preserving the beauty
of door county for
generations to come

When landscape architect John Nolen was first planning the Wisconsin State Park System, he named all of Door County as worthy of conservation. Today, conservation groups have taken that concept to heart in preserving land well beyond the five state parks in the county.

Nature Preserves

What to Do

Hiking: Take a stroll through these free nature preserves and enjoy some of the area’s most unique protected land.

Cross Country Skiing: Volunteers and conservation staff groom some trails for skiing in the winter months.

Hunting: The Door County Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy allow hunting on some of their properties with some restrictions.

Birding: See many rare birds in these areas that are protected in perpetuity.

Education: Take a guided hike with a naturalist or participate in other educational programming offered by volunteers or conservation staff. See a list of events taking place here.

Mushroom Hunting: Most public nature preserves allow for foraging of wild mushrooms, but be sure to check before hunting.

A Little Help from 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 with these groups groom and maintain the trails, benches and overlooks. These groups donate hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars each year to preserve land for everyone to enjoy. The Door County Green Fund provides money for conservation groups to maintain and expand their missions.

For Every Season

Spring: See the county coming to life with the earliest of the ephemeral wildflowers that blanket the floors of many nature preserves. Check with The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor to head out on a guided hike with an expert naturalist.

Summer: Take a break from the fast-paced festivities and get in touch with nature in the summer heat. Head over to the Door County Land Trust’s Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve and dip your toes in the cool waters of the historic canal.

Fall: There is no bad place to see the fall colors, but the end of the summer offers other opportunities to enjoy the many public preserves, including hunting on select properties. Check with the organization to find the best public preserve to don your blaze orange.

Winter: Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are available at some public preserve properties. Enjoy the true silence and solitude in Door County’s quieter winter season.


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