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>>

  • IMPERILED SHORES: Wisconsin State Parks Battered as Lake Shrinks Beaches

    By Mario Koran, Wisconsin Watch/WPR Lake Michigan’s winds and waves have sculpted the landscape of Whitefish Dunes State Park. Water delivers fine sand to a shoreline that supports threatened plants like the dune thistle. Wind stacks that sand into the mighty dunes that inspired the park’s name.  Summer visitors splash on its beach or hike […]

  • Message Centers, Maps Guide Bruemmer Park Visitors

    Six new outdoor message centers at Bruemmer Park are assisting visitors with park rules, trail information, maps for the Ahnapee State Trail and Bruemmer Park hiking trails. Follow the 1.35-mile Quarry Trail, the 1.23-mile River Trail or the 0.49-mile Zoo Loop.  “Bruemmer Park is really transforming with the new improvements at the zoo, and with […]

  • CURIOSITIES: The Memorial Pole at Peninsula Golf Course

    As you tee up on the ninth hole of the Peninsula Golf Course, the primary hazard in your vision isn’t a sand trap or a pond, but a 40-foot-tall pole and monument. Good golfers have no trouble avoiding it, but bad golfers will either be drawn into it or find themselves in the adjacent driving […]

  • Access Limited to Peninsula State Park Saturday For Race

    The Door County Half Marathon and Nicolet Bay 5K will return to Peninsula State Park this Saturday, Oct. 30, when almost 2,500 runners are registered to participate in the races – the first running of the event since May 2019.  Some roads in the park will be closed for the races between 7:30 am and […]

  • Bike This: Potawatomi State Park Roads

    A light rainstorm in a state park where trees provide some shelter against the elements may not deter the average hiker from proceeding with caution to trek through a trail. An off-road path that’s already laden with rocks and tree roots and beginning to get muddy, however, may not accommodate a cyclist’s tires, even when […]

  • Wilderness Days Are Back at Newport Sept. 4-5

    Newport State Park will host Newport Wilderness Days Sept. 4-5. This event began in 1992 as a way for the members of Newport Wilderness Society ( to showcase the park. On Sept. 4, participate in coffee on the beach, 8:30 am; “History of Newport: Out of Wilderness into Wilderness,” 9:30 am; a Signs of Autumn […]

  • Know Your Nature Preserve from Your Natural Area

    Hikers, campers and foragers all share a pursuit of natural spaces where they can practice their recreation of choice, so whether they survey a map, flip through a newspaper or scan internet search results, words such as “nature preserve” and “state park” usually command their attention. But beyond checking the accommodations, amenities and rules related […]

  • Paddle Garrett Bay

    Cave Point isn’t the only spot to float along the rocky outcroppings of the Niagara Escarpment. Take the drive north to Ellison Bay and turn down Garrett Bay Road almost to Gills Rock, winding beneath the picturesque tree canopy, and put in at the Garrett Bay boat launch. Even in the heart of summer, you’ll […]

  • Ribbon-cutting Ceremony for Eagle Tower

    A new donor-recognition kiosk was unveiled during a July 9 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park. Rep. Joel Kitchens addressed the crowd, along with representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of Peninsula State Park. The tower opened to the public May 19. Photo by Rachel […]

  • Egg Harbor Church Street Work to Begin in October

    The Village of Egg Harbor’s board of trustees chose an accelerated timeline for the village’s Church Street reconstruction during a July 12 meeting.  The project – which includes adding 150 parking spaces, bike lanes, sidewalks and lighting to the undeveloped street – will begin after Pumpkin Patch Festival and continue into the summer of 2022. […]

  • Bike This: Rowleys Bay Loop at Newport State Park

    Biking is the perfect way to tackle a lengthier trail without taking the entire afternoon – so you can include time for a picnic stop – and Newport State Park offers a quiet, immersive cycling experience. The Rowleys Bay Loop starts across from the visitor center at the park’s first parking lot. You’re immediately introduced […]

  • DNR Hosts Eagle Tower Ribbon-Cutting

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the base of the newly constructed Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park at 10 am Friday, July 9. Members of the public are invited to join in the ribbon-cutting celebration, a co-sponsored event by the Friends of Peninsula State Park and […]

  • Eagle Tower Offers More Accessibility and New Experiences

    When I visited Peninsula State Park for the first time in the summer of 2015, my parents were excited to show my sister and me the famous Eagle Tower. They recalled how a hike up the tower revealed a brilliant, panoramic view of the park and the islands across the bay. After a winding drive […]

  • Ellison Bluff Park Closing June 1-4 for Paving

    Ellison Bluff County Park will close at dusk on Monday evening on May 31 for paving operations. Roadbed grading and compacting will commence on Tuesday with paving to follow on Wednesday and  Thursday. The Park is anticipated to re-open around 8 am on Friday, June 4. These dates and times are subject to change due […]

  • Rock Island Prepped for Reopening

    Rock Island State Park will reopen to visitors this summer after being closed in 2020 because of high water levels that made the pier inaccessible to the Karfi ferry.  On May 21, Randy Spevacek of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shuttled Friends of Rock Island volunteers so they could help to get the park […]

  • DNR Shifts from Demolition to Repair of Potawatomi Tower

    When the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate gaveled in and out without any action on Gov. Tony Evers’ special session Tuesday, the $5 million question for those who support the historical repair of the Potawatomi State Park observation tower was whether the tower had become another political chip in the partisan world of Wisconsin politics. Rep. […]

  • Finally, Eagle Tower is Back

    After six years, $3.7 million, and multiple setbacks and delays, the members of the Friends of Peninsula State Park’s (FOPSP) board of directors took their first steps up the new ramp to Eagle Tower with little fanfare Tuesday morning.  For them, that was just fine.  “Let’s do it,” President Chris Holicek said, and with that […]

  • Help Restore Algoma’s Crescent Beach

    Join Algoma’s Friends of Crescent Beach (FOCB) in its ongoing beach-restoration effort by helping to replace invasive species with native plants. Lovers of nature and Crescent Beach are encouraged to become Crescent Crew volunteers and attend an information session May 20, 6 pm, at Knudson Hall, 620 Lake St. in Algoma.  The first work day […]

  • Facilities, Infrastructure Upgrades at Peninsula State Park

    Visitors to Peninsula State Park this year will be in for a treat, courtesy of a major transformation that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has carried out during the past year.  Facilities and infrastructure upgrades include a new shower/restroom facility at the South Nicolet campground, restroom upgrades at the South Nicolet and Weborg Point […]

  • A Tower Reborn…Almost: Eagle Tower opening delayed again

    In a move fitting for the start-and-stop journey to rebuild Eagle Tower, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that the planned April 30 opening of the tower will be delayed for an unspecified length of time.  That means folks will have to wait a little longer to climb to the top and take […]