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Door County is the only county in Wisconsin with five state parks, plus one state trail. No visit to the peninsula is complete without exploring these pristine open spaces that are home to historic landmarks, rare flora and fauna, hiking trails, and much more.

Peninsula State Park

The crown jewel of the Wisconsin State Park system, Peninsula State Park offers more than 3,700 acres for exploration.

Bike or hike on the Sunset Bike Trail, or challenge yourself on more than 12 miles of off-road biking trails weaving through the woods. Rent kayaks and peddle boats at Nicolet Beach Concessions at famous Nicolet Bay beach, where you can also get snacks, burgers, supplies, and ice cream.

The park is also home to the beautiful Peninsula State Park Golf Course, award-winning Northern Sky Theatre and historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. The 75-foot Eagle Tower was closed in May 2015 for structural concerns, but is expected to reopen in 2018. More>>

Potawatomi State Park

Home of the eastern trailhead of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, 75-foot observation tower and views of Green Bay from the escarpment, overlook of the park’s old ski hill, several picnic areas and playgrounds, more than 2 miles of shoreline, canoe, kayak, paddleboat and bicycle rentals, boat launch and fish cleaning station, nature center and park store. More>>

Newport State Park

Newport State Park is Wisconsin’s only formally designated wilderness park, with miles of sand beach, secluded hike-in camping on the lakeshore, quiet hiking and biking trails, and great skiing in winter. More>>

Rock Island State Park

If you want a quiet beach, Rock Island is your place. The sand beach on the north side of the island was recently lauded in Minnesota Monthly magazine as one of the last “remains of old Door County.” More>>

Whitefish Dunes State Park

It was the rare botanicals, unique beauty and the largest and most significant dunescape on Lake Michigan’s western shore that led noted landscape architect Jens Jensen to recommend Whitefish Dunes as a state park site in 1937. More>>

Ahnapee State Trail

We are quick to praise Door County’s five state parks as the crown jewels of the county, but we often forget about the Ahnapee State Trail. The county-operated trail runs 48 miles between Sturgeon Bay and Algoma and its history as a railroad predates the founding of the parks system. More>>

  • Pottawatomie Lighthouse. Tim Sweet.

    A Prize Worth the Journey: Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island

    Imagine, if you can, a time nearly 200 years ago when Green Bay and Prairie du Chien were the only two major towns in Wisconsin. When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, the already thriving shipping trade between Green Bay and cities on the eastern Great Lakes increased dramatically. Troubled by the number of […]

  • Door Bluff Headlands On Track for Expansion

    The Door County Parks Department is taking steps to expand Door Bluff Headlands County Park by purchasing over 70 acres of land adjacent to the park’s southern border. “We’ve always had a low-key eye on this property,” said George Pinney, Director of Door County Parks. “We don’t usually pursue things like that, except to put […]

  • Door County Land Trust Announces Largest Conservation Buy in 40 Years

    It was an occasion marked by words from the governor, and attended by politicians and environmentalists. But the importance of the latest two land acquisitions by the Door County Land Trust was best demonstrated when the crowds cleared and words ceased.

  • Peninsula State Park: A Portrait of What Door County Used to Be

    “Let the State of Wisconsin give to its children this vast playground, where the old, and tired, and worn may grow young in spirit and rested in body, nursed by the purity of Nature’s medicine, and where the young may romp and their bodies grow strong among the wonders of scenic beauty.” – Assemblyman Thomas […]

  • Faces of the Past: Chester Thordarson

    One of the most fascinating characters in Door County’s history has to be Chester Thordarson, particularly where Rock Island is concerned. Born in Iceland in 1867, Thordarson immigrated with his family to Milwaukee when he was nearly six years old. Chester and his family moved throughout the Midwest and by the time he was 20, […]

  • Summer Soirée: Inspiring Culinary Excellence

    Summertime, especially in Door County, means family, friends and (ideally) beautiful weather. Unfortunately, the summer months are all-too brief. Why spend that limited time eating indoors when you can host an outdoor summer dinner party and spend more relaxed time with your loved ones? Entertaining outdoors might be a little more work (although it certainly […]

  • On Your Plate: Ultimate Picknicking

    Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough, A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse —  and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness — And Wilderness is Paradise now. -from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam With miles of beaches and coastline, sixteen county parks, and five state parks, Door County may be […]