Live the Island Life
Door County's 35 named islands make this area a water-lover's dream. Only a handful of these islands are accessible to the public, including Washington, Rock, Chambers, Cana, Plum, and Horseshoe. Reaching these islands and experiencing their remoteness, rusticity, and scenery will require a little extra research and preparation, but the destinations are unequivocally worth the journeys.
Located just off shore, Cana Island and its famous lighthouse are reached by walking across a sandy causeway during low tide or by tractor during high tide. The keeper's house, oil house, and tower are open for tours May–October.
This 3,200-acre island is the second largest in Door County lies 7.5 miles northwest of Fish Creek. The island is home to hiking and biking trails, beaches, a historic lighthouse, and its own inland lake. The lighthouse is open for guided tours.
This privately held island guards the entrance to Washington Island's Detroit Harbor. Local lore states the island was a hideout for the Indians on Rock Island when they were under attack by marauding tribes. Your best chance to see Detroit Island is when you pass by on the ferry ride to Washington Island.
Named for its shape, the privately owned Hat Island is located due west of Peninsula Players Road to the northwest of Juddville Bay, providing a scenic foreground for the sunsets enjoyed by Peninsula Players' patrons.
Hog Island is a National Wildlife Refuge and a nesting ground for seagulls and terns. It can be found located off the eastern shores of Washington Island and is visible from Percy Johnson Memorial County Park.
Also named for its distinctive shape, Horseshoe Island lies two miles offshore from Peninsula State Park. During spring and summer, this uninhabited island is a popular destination for kayakers, boaters, and hikers.
Located off the southeastern tip of Detroit Island, Pilot Island is visible from Northport and the Washington Island ferry. The lighthouse, built in 1858, is also part of the Door County Maritime Museum Lighthouse Festival held each June.
Part of the Grand Traverse Islands chain, Plum Island is the site of a Coast Guard station and the Plum Island Lighthouse Range Lights. The island lies in the middle of the Death's Door strait that separates the Door County Peninsula from Washington Island. The dock is open to the public.
This 906-acre island is located one-mile northeast of Jackson Harbor on Washington Island. Accessible by two ferries, Rock Island State Park offers hiking trails, rustic camping, picturesque beachfront, swimming and fishing, a historic lighthouse, and an Icelandic-style boathouse.
This pair of small, uninhabited islands is owned by the state of Wisconsin and gave Sister Bay its name. The islands are located due north of the Sister Bay marina.
Spider and Gravel Islands
Located east of Newport State Park, these tiny islands provide nesting opportunities for shorebirds and a resting spot for migrating birds. Gravel Island is visible from the shores of Europe Bay, while Spider Island lies south of Newport Bay.
The observation tower at Peninsula State Park provides a great view of these four small islands clustered to the southwest of the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and east of Chambers Island. These privately-owned islands are named Adventure, Jack, Pirate, and Little Strawberry.
The largest of Door County's islands is located just beyond the tip of the Door Peninsula. Accessible by ferry, Washington Island is where you will discover an enchanting land of art, history, folklore, forest, and recreation.
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Door County: Island Style