Northern Door County's Historic Fishing Village
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Last Stop Before Peninsula's End
History comes alive in Gills Rock, where commercial fishermen still head out to the waters of Lake Michigan year-round, and the Door County Maritime Museum tells Door County’s origin stories. It’s all done with a view here because the village cradles Hedgehog Harbor, with its pristine bluffs and sunset views.
This tiny village, which is an unincorporated community in Liberty Grove, packs plenty to explore, from adventurous wilderness parks packed with hiking and biking opportunities to historic offshore shipwrecks waiting to be explored by divers.
Gills Rock Restaurants
This small town packs authentic eating experiences. Dining with a stunning sunset view, smoked fish fresh off the boat, and homemade jams and pies from a farmstand make it worth the drive to the country. The Gills Rock restaurant list is a short one, but a delicious one.
Lodging in Gills Rock
Gills Rock is home to several quaint motels, rustic cottages, a water-view resort, and both modern and charming rental homes.
Gills Rock Favorites
Things to Do in Gills Rock
A photographer’s paradise with rustic fishing piers and boats, gorgeous sunsets, rustic back roads made for postcards, and two sprawling shoreline parks, Gills Rock packs much to do in a tiny town.
Hike in secluded wilderness that will make you forget you’re in one of the Midwest’s most popular destinations, or bike through some of the most beautiful canopies in the region. In Gills Rock, you’ll find activities that change your state of mind.
Deeper Dive: Gills Rock
Community Spotlight: Gills Rock
Virtual Experiences: Shipwrecks
Backpacking & Hike-In Camping
Door County’s Maritime Historical Sites
Ode to the Washington Island Ferries
7 Must-Dos in Gills Rock
1. Get your “winding road” photo
The winding road at the tip of the peninsula might be one of the most-photographed sites in Wisconsin. Drive up and get your version.
2. Go on a maritime Americana photoshoot
Speaking of photos, this small village is full of photo ops that scream Americana. Quirky roadside displays, historic schoolhouses, the rustic fishing piers, jaw-dropping countryside, and spell-binding sunsets could keep a photo buff busy all day.
3. Catch the sunrise at Death’s Door
Head to the end of the road at the Washington Island Ferry dock to catch the sun as it rises over spooky waters. This is also a great spot for watching the Northern Lights when they come out to play.
4. Visit Newport State Park
This park features tranquil hiking trails, off-road biking, kayaking, backcountry camping, and a sand beach. Newport State Park is the state’s only formally designated wilderness park.
5. Hike at Door Bluff Headlands
Free from crowds, this park is a secret favorite of Northern Door locals who love its rocky shore.
6. Kayak the bay
It’s not always easy, but your paddle will scarcely be interrupted in this tranquil bay.
7. Check out our maritime history
If you're on the brink of Death’s Door, you’ve got to check out the Door County Maritime Museum’s northern location. Learn the history of the fishing and shipping industry and find shipwreck markers on sublimely canopied shoreline roads.