Tickets are now on sale to the general public for the 23rd annual Door County Lighthouse Festival. This year’s event is June 10-12, with a weekend filled with special land-based tours and boat excursions.
Two different day-long, land-based tours, visit the five mainland lights and depart from either the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay or the Door County Trolley Depot in Egg Harbor. The Ghost/Mystery trolley tour leaves from the museum on Friday and Saturday evenings.
New this year is the Baileys Harbor Range Light Tour at the Ridges Sanctuary. The two range lights are spotlighted and participants will learn about the history and culture of Wisconsin’s first Land Trust property while hiking the new Hidden Brook boardwalk.
As for the boat trips, the popular excursion from Gills Rock to Plum Island returns with four tours with limited seating available.
The excursion to Chambers Island is another once-a-year opportunity. Although a larger-capacity boat permits more people to visit Chambers Island, it will continue to be a hot ticket item. Participants need to be prepared for a scenic mile-plus cross-island hike to the lighthouse and back.
Another weekend tour will circle Plum and Pilot islands from Gills Rock. There are also a pair of trips to Rock Island and the Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Friday from Gills Rock.
The schooner trip aboard the “tall ship” Edith Becker from Sister Bay is also among the offerings this year with trips under sail past the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.
The Sturgeon Bay Fireboat will offer its regular daily tours from the Maritime Museum as well as special sunset dessert cruises both Friday and Saturday evenings.
Cana Island and Eagle Bluff Lighthouses maintain regular seasonal hours throughout the weekend. Both the Sherwood Point Lighthouse and Sturgeon Bay Canal Light are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and offer free admission over the weekend. However, Saturday and Sunday of the Lighthouse Festival weekend are the only days the property and lighthouse are open to the public at Sherwood Point. The range lights at the Ridges Sanctuary, with its newly restored lower light, will also welcome visitors Friday between 10 am and 2 pm for a free-will offering.