A variety of factors is to thank for your full ferry rides to Washington Island this summer. Dropping water levels allowed the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to open Rock Island State Park for the first time since 2019. The Sievers School of Fiber Arts and other island attractions sprung back to life after a year shuttered. The pandemic prevented many from traveling to Washington Island last year but inspired younger travelers to see what the buzz was about and experience it for themselves. Those are just some of the factors that are keeping island businesses like Joel Gunnlaugsson’s Townliner Motel busy not just on the weekend but all week long thanks to everyone wanting to come back.
He believes the number of day trips has grown just because of the island’s popularity and the shortage of rooms available some days. The only downside in Gunnlaugsson’s eyes this summer? The lake temperatures are about seven to eight degrees cooler than normal.