The call of the open road! Two long snouts seeking new smells out the car window!
Four ears flapping in the wind!
Another buddy to blame your stinks on!
The whole furry fam is heading to Madeline Island off the coast of Bayfield, WI. Franz and Enzo go into full-body tail wags over this trip: Madeline Island is basically a fantasy island for dogs. More on that later, but first, everyone in the car!
The drive from the Twin Cities to Bayfield is ruff-ly four hours, which calls for at least one dog-friendly pit stop along the way. We choose the Cumberland, WI, Dairy Queen. For 62 cents, you can get a Mastiff-sized doggy sundae, complete with dog biscuit. Fur realz, this deal’s so good you kind of have to if you love your dog.
All four dachshund ears pricked up at the sound of Howl Adventure Center. This outfitter sits on 11 acres just south of town. (If you’re familiar with the downtown Bayfield Howl shop, this is the newest, biggest member of the pack.) Sure, they can outfit you and pups who ruff it with all the right gear. But adventurous dogs and their owners will also love the single-track demo trail, which you can bike in summer and ski (or skijor) in winter.
And if your dog is, um, more of an energy-saving model, grab a brew and take a load off together at the new Adventure Club Brewing‘s pub and patio.
In downtown Bayfield, patio options abound for well-behaved dogs on leashes: Kickapoo Coffee, old-school Greunke’s Restaurant, and for locavores, The Fat Radish. They’ve been doing farm-to-table food since most cafes were wee pups. While I warmed up with some hot chocolate, Franz and Enzo picked up the smells blowing in from the lake.
We’re towing our camping sleeping quarters behind us (because my dogs are literal royalty), but Bayfield has dog-friendly lodging, too. Fur instance, you can sit, stay, and snap at Winfield Inn & Gardens, where you’ll want to play phodographer with so many garden photo ops. All the rooms are dog-friendly, with a one-time charge of $25 per dog.
Franz and Enzo need to stretch all eight legs (short as they may be) before catching the ferry, so we wagged over to nearby Brownstone Trail. It’s 1.2 miles round-trip and hugs the cliffs over Lake Superior for corgi-ous views. If your pack is game, sniff out the trailhead at 3rd St and Manypenny Ave in downtown Bayfield. If not, convince them with snacks.
Then, it’s all paws on deck for the Madeline Island Ferry. It’s a 20-minute ride to LaPointe and dogs ride fur free. Check out the pupper deck in nice weather!
Get the sniff on Madeline Island in Part Two of this article series. We’ll dig up the dog-friendliest, most burned-down bar ever, and explore one of the most scenic dog beaches in the Midwest, all on a small Lake Superior island.
(Photos courtesy of M.A. Rosko)