Three small limestone outcroppings in Lake Michigan--Gravel Island, Spider Island and Hog Island—make up Wisconsin Islands Wilderness. These islands provide important nesting grounds for colonial birds, especially herring gulls, ring- billed gulls, and double-crested cormorants. Because human contact could easily destroy these fragile and threatened communities, the public is not permitted to set foot on the islands. Boaters are asked to stay at least a quarter-mile offshore so as not to endanger the nesting areas. Bring your binoculars if you want to take a peek. Hazardous shoals surround the Wilderness trio, which further protects the safety of the birds and preserves the wildness of the islands.
Closed Wilderness Area
Ten of the National Wilderness Preservation System's 803 wilderness areas are closed to access and use by the general public. Most of these closed areas are managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The core mission of the Service's National Wildlife Refuge System is conservation of native fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. The Wisconsin Islands Wilderness, part of the Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuge and Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Horicon Refuge Complex), is closed to visitation to protect wildlife and other natural, cultural, and/or other resources consistent with the conservation purpose(s) of the refuges. Wilderness designation provides an additional level of protection for the wilderness portions of these refuges, but does not open the area to public access or use.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.