With a population of 302, La Pointe, the only town on Madeline Island, has small town charm. The population increases to over 1500 with the arrival of summer residents. The town is governed by a 5-person Board of Supervisors, managed by a town administrator and is supplemented by volunteer boards for zoning and planning, and other public works.
The La Pointe School educates students ranging from kindergarten through 5th grade, and island students travel to Bayfield for classes beginning in the 6th grade. The Madeline Island Library offers internet services, along with books, periodicals, audio cd’s and films. The Library serves as a meeting spot for many community organizations.
The town employs a full-time police department, volunteer EMT’s, and Fire Department. The La Pointe Community Clinic opened in 2007 offering limited health services and on-site medical staff. The closest hospital is in Ashland, WI.
The Madeline Island Airport has a 3,000-foot paved landing strip and is open year ’round. The airport has instrument approach, navigation lights and offers tie-down and camping for pilots. Nightly fee charged.
Transportation to and from the mainland is provided by The Madeline Island Ferry Line from spring through freeze-up (generally early April through early January). Windsleds Inc., whisks residents and visitors across the ice on a windsled (a flat-bottomed vehicle with an airplane propeller on the back – resembling a hovercraft with skis) prior to an ice road opening. When the ice road opens each year and how long it stays open is determined by Mother Nature. Once open, the ice road is continuously monitored and maintained by Windsleds Inc. Caution is always advised if driving the ice road.