A July Fourth Tradition: The Hairpin Run

For more than a thousand runners, the Fourth of July starts the same way each year: with a grueling climb up the Fish Creek hill for the start of the Hairpin Run. 

The 5K run is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Friends of Gibraltar, and it has become a tradition for plenty of Door County families and many more who make the trip up for Independence Day festivities. 

The start of the Hairpin Run in Fish Creek. Photo by Jacob Dannhausen-Brun.

Online registration for this year’s run is open through July 3 for $35. Runners can also register in person on race day for $40 at the old Gibraltar Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., 6:30-7:30 am. Registration is capped at 1,500 runners; only the first 1,100 will get timing chips. 

The run starts at 8 am at Nicolet Bank at the bottom of the Fish Creek hill. After runners charge (or crawl) up the hill, they make their way to Cottage Row, where they navigate the hairpin turn down the bluff before finishing with a mile along beautiful, historical Cottage Row. 

There will be a water station and post-race fluids and cookies. No bikes or dogs are allowed on the route. Learn more and register at

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