Congress established Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 1970. The park consists of 22 islands in Lake Superior, and 2,500 acres of a peninsula in Wisconsin. Early French fur traders named the region the Chequamegon, after a Chippewa Indian description. The fur trade was one of the area's longest lasting commercial enterprises.
At Apostle Islands visitors will find beautiful sandstone cliffs, which follow along Lake Superior’s edge. During the Ice Age, huge glaciers advanced and retreated through the region, sculpting the sandstone bedrock and enlarging channels between what would become the Apostle Islands. As the last of the Ice Age glaciers retreated, boreal forests of balsam, spruce, and paper birch advanced northward onto the moist tundra. Today, the Apostle Islands lie within a transitional zone where boreal and northern forests meet.