The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve, located within the city limits of Sturgeon Bay, is as ecologically diverse as it is beautiful. From the water, sand dunes give way to a forested ridgeswale landscape where towering white pines, hemlocks and red maples blanket ancient shore ridges. To the west, Strawberry Creek emerges from a large cedar wetland and meanders its way to the waters of Sturgeon Bay. A sand ridge on the northern preserve boundary offers magnificent views of two historic lighthouses and the entrance to the ship canal below. Rare and threatened species such as the dune thistle, dune goldenrod, dwarf lake iris, bald eagle, Caspian tern and osprey call this preserve home. It is also one of the region's most critical resting spots for migrating neo- tropical birds.
Help us continue to protect Door County’s special places. Door County Land Trust nature preserves were established to protect fragile ecological resources and provide habitat for plants and wildlife. You can help maintain the health of the forest, meadows, and wetlands by respecting the nature preserves in the following ways:
Stay on the trails. Hiking off-trail disturbs vegetation and wildlife, and increases your chances of encountering poison-ivy, other natural hazards, or trespassing outside of preserve boundaries.
Clean your boots or shoes. You can reduce the spread of invasive plants by brushing your boots or shoes where a boot brush station is provided.
Pets are welcome. Please keep your pets on a leash at all times and pick up after your pets.
Collecting is not allowed. Collecting of any vegetation, wildlife, or other material is not allowed.
Leave no trace. Please carry out everything that you carry in, including garbage.
Some activities are not allowed. Horseback riding, ATVs, bicycles, snowmobiles and other motorized recreational equipment is not allowed on the preserves.
Wear brightly colored clothing during hunting seasons. Hunting, trapping, and fishing may be allowed at some Door County Land Trust nature preserves. For more detailed information about hunting on Door County Land Trust preserves, please visit our Hunting Program page.