Navigation
  • “Boot” Hockey: Broomball is Northern Door County’s Unlikely Winter Pastime

    It started with the hope of getting enough people together to form two teams for pickup games, maybe 30 guys, to play a little “boot” hockey, a game they weren’t even sure how to play. They just wanted to play something, anything, for exercise and activity to get through the Wisconsin winter. They had this […]

  • Horse Sense: Riding In Winter

    Admittedly, I’m not a “horse person.” That’s not to say I have anything against horses, as in, “I’m not really a dog person…” The truth of the matter is, I just haven’t spent any significant time in the company of horses. Sure, I’ve scratched a few horses on the neck, and I’ve offered up an […]

  • Ice Harvesting in Door County’s Early Years

    For nearly a century, private homes and businesses in Door County relied on ice harvested from Green Bay or Lake Michigan for refrigeration purposes.

  • Birkie

    Inspired by the Challenge: Training for the Birkie

    It is Monday, January 23rd, and I am breaking a sweat in the 30-degree air. I am trying to cross-country ski over hilly terrain, but the result might be more accurately described as chasing my cousin Helen through the woods with boards attached to my feet. My mission: to prepare for the American Birkebeiner. That […]

  • Laying Up the Winter Fleet: Bringing Great Lakes Freighters to Port

    “The iron boats go as the mariners all know, with the gales of November remembered.”  – Gordon Lightfoot, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald The predawn morning is met with a blanket of fog that hangs heavy over the thickening ice of Sturgeon Bay’s outer harbor. Harsh, cold winds pile snow into ripples and drifts across […]

  • Frostbite Sailing

    The fall wears on toward winter, and the signs of the changing season are everywhere. As the days get even shorter, the geese as well as the summertime crowds have mostly moved south. The marinas and harbors are emptier after each weekend. As the temperatures fall and the waters of Green Bay darken, sailors might […]

  • The Golf Course Transformed: Hill 17 in Peninsula State Park

    Hill 17 on the Peninsula State Park course offers golfers a gorgeous treetop view to tee off from. As one drives into the park from the Ephraim entrance, the golf course presents itself immediately to the right, but to the left there’s nothing but a forest of trees. Shortly thereafter, driving to the golf course […]

  • Connecting Two Worlds: The Washington Island Ferry Line

    The distance from Northport pier, on the northern tip of the Door peninsula, to Washington Island’s Detroit Harbor is just a few miles, but in so many ways the two may as well be worlds apart. Between the shores run the foreboding waters of Death’s Door, which earned its moniker in the days when sailing […]

  • Snowshoeing the Door

    Snowshoeing provides the means for truly discovering those places on both our cognitive and paper maps. For those who love being outdoors and for those who aren’t sure, snowshoeing affords the freedom from groomed ski and snowmobile trails and is a great way to stay in shape through the winter months. Romantic images of explorers […]

  • Kevin Barta

    Iceboating: Pure Speed

    The scene is late December. Whistling winds breathe freezing temperatures upon the Door County winter landscape yet not a flake of snow has fallen. On a bed of ice from an inland lake a distant thunder may be heard from an oddly shaped craft traveling at a remarkably high speed. To be on the ice […]

  • A Jacksonport Tradition: The Polar Bear Swim

    Winter in Door County brings to mind cross-country skiing, sledding, ice skating and…swimming in Lake Michigan? Usually swimming in the lake is reserved for the summer months, but an exception is made on New Year’s Day as hundreds of people start their year off with a swim in Lake Michigan. If you are up to […]

  • Gliding Through Door County Winters

    Being a year round resident in Door County, I’m often asked by visitors how I survive the winter. My answer is the same that a Norwegian or Swedish person may have given over 5,000 years ago: I ski. In Norway and Sweden cross-country skis were an essential survival tool used for hunting in deep snow. […]