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Nature Preserves & Conservation in Door County

Preserving Natural Beauty for Generations to Come

There's a long-held tradition of stewardship in Door County that can be traced back to its earliest residents, who from the beginning have sought to protect and preserve the region's natural landscapes and wilderness spaces. Today, Door County's dozens of nature preserves are places where not only wildlife and plantlife are preserved—but the deeply human need to spend time in nature is protected too.

Fall-colored trees lining the lake

What to Do at Nature Preserves

Want to visit a Door County nature preserve but don't know how to spend your time there? Just like parks, preserves are open for many outdoor and nature activities. In addition to the ideas below, many preserves and conservation areas offer guided tours and educational programming.

A Little Help from Our Friends

While most of the protected public land in the county is owned and managed by organizations such as the Door County Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and Crossroads at Big Creek, volunteers are the ones mostly responsible for grooming trails, maintaining benches and amenities, and ensuring overlooks offer amazing views. These individuals donate hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars each year to preserve land for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to help preserve and protect our natural spaces and preserves, learn more about volunteering your time and effort during your trip.

Help Preserve & Protect Door County

Interested in learning more about preservation and conservation efforts in Door County? 

Check out the Care for Door County movement, an initiative designed to inspire visitors and locals alike to do their part to recreate responsibly. 

This means following Leave No Trace guidelines, respecting residents and local culture, staying aware of local sustainability programs and practices, and pledging to do your part to explore our wild spaces safely and sustainably.

Aerial view of a beach shoreline and trees

Love Door County's Natural Beauty?

Pledge to do your part to travel sustainably and preserve our natural wonders and outdoor spaces for generations to come. Then, read up on the seven timeless tenets of sustainable outdoor recreation.

Conservation & Nature Groups

Crossroads at Big Creek

A preserve for experiential life-long learning focused on science, history, and the environment.

Door County Environmental Council

The DCEC's goal is to foster "the preservation of Door County's natural resources through advocacy, education, and action."

Door County Community Foundation

This organization has an environmental wing devoted to inspiring people to donate time and funds to preserving the beauty of the region.
A sign for Door County Land Trust.

Door County Land Trust

Since 1986, the DCLT has worked tirelessly to achieve its mission “to preserve, maintain, and enhance lands that contribute significantly to the scenic beauty, open space, and ecological integrity of Door County.”
A house on the lake at the edge of the woods.

Friends of the Grand Traverse Islands

FOGTI was formed to promote, preserve, and protect the natural and cultural resources of the Grand Traverse Islands in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Greater Escarpment Organization Discovery Center

This group seeks to study, protect, and preserve the Niagara Escarpment as well as educate residents and the science community at large about this globally unique environment.
A person holding a bird at the Open Door Bird Sanctuary.

Open Door Bird Sanctuary

Visitors can have the unique experience of meeting birds of prey in a natural environment, talk with educators, see and touch artifacts, visit with birds on exhibit, take nature hikes, and enjoy picnics.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy seeks to "protect more than 240,200 acres of Wisconsin’s quiet lakes, Northwoods forests, winding rivers and sun-kissed prairies."

The Ridges Sanctuary

Founded in 1937, The Ridges Sanctuary is Wisconsin's first land trust, protecting the state's most biologically diverse ecosystem.

All Parks & Nature Preserves in Door County


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Leave No Trace 7 Principles

Learn the ins, outs, and importance of protecting and caring for our wild, natural lands and how you can help preserve them.

Video Galleries

Check out our video series to get a first-hand, experiential feel of what it’s like to be in this incredible place.