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>>

  • Assessment Finds Significant Decay at Potawatomi Tower

    CAn assessment commissioned by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has concluded that the load carrying capacity of Potawatomi Tower has been compromised. Forest Products Laboratory, part of the U.S. Forest Services, Department of Agriculture, has released its report outlining the nondestructive wood testing done on the observation tower at Potawatomi State Park. Routine inspections […]

  • State Supreme Court Keeps Sister Bay Pavilion Lawsuit Open

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed part of Door County Circuit Court Judge D. Todd Ehlers’ decision in a lawsuit over concerts held at the Sister Bay performance pavilion. In the lawsuit filed July 8, 2016, the Yacht Club at Sister Bay alleged that concerts held at the pavilion constituted a nuisance. The legal question did […]

  • Land Donation Expands Chambers Island Nature Preserve

    Door County Land Trust announces the donation of nine acres of land at the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. The donation of land, made by Pete and Fawn Rogers, long-time summer visitors on the island, is the fifth conservation project to be completed on Chambers Island during 2018. The donated land connects other protected lands within […]

  • Roughing the Trails of Door Bluff Headlands County Park

    A winter hike at Door Bluff Headlands County Park provides spectacular views.

  • 2019 Door County Runs and Rides

    We’ve made your planning easy with this guide to getting active with 2019 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 […]

  • County Supports Medical Marijuana; Votes to Expand Door Bluff Headlands Park

    On a voice vote at its Dec. 18 meeting, the Door County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution in support of the legalization of medical marijuana. Chair Dave Lienau said he decided to directly sponsor the resolution because he knows people who use cannabis for pain relief, and 33 other states already allow its use […]

  • Kewaunee County to Groom Trails this Winter for Fat Bikes

    Kewaunee County is gearing up to bring fat biking to its parks. The Promotions and Recreation Department is partnering with Broken Spoke Bike Studio in Green Bay to create winter trails at Ryan Park and Riverview ATV Park. “More people are riding these off-road bicycles with oversized tires, especially in winter and we’re happy to […]

  • 34 Things We Love About Winter in Door County

    I used to hate winters. Though some friends loved the day when the tourists disappeared, the restaurants cleared out and the shops closed for the winter, I dreaded it. The Monday after Fall Fest was always one of the most depressing of the year. But after returning to Door County in 2017 after living in […]

  • Evergreen Hike

    Start December off right by attending a program at Crossroads at Big Creek. Enjoy a Hike to the Evergreen Forests on Dec. 1, 10 am. This hike will visit several evergreen forests, and participants will learn how these trees adapt to winter. Meet at the Collins Learning Center. Get in the holiday spirit with the Friends […]

  • Voters Say Yes to Gills Rock Shoreline Purchase

    A full house turned out for Tuesday’s special Liberty Grove Town Board meeting, most of them there to say yes to the town’s proposal to purchase three properties on the Gills Rock shoreline for $1.45 million. The proposal passed by a vote of 111 – 19 via paper ballots. The stretch of 440 feet of […]

  • The New Eagle Tower – Pulse Podcast

    Andrew Kleidon and Myles Dannhausen are back this week to discuss some interesting news featured in this week’s Peninsula Pulse. Andrew also sits down with Alissa Ehmke about her recent interview with US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Our feature this week centers around the DNR’s sketches of the new Eagle Tower design, featuring a […]

  • 2018 Potawatomi State Park Run Wild Results

    More than 300 runners turned out for the 30th Run Wild at Potawatomi State Park. The fundraiser for Friends of Potawatomi State Park featured a 5k, quarter marathon, and Smokey Bear Kids Run. Patrick Walsh of Brookfield was the first to cross the finish in the 5k with a time of 19:12. Eleven year-old Benjamin […]

  • DNR Releases Eagle Tower Sketches

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released new sketches of the new Eagle Tower Oct. 2. The plans came with the announcement that the State Natural Resources Board has accepted a $750,000 donation from the Friends of Peninsula State Park. The new design will consist of a 60-foot observation tower with a 1,000-square foot observation […]

  • Archaeological Dig at Crossroads

    Fall has descended but Crossroads at Big Creek is staying busy with activities for all ages. On Sept. 28, the community is encouraged to join the Friends of Crossroads for a work party at 10 am, cleaning up buckthorn, honeysuckle and burdock. Loppers, gloves and old clothes are recommended, but there are tools to share. […]

  • Meditation Walk at Crossroads at Big Creek

    Join Coach Sara at Crossroads at Big Creek on Oct. 6, 10 – 11:30 am, for a Walk About with Coach Sara. Slow down, become present and aware of your body, connect to the beautiful Door County outdoors while we walk through the magical woods and fields along inviting paths at Crossroads. Inspired by the […]

  • Fall Flowers of the Door Peninsula

    Crossroads at Big Creek will host several hikes to enjoy autumn flowers before they are gone. First, they are holding a lecture on “Fall Flowers of the Door Peninsula” on Sept. 21 at 2 pm. This illustrated lecture will show the variety and beauty of fall flowers. Meet in the lecture hall at the Collins […]

  • Cyclists Converge on Door County Sept. 9 – 15

    Thousands of cyclists will descend on Door County Sept. 9 – 15 for two big bicycle rides. First up is the Door County Century, celebrating its 40th year with a ride Sept. 9 that starts and ends at the Door County Fairgrounds in Sturgeon Bay. Cyclists can register onsite Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 – […]

  • Ahnapee Bike Trail Extension Open

    Cycling routes are a little more connected in Sturgeon Bay now that an extension of the Ahnapee Trail is complete. The Door County Facilities and Parks Department announced the extension of the Ahnapee State Bike Trail between Utah and Michigan Street is now open to bike and foot traffic. The project became a reality through […]

  • The Inner Monologues of a Solo Hiker

    Today, I went on a journey. From Ephraim, I drove the 54 minutes to Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay to participate in a guided hike for one of their Naturalist Programs. The goal for the day was to hike the park’s section of the Ice Age Trail in celebration of its 60th anniversary, a […]

  • Culture Club: Clearing Continues Landscape Architecture Legacy

    by Mike Schneider, Executive Director, The Clearing At a place established 83 years ago by Jens Jensen – one of the most important landscape architects in American history – in large part as a training ground for young landscape architects, it’s fitting that The Clearing has continued this tradition. To that end, for the past […]