When I talk with friends who have never been to Madeline Island in winter, they inevitably comment on the snow and the cold and the isolation of living in the far north.

They eventually ask what they really want to know:  What in the world do you do on Madeline Island in the winter?

My answer:  Lots!

First of all, the landscape in winter is gorgeous! Just being in this place feeds the eyes and the spirit. I stare out my windows - luckily my house in the woods has lots of big ones. I stare out my friends' windows - some have beautiful beach views. I walk in the woods. I walk on the beach.

A ride on the ferry through a river of ice, then a trip on the bumpy, noisy wind sled, and finally negotiating the ice road in your own car - these are adventures not to be missed!

Besides snowmobiling, dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and snowshoeing, we can play Big Ice Golf, participate in the Polar Plunge or the Run On Water. Or we can make angels in the snow, watch the turquoise ice form in Big Bay, or enjoy the snow falling on the evergreen trees.

Then there's the huge bonfire - the starting woodpile is as big as a two-story, four-bedroom house! And of course Packer games at the Beach Club. We also have the Literary Society, the Opera Society, the Knitting Club, various church functions, and lots of get-togethers and parties at the homes of the 250 or so year-round residents. One of my friends has a Japanese style firewood-heated hot tub outside her cabin in the woods - fun!


AuthorKate Bortell