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Category: Parks

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>>

  • Skate This: Teresa K. Hilander Community Ice Rink

    The recent cold snap isn’t great for a lot of outdoor activities, but it makes for a great base of ice at the Teresa K. Hilander Community Ice Rink in Sister Bay. The rink has been a popular spot this winter as people seek safe outdoor activities. Founded in the late-1990s by a group of […]

  • Donors Can ‘Name’ a Bench Near New Eagle Tower

    With the opening of the new Eagle Tower anticipated later this spring, the Friends of Peninsula State Park are offering an opportunity to preserve tower and park memories through a limited number of benches near the tower. They are available to “name” to honor a loved one or acknowledge a personal or family connection. Gift […]

  • VIDEO – Lesser Known Door County: The Dark Sky

    In the latest video produced by Peninsula Film Works for Destination Door County, get a look at the dark skies of Newport State Park. The park is one of the few International Dark Sky Parks in the country. “This place is special,” says Beth Bartoli, naturalist at Newport State Park. “You really don’t know until […]

  • Bike This: Skyline Road to Sven’s Bluff (Even in Winter)

    Winter biking seemed to be an endeavor for the crazy or the nerveless just a few years ago. Now it’s a common sight thanks to the rise of the fat tire. There aren’t many groomed trails in the county for the most exhilarating riding experience, but you can still get a great ride in through […]

  • DNR Announces Temporary Trail Closures at Potawatomi State Park

    Temporary trail closures to the northern half of Potawatomi State Park’s trail system are in immediate effect while logging operations are underway to improve safety for visitors and the health of the ecosystem. During the scheduled logging operation, a commercial logger contracted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will remove hazardous trees impacted by […]

  • Kewaunee County to Open Ice Rink, Winter Park

    The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department (KCPRD, kewauneeco.org or visitkewauneecounty.com) will soon open the new Dana Farm Ice Skating Rink, funded primarily with a donation from Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days 2017. The free, lit, outdoor rink – at N3787 Ransom Moore Lane, adjacent to Winter Park – is freezing over and will open as […]

  • Baileys Harbor Looks at Next Steps for Anclam Park

    During a budget hearing this fall, Baileys Harbor officials expressed uncertainty about 2021 spending needs for flagstone and heating repairs for the town hall and costs to complete repairs at Anclam Park. In December, board members reached a consensus to hold down costs on one of those – the jetty repairs. Bashed by waves and […]

  • Curiousities: What If Europe Bay Had Been Parceled Off?

    The picturesque shoreline of Europe Bay beach and dark skies of Newport State Park are cherished by those living on the remote northern tip of the peninsula, but the area was almost lost to private development during the 1970s.  The Hotz Gate on Europe Bay Road marks the spot where Ferdinand Hotz — once the […]

  • Towers Rising: Maritime Tower, Eagle Tower Nearing Completion

    Much has been made of the loss of Eagle Tower and potentially Potawatomi Tower, but two new towers are rising toward completion in Door County.  At Peninsula State Park, progress on the new Eagle Tower continues, with hopes for completion by the end of the year. The new tower will be shorter than the original, […]

  • Hike This: Door Bluff Headlands County Park

    Near the northernmost reaches of the peninsula, one of Door County’s most underrated natural areas conceals its secret vistas from most visitors. Door Bluff Headlands County Park stands largely undisturbed, beckoning adventurers to get to know this hidden gem. Aside from an access road to the interior of the park, Door Bluff Headlands County Park […]

  • Potawatomi Tower Listed on State Historic Register

    The State Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously Friday to put the Potawatomi State Park observation tower on the State Register of Historic Places.  The tower’s formal addition to the state’s list means the status will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of the Interior for consideration for inclusion on the National Register of Historic […]

  • Restoration Finishes at Riverview ATV Park

    The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department and the Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department have finished restoration work at Riverview ATV Park to address water quality, erosion and habitat improvement. Federal, state and community partners who worked to construct a pollinator buffer and wetland basins helped to make this initiative possible. The restoration […]

  • Hike This: Hiking during Hunting Season

    We are now in the thick of hunting season: The popular gun deer hunting season runs Nov. 21-29, but varieties of small-game hunting take place well into the winter months. This means that many hiking areas with public access will be hunting grounds for the next few months, so when you’re visiting them, it’s smart […]

  • Door County Supports Repair of Potawatomi Tower

    During its October meeting, the Door County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution supporting repair of the Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower. The resolution asked that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) assess the repairs needed for the tower from a historical perspective and encouraged the DNR to repair the tower in a […]

  • Erosion Control Project Proceeding at La Salle Park

    With a 14-7 vote on Tuesday, the Door County Board of Supervisors agreed to kick in half the costs of installing 150 feet of rip rap at Robert La Salle County Park to protect the shoreline and decrease erosion.  The Door County Facilities and Parks Committee awarded the bid Oct. 14 to Hutchinson Property Services […]

  • Back to Nature: State parks saw influx of visitors looking for safe oases

    First, the coronavirus pandemic drove people indoors. Then, opportunities for safe recreation and relaxation lured them outdoors, both in Door County and nationwide. If there’s a bright side to all of this, Chris Holicek thinks that’s one of them. “People are being very careful, and yet they’re able to be out and enjoy nature,” said […]

  • Hike This: Ellison Bluff County Park

    Photos by Aleah Kidd Although Ellison Bluff County Park is on the shoreline of Green Bay just south of Ellison Bay, there’s no access to the water because the bluffs facing the lake soar 100 feet high. There is, however, a wonderful lookout and picnic area complete with a stairway that takes visitors to the […]

  • Hope for Tower Repair Soars

    Door County Board of Supervisors will consider support Oct. 27 Incremental progress has been made during the past month to save the historic Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower. First, the Door County Board of Supervisors is set to discuss a resolution Oct. 27 that its Legislative Committee recommended earlier this month to support tower repair. […]

  • Hike This: Toft Point State Natural Area

    The Toft Point Natural Area is one of my favorite hikes at any time of the year. The trail begins off Ridges Road, where there’s a small parking area, and it travels northeast through a mile of forest toward a spectacular, rocky dolomite shoreline on Moonlight Bay.  Round trip, the easy hike is about two […]

  • DNR Restates Intent to Demolish Potawatomi Tower

    SBHSF calls for public support, and a meeting keeps hopes up Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Preston Cole sent two letters last week pertaining to the Potawatomi State Park tower. One went to Christie Weber, president of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation (SBHSF). The other went to both state Rep. Joel Kitchens […]