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>>

  • 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 […]

  • Forest Hike with Ecologist Lee Frelich

    Internationally known forest ecologist Lee Frelich will lead a forest exploration hike at Newport State Park for the Climate Change Coalition of Door County on Aug. 18. Before he was a globally known scientist, Frelich was a boy spending summers in rural Ellison Bay, passing his days in endless exploration of the woods that would […]

  • Pick Your Favorite Park Contest

    The 2018 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Gold Seal Award contest is open. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is the umbrella organization for the more than 80 local friends groups organizations organized to provide support for state park system properties. The organization’s mission is preserving, promoting, protecting, and enhancing Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails […]

  • A Stairway to Death’s Door

    A scuba diving club that wanted better access to the shoreline of a Liberty Grove park has made that happen with a stainless steel stairway now providing access up and down the bluff. “It took us us a while, but we made it happen,” said John Touscany of the Neptune’s Dive Club (, adding that […]

  • Building Commission Approves Eagle Tower Project

    The State Building Commission approved a $2.07 million project to rebuild Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park at its Aug. 8 meeting at State Fair Park. The new design will consist of a 60-foot observation tower with a 1,000-square foot observation deck at the top and an accessible ramp approximately 850 feet long with an […]

  • Exploring Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park

    The bluffs of the Niagara Escarpment are one of Door County’s defining features, and nowhere is their scale and beauty more pronounced than along Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park. This two-mile loop that drops more than 200 feet from atop the bluff to the bottom is the most popular of all the peninsula’s hiking […]

  • Light Pollution and Dark Sky Parks

    by Tom Minahan   The mission of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) “… is to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting.” Light pollution is a serious problem not just for astronomers. It wastes energy, affects crime and safety, and disrupts the ecosystem and wildlife. […]

  • 571 Athletes Complete 2018 Door County Half Iron Triathlon

    For the first time in three years weather did not interfere with the Door County Triathlon. Nearly perfect water conditions Sunday helped all but 5 of the 688 athletes who entered the water complete the full 1.2-mile swim course. The swim was followed by a 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. Vant Lammers was the […]

  • Perfect Day Greets Door County Triathlon Sprint Participants

    Participants were greeted with a picture perfect day at the Door County Sprint Triathlon Saturday, July 14. A total of 828 athletes finished the race – 430 women and 398 men. Nearly 300 young athletes took place in the third annual Kids’ Triathlon in the afternoon. In that race, kids age 6 – 14 competed. Sprint […]

  • Weekend Primer Podcast: Cherry De-Lite Festival, Door County Triathlon

    This week Andrew and Matt are getting ready for the Cherry De-Lite Festival, going stargazing with Universe in the Park, and gearing up for the Door County Triathlon.

  • This Weekend in Door County: Triathlon and Folk Festival

    The summer season is finally upon us and there are too many different activities to keep track of. Good thing The Peninsula Pulse is here to help. Check out all the fun happening in Door County this weekend. Friday, July 13 Door County Folk Festival Throughout the entire weekend and throughout all of northern Door County is the […]

  • Gibraltar Voters Reject Beach Bathhouse

    Gibraltar town electors rejected construction of a bathhouse at the Fish Creek Beach Monday night by a vote of 153 to 58. “It’s back to the drawing board,” town chair Dick Skare said after the vote tally. The proposed bathhouse would have cost approximately $850,000 and many voters spoke of sticker shock during the public […]

  • Gibraltar Electors to Vote on $850,000 Beach Bathhouse

    Electors in the Town of Gibraltar will vote Monday night on the construction of a new bathhouse at the Fish Creek beach. The bathhouse would cost $850,000 and is part of $2.1 million in beach improvements. The new building would provide permanent bathrooms to replace the portable toilets at the beach now, which the town […]

  • Steve Mann Retires After 40 Years in Sister Bay

    Steve Mann likes to remind people that the 40 years he spent in various roles for the Village of Sister Bay began with something of a fluke. There were three candidates interviewing for the position back in 1979. One took a different job. Another didn’t show up to the interview. Then there was Steve. “That […]