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>>

  • Getting Out: Newport State Park

    Most visitors to Door County are well aware of Peninsula State Park, but relatively few make the trek north to Newport, the state’s only designated Wilderness Park. For a beautiful, easy hike, head to Europe Bay for a trek on the Hotz Trail.  Difficulty: Easy, with some small hills to climb Distance: The Hotz Trail […]

  • Wild Things: Anglers, Birders, Hunters Enjoying Mental-Health Break

    Hundreds of anglers will be spread out along Door County’s bayside shorelines this weekend to get after smallmouth bass.  Even though a rule change allows catch-and-release fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass prior to the opener in most areas, opening day (May 2) is still special. Boat launches are open, including in state parks. […]

  • Bruemmer Park Zoo Closed; Rest Remains Open

    The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department has temporarily closed the lower portion of Bruemmer Park Zoo to the public effective March 23 to help lessen the spread of COVID-19. “We’ve noticed more people visiting the animals at the zoo since the closures of other public places have been ordered, and now, unfortunately, we need […]

  • Changes to State Park Operations

    Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order recognizes outdoor activity as an essential activity. Under this order, we must do all that we can to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. People should stay as close to home as possible and avoid travel outside of their community. Distance is key while visiting state parks and […]

  • Preserves Open at Crossroads

    Although the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay is closed, all three of its preserves are still open to the public. Visitors of all ages should practice social distancing while exploring. No programs will be held at Crossroads until further notice, but staff members will post updates, maps and activities […]

  • Tickets on Sale Soon for Lighthouse Festivals

    Tickets for the 2020 Door County Spring and Fall Lighthouse Festivals will go on sale March 23. They include land-based, boat and adventure tours that together reach all 11 of the county’s treasured lighthouses. Many of the excursions are unique to the Lighthouse Festivals and provide exclusive access to several lighthouses that are not typically […]

  • Survey Seeks Input on Kewaunee County Outdoor Opportunities

    The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department wants to find out what residents and visitors enjoy most about the outdoors through a 15-question online survey that includes an interactive mapping component and asks respondents about their favorite outdoor recreational activities, how often they participate in them and ideas for future development.  “Kewaunee County has a […]

  • 2020 Door County Runs and Rides

    We’ve made your planning easy with this guide to getting active with 2020 Door County runs and rides to check out. If you want plan to take on many runs, consider signing up for the Run the Door race series. Door County has become a hotbed for silent sports competition and experiences. Whether you want […]

  • Ellison Bluff Park Road Reopens

    The Door County Facilities and Parks Department announced the entrance roadway to Ellison Bluff County Park has reopened following repair work to correct significant washouts in the roadway. The roadway repairs were completed by the Door County Highway Department.  “The safety of our Park visitors is a priority for our department,” said Parks Superintendent Ben […]

  • Funding Secured for Eagle Tower Construction

    The Wisconsin State Building Commission has approved additional funding to replace Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park.  The commission had previously approved 1.25 million for the tower, and Friends of Peninsula State Park earlier raised $750,000 in private donations. The commission has now voted to provide an additional $1.4 million for the project.  The new […]

  • This Weekend in Door: Pumpkin Patch, Apple Fest & Lighthouse Festival

    Fall festivals are back and it’s a busy weekend in Door County! Outside of the big events, there’s still a lot on the calendar too, with live music, theater, art galleries, markets and outdoor spaces to explore. Pumpkin Patch Weekend in Egg Harbor One of the great weekends for family fun in Door County returns […]

  • Ellison Bluff County Park Entrance Road Temporarily Closed

    The Door County Facilities and Parks Department announced the temporary closure of the entrance road to Ellison Bluff County Park due to significant washouts in the roadway from recent weather events. The closure is temporary until appropriate roadway repairs can be made. The park will remain open to visitors, but access into the park will be limited […]

  • Half Marathon Registration Opens Oct. 1

    Registration for one of Wisconsin’s premier running events opens Oct. 1. That’s when runners can lock in their spot for the 13th Door County Half Marathon and Nicolet Bay 5K. The runs will take place Saturday, May 2, 2020, on a closed-road course in Door County’s beautiful Peninsula State Park.  The half marathon, capped at […]

  • Citizens Present Concept for Gills Rock Shoreline

    A pair of Liberty Grove residents presented a draft plan for the Gills Rock waterfront park to the Liberty Grove Parks and Property Committee Sep. 10. Liberty Grove residents Steve Eatough and Mike Bharke shared preliminary ideas for the parcels the town acquired in October 2018 for $1.45 million. The town did not commission the […]

  • Ephraim Moravian Cemetery’s Annual Cemetery Walks

    The Ephraim Moravian Cemetery’s ninth annual cemetery walks will take place Sept. 9, 1 pm and 2:30 pm, rain or shine. Tickets are required and will be handed out right before the tours. Tickets are free – limited to the first 70 people at the first tour – but donations are appreciated. This year’s walks will […]

  • Friends of Potawatomi State Park Complete Pier Campaign

    Thanks to the generosity of many donors, the nonprofit Friends of Potawatomi State Park ( has announced that fundraising for the park’s handicapped-accessible fishing pier ( is complete.  With support from the Department of Natural Resources and the state, $320,000 has been committed to this significant project. The National Resources Board recognized the community’s contribution […]

  • Newport Wilderness Days Aug. 31 and Sept. 1

    On Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, Newport State Park will host Newport Wilderness Days ( an event that started in 1992 as a way for the Newport Wilderness Society – the park’s official friends group – to showcase its beautiful park. Volunteers will lead hikes and programs that cover many areas of interest. Activities on […]

  • This Weekend in Door County: Marina Fest, Sausage Fest & Wilderness Day

    Sister Bay Marina Fest All weekend long join the festival of fun in Sister Bay where you can find live music, kids’ carnival, food vendors, a vintage boat show and fireworks. See the full schedule here. Sausage Fest at One Barrel Brewing Company Find an Oktoberfest beer tent from One Barrel Brewing Co., hot sausages […]

  • 5 Washington Island Gems

    The atmosphere on Washington Island in August feels like all the best parts of a black-and-white photograph, complete with sticky hands from melting ice cream, sandy toes, cruising with the windows down, sunburned shoulders and freckles. Full of hidden gems and time-tested favorites, Washington Island is the best place to while away the last, golden […]

  • This Weekend in Door County: Barbeque and the Blues

    Although the end of August is in sight, summertime fun in Door County is showing no signs of slowing down. This weekend, there’s an event for everyone. Enjoy celebrated blues performances, taste award-winning barbeque, browse local art and spend some time in the great outdoors.  Festivals and Celebrations  Death’s Door BBQ, Aug. 24 A Kansas […]