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Door County’s Coastal Byway (DCCB) (Hwy 42/57), a Wisconsin Scenic Byway, stretches over 66 miles of Wisconsin's beautiful Door Peninsula. It begins just north of the City of Sturgeon Bay, following State Highway 57 north along one side of the Peninsula to Northport and Gills Rock at the very tip, and then heads south on State Highway 42 back to the starting point.
The route offers a range of resources and activities with scenic vistas of Lake Michigan, the Bay of Green Bay and the Niagara Escarpment bluffs, as well as dense forest, agricultural lands, and quaint shore-side towns and villages.
The Town of Liberty Grove took on the task as the applicant for the various communities that comprise what is now a State of WI Scenic Byway back in February of 2009. By summer of 2009, 8 municipalities and the County of Door support and worked cooperatively with Liberty Grove for the quest of designation for the route. The Phase I aspect of the application is a drive through assessment process using points rating system for a route. Assessments are done of scenic, historic, and cultural assets as well as distractions that might be noted along the route. Photos accompany this part of the application as supporting documentation. On December 8, 2009 we received unanimous approval by the WI Scenic Byway Advisory Board at a meeting held at the DOT building in Madison.
In the midst of the application process, the committee chose a name, the Door County Coastal Byway, in the event that we might be successful in our quest. Our trademark name fittingly represented the Highway 42-57 loop that takes travelers on a 66-mile journey along the Niagara Escarpment, and along the shores of Lake Michigan and the Bay of Green Bay.
Phase II was immediately launched and the Corridor Management Plan (CMP) was developed using the County of Door 2030 Comprehensive Smart Growth Plan as a basis, with input from committee members, local organizations and citizens of the area. The CMP lays out a 10-year plan with timeline goals that address protection and preservation, in addition to promotion and enhancement of the route. This plan and extensive supporting documentation were then submitted to the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for his review, and approval or denial.
It was a very happy day April 6, 2010 when we received a letter from Secretary of WI DOT, Frank J. Busalacchi that he had approved the Phase II document submission and granted us Scenic Byway Status.
With approval, come even more challenges and workload. The progress of the DCCB would not be possible without a great team of diligent, passionate, hard-working people comprised of the governments, organizations and communities they represent. Their visions and goals keep us moving forward to give our Byway visitors unforgettable experiences. Come explore the Door County Coastal Byway and the Niagara Escarpment that guides us in the place we call home.
On October 31st 2013, the Door County Coastal Byway Council officially unveiled some of the experience hubs (kiosks) that lead visitors on a tour through northern Door County! When all are complete, there will be a total of 12 kiosks along the Highway 42 & 57 loop, beginning just north of Sturgeon Bay and traveling up to the tip of the peninsula.
The bright blue steel roofs and colorful panels were designed to attract people to stop and spend time learning about the individual communities and what make each unique. The design incorporates the historic,cultural and natural beauty of Door County, hoping to bring byway travelers back for a return visit.
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