Jaw-dropping views of Lake Superior await residents of the town of La Pointe in Northern Wisconsin. La Pointe is located on Madeline Island, which is the only inhabited area in the Apostle Islands.
In 2011, La Pointe, WI was heralded as one of the 10 coolest small towns in the United States by the Budget Travel team. With just a little over 200 residents living amidst its rural charm, it’s not surprising to see La Pointe capturing the attention of the public.
Whether you are seeking adventure on land, on the water, or even underwater, La Pointe, WI is the perfect community for you.
Let this article provide you with information you need to know to make an informed choice about buying a house or land in La Pointe, WI. Learn about the colorful history, the local attractions, and the real estate options available for sale in Ashland County.
A brief history of La Pointe, WI
When French explorers and fur traders arrived in 1659, one of their first stops in Wisconsin was Madeline Island. Fur traders Groseilliers and Radisson came to Chequamegon Bay to set up a fur trading post in La Pointe in 1660.
This makes La Pointe one of the oldest European settlements in the state of Wisconsin. It eventually became the center of fur trade activity in the Chequamegon region. La Pointe was a trading post for British, French, and American fur traders for around 150 years.
The Native American Chippewa Indians, also known as the Ojibwe, settled on Madeline Island for many centuries. In the early 1600s, the Ojibwe people came into contact with French traders who gave them access to rifles and metal tools. As a result, there were intermarriages between the Native Americans and French traders and trappers.
After the Sault Ste. Marie locks were constructed in 1855 to connect Lake Superior and Lake Huron, the area surrounding Lake Superior became home to new settlers.
The island itself was named after Madeleine Cadotte, daughter of Ojibwe Chief White Crane. Madeleine, a Native American, married Michael Cadotte, a French fur trader, in the 1700s.
Size and population
Covering 78 square miles, La Pointe is a popular destination for people who want to enjoy the natural beauty of the Apostle Islands while relishing the tranquil atmosphere around Lake Superior.
The town’s population of a few hundred swells to around 3,000 during the summertime when tourists flock to this popular destination.
La Pointe is the only town on Madeline Island, a charmingly remote island found in Lake Superior just off Wisconsin’s North Coast.
To get here, board the ferries that cross the waters between Bayfield, Wisconsin and the Island. These ferries, which transport vehicles and people, operate from March to mid-January or until the lake freezes over, some years running year-round.
Enjoy the 20-minute scenic cruise on Lake Superior while admiring views of the Apostle Islands.
During winter, the ice generally becomes thick enough to create an ice road between Bayfield and Madeline Island. Locals can drive the two-mile distance over the icy landscape. The city of Bayfield is approximately a 4-hour drive from Minneapolis, and a seven-hour drive from Chicago.
La Pointe is served by the Madeline Island Airport. Also known as the Major Gilbert Field Airport, this airport has a 3,000-foot by 75-foot landing strip. Nearby airports include those in Iron Mountain, Michigan, and Duluth International Airport in Minnesota, which are within a 90-minute drive.
Real estate in La Pointe, WI
Stunning Lake Superior vistas and numerous amenities await homeowners in La Pointe.
Imagine spending warm, summer days out on the lake, fishing and boating. At sunset, set up campfires and enjoy toasted marshmallows. Be mesmerized by a canopy of stars when you and your family gaze at the night sky.
You’ll find lakefront homes and architectural masterpieces with your name on it among the homes for sale in La Pointe, WI. Take your pick from charming ranch-style properties surrounded by beautiful green spaces and lush landscaping.
Coveted real-estate properties offer incredible views of Lake Superior. Luxurious waterfront properties come with large windows, balconies, and terraces to make the most of their scenic location.
You can also custom-build your own island summer getaway on one of the vacant lots in La Pointe.
There is a lakeshore property with a scenic sandstone shoreline providing an uninterrupted view of the lake. Other beautiful properties offer a great combination of woods, views, and water frontage.
All these and more make La Pointe one of the most desirable places to live.
Schools in Le Pointe, WI
For families thinking of relocating to La Pointe, WI, proximity to good schools is a primary consideration. This area is served by a highly rated public school system. On Madeline Island, the La Pointe Elementary School is for the district’s K-5 students. Meanwhile, the Bayfield School caters to K-12 Bayfield students and 6-12 La Pointe/Madeline Island students. The district has an impressive 7.5 student to teacher ratio compared to Wisconsin’s 13.2 ratio.
Things to do in La Pointe, WI
La Pointe, WI can be your jump off point in exploring the jewels of Lake Superior: the Apostle Islands.
Madeline Island, which is 14 miles long, is the largest isle in the archipelago of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Composed of 22 islands, the Apostle Islands Archipelago is known for its sandy beaches, red sandstone sea caves, historic lighthouses, and sunken shipwrecks.
Public beaches can be found in Big Bay State Park, Big Bay Town Park, and Joni’s Beach.
- Choose your water adventure
Your adventures in La Pointe can range from adrenaline-pumping water activities to relaxing cruises. Rent a canoe or kayak through crystal clear waters of Big Bay Town Park’s lagoon. Sail into the sunset and experience a romantic way to end your fun-filled day.
- Kayak to sea cave formations
Join a guided kayaking trip to see majestic sandstone cliffs and the ancient sea caves that are only accessible only by water. Paddle through sandstone arches in an area that is considered one of the best kayaking spots in the world. You will also get the chance to snorkel over historic shipwrecks and tour historic lighthouses.
- Visit Big Bay State Park
This 2,350-acre park is known for its sandstone bluffs and sandy beach covered with white pine and beach grasses. Dig your toes into Barrier Beach’s one-and-a-half-mile sandy crescent. This pristine beach is off the beaten track, making it the perfect spot to sunbathe. Camping grounds, picnic areas, and hiking and skiing trails are also available in Big Bay State Park.
- Visit Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve
There are over 2,600 acres of forest, wetlands, and hiking trails to explore in this nature preserve. Go berry picking or hunting. During the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities.
- Scuba dive in Lake Superior
Scuba divers will be thrilled to dive in the crystal clear waters of Lake Superior. Get to see underwater rock formations and fascinating dive sites such as the Noquebay Shipwreck, The Sevona Wreck, and The Lucerne Wreck.
- Play golf
Madeline Island Golf Club is known for its beautiful forest teeming with wildlife and gently rolling topography. This 18-hole golf course will make you go through pine forests and play seven holes overlooking Lake Superior.
- Go fishing
La Pointe is considered as one of the best fishing spots for lake trout, shad, smallmouth bass, salmon, and siscowet.
Find the best houses for sale in La Pointe, WI
If you want to go on outdoor adventures while enjoying tranquil Lake Superior views, finding a home in La Pointe, WI is a great way to make it happen.
However, buying your own lakefront real estate is more complex than purchasing properties on dry lots, which is why it is crucial to get a licensed Realtor who specializes in lakefront property.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, people can still continue the home buying and selling process by leveraging today’s technology.
Get to know more about coveted real estate properties in Northern Wisconsin by contacting a realty company committed to giving you an amazing real estate experience.
For more information about La Pointe, WI and the latest real estate listings and home prices in this market, get in touch with Jenna Galegher, broker and owner of Windseeker Realty.