.

Reach out to us at 715.779.3220 or send us an email. Let’s make your Madeline Island real estate experience exceptional.

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