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Looking through the trees at the sun setting over the lake

Parks in Door County

Welcome to Our Wild Playgrounds

Wisconsin may not boast any national parks, but Door County is packed with lovingly preserved county, state, and city parks just begging to be explored. This slender peninsula and its surrounding islands are home to five sprawling state parks, 19 county parks, dozens of local parks, and several dog parks. Wherever you go, whichever park calls to you, you're sure to find a cure for your wanderlust up here.

A woman with a backpack hiking a leaf-covered trail through the woods.

Door County Trail Conditions

Gearing up for a day of hiking in Door County state park? Check the Trail Report to confirm the trails are in good shape before heading out. 

Point of view from the back of a kayak looking at the front person in still water by the cliffs

Choose Your Parks Adventure

Door County state parks are a playground for active travelers and locals alike. Potawatomi, Whitefish Dunes, Peninsula, and Newport state parks all offer trails for running, biking, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling as well as beautiful beaches, shoreline, and boating opportunities. On Rock Island you’ll find great hiking, paddling, and scenery in a secluded setting.

The region's county parks—which are often overlooked—contain jaw-dropping overlooks, secret picnic spots, and stellar shoreline hikes, plus boat launches, beaches, playgrounds, and pavilions. Some of the highlights of our county parks include the Cana Island Lighthouse, the Ellison Bluff overlook, the rocky shoreline of Door Bluff Headlands, and the waves crashing into the shore at Cave Point.

Your pup will love Door County too—not only is there plenty of room to roam, but you’ll find designated dog parks in Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, Baileys Harbor, and Egg Harbor.

Looking up at a woman hiking in the trees

What is the Niagara Escarpment?

Door County’s unique geography is no mistake. The towering bluffs that make some of the best scenic attractions in Door County possible are part of a much larger rock formation called the Niagara Escarpment.

The escarpment is internationally recognized for its geologic significance. In Door County, two state parks—Peninsula and Potawatomi—claim the escarpment as their main attraction. In addition to offering some of the best views of Green Bay and the peninsula, it also contributes to weather patterns that make the peninsula some of the best wine-producing land in the region.

Full List of Door County Parks

State Parks

Newport State Park

2,400 acres of wilderness await you which offer prime locations for hiking, swimming, fishing, backpack camping, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Located in Ellison Bay, Newport State Park features 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 30 miles of hiking trails. Winter Hours: Park open daily 6am-11pm, Office open 10am-4pm, with occasional exceptions.

Admission: Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker required. You can purchase one online, or at the park entrance from an attendant. Prices range from $3-$38 depending on daily or annual passes.

View Park at DNR | View Admission Information | View Trail Maps

Peninsula State Park

The area's largest state park featuring 3,776 acres along the bay. Enjoy an 18-hole championship golf course, hiking, and bicycle trails, a VITA course, camping, groomed ski trails, snowmobiling, sledding, swimming, a lookout tower, and fishing. Tour Eagle Bluff Lighthouse or the Nature Center, spend the afternoon at Nicolet Beach, then attend an evening performance at Northern Sky Theater.

Admission: Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker required. You can purchase one online, or at the park entrance from an attendant. Prices range from $3-$38 depending on daily or annual passes.

View Park at DNR | View Admission Information | View Trail Maps

Potawatomi State Park

This 1,178-acre park features more than two miles of Green Bay shoreline. Located in southern Sturgeon Bay, the park offers a variety of biking trails, six miles of hiking trails, camping, groomed ski trails, snowmobiling trails, boat ramp, and fishing hot spots.

Admission: Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker required. You can purchase one online, or at the park entrance from an attendant. Prices range from $3-$38 depending on daily or annual passes.

View Park at DNR | View Admission Information | View Trail Maps

Rock Island State Park

This 906-acre island park located one mile northeast of Jackson Harbor on Washington Island offers several activities including hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing. Visitors can enjoy 10 miles of hiking trails, Pottawatomie Lighthouse, Wisconsin’s oldest, and the site of Thordarson Great Hall and Boathouse.

Admission: Getting to Rock Island requires ticketing fees for both the Washington Island Ferry and the Karfi Ferry.

View Park at DNR | View Admission Information | View Trail Maps

Whitefish Dunes State Park

Whitefish Dunes State park offers 867 acres on the rugged Lake Michigan shoreline with a mile of sand beach and the highest sand dunes in the state of Wisconsin. Visitors enjoy swimming, snowshoeing, fishing, and hiking with over 14 miles of trails which include a trail to Clark Lake and an interpretive trail.

Admission: Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker required. You can purchase one online, or at the park entrance from an attendant. Prices range from $3-$38 depending on daily or annual passes.

View Park at DNR | View Admission Information | View Trail Maps

County Parks - Southern Door

Ahnapee State Trail
This former railroad thoroughfare is a multi-faceted trail linking Sturgeon Bay with Algoma, Casco, Luxemburg, and Kewaunee. Sporting a crushed stone surface, the 40-plus mile trail is perfect for mountain biking, snowmobiling, hiking, or horseback riding. It runs through open spaces, woods, and small communities along the Ahnapee River for about 10 miles. Toilet facilities are available in Door County in Sturgeon Bay and Forestville.

Chaudoir's Dock
This five-acre park on the shore of Green Bay in Southern Door County has an excellent boat launch and some of the best fishing around. Take Highway 57 north to Namur, make a left on County N, and continue to the park.

Forestville Dam Park
This popular park borders the Ahnapee Trail and provides access to the Ahnapee River. A popular fishing spot, this 79-acre park also has picnic tables and playground equipment located on Highway 42, just north of Forestville. Parking and toilet facilities are available.

John Miles Park
Located in Sturgeon Bay, this park is the proud host of the annual Door County Fair in early August. It features soccer fields, a picnic area, playground, horse arena, and stock car races on Saturday nights, May through September. Parking and restrooms are available.

Lily Bay Park
Set in the town of Sevastopol on Lake Michigan, Lily Bay Park features a boat launch ramp and easy water access located on County Rd T.

Robert Lasalle County Park
Named after French explorer Robert LaSalle, this eight-acre park has a playground, picnic area, and beach access on Lake Michigan. Take Highway 42 to County J, then head east to County U. Parking and toilet facilities are available.

Robert M. Carmody Park
This park is open a half-hour before sunrise until 11 p.m. daily featuring a six-lane boat launch ramp. Launch fee is required. Restrooms and parking are available. Located at 3570 County Rd CC on the west shore of Little Sturgeon Bay.

Sugar Creek County Park
This 41-acre park is a popular boat launch and picnic site in Southern Door County. Parking and toilet facilities are available. Take Highway 57 to County N in Namur.

Tornado Memorial Park
This wayside park serves as a memorial for the former village of Williamsonville, which was destroyed in October 1871 when a "tornado of fire" claimed 128 lives. This site is officially recognized by the Door County Historical Society and can be found located along Highway 57, just south of the County K intersection. Parking, toilet facilitie,s and a well are available.

County Parks - Northern Door

Baileys Harbor Ridges
Established in 1934, this 30-acre park adjoins the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor located on Lake Michigan with 400 feet of sand beach and great swimming. Parking and toilet facilities are available.

Cana Island Lighthouse
Cana Island Lighthouse was built in 1869 and is still an active aide to navigation for vessels on Lake Michigan. The 9-acre island, which became a county park in 2007, is located along the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Baileys Harbor and offers visitors the opportunity to tour and climb one of Lake Michigan's most notable lighthouses. The Door County Maritime Museum manages the island and operates the lighthouse as a historical museum open for tours May through October. The island is accessible by a short walk across a gravel causeway year round.

Cave Point County Park
Located within Whitefish Dunes State Park, this county park features picturesque sea caves, the result of Lake Michigan's relentless pounding against the limestone bluffs. The 19-acre park also features a tranquil half-mile hiking trail, plentiful picnic facilities, and a beautiful gazebo which may be reserved for special events.

Door Bluff Headlands
The most northerly point of the Door County Peninsula, this 155-acre park has been preserved in its natural state. The towering bluffs offer a spectacular view of Hedgehog Harbor and Green Bay. It was here that Potawatomi Indians repelled the Iroquois Indians from Washington Island in an ill-fated attack. Take Highway 42 north, past Ellison Bay and make a left on Door Bluff Road which leads to the park. There are no facilities available.

Ellison Bluff Park
This 174-acre park offers one of the most breathtaking views in the County. A wooden walkway/observation deck leads safely to the edge of sheer, 100-foot limestone bluffs. For the more adventurous, an enclosed catwalk extends out over the bluff offering another perspective of the breathtaking surroundings. A shady picnic area and cool breeze off the water add to the park's charm. Toilet facilities and parking are available. Take Highway 42 north, make a left on Porcupine Bay Road, and follow the signs to the park.

Frank E. Murphy Park
This 14-acre park is located on Horseshoe Bay, just south of Egg Harbor on County B. Notable features include 1,600 feet of sand beach, boat launch facilities, a dock, picnic area, volleyball court, and playground area. Take County B south from Egg Harbor or Highway 42 north from Carlsville to County G. Parking, toilet facilities, and a well are available.

Lyle Harter-Matter Sanctuary
Located in Jacksonport, Lyle Harter-Matter Sanctuary is 40 acres of undeveloped woodland serving as a sanctuary for wildlife. No parking or other facilities are available.

Meridian Park
Located on Highway 57 north of Jacksonport, this 92-acre park has an interesting claim to fame: It is located exactly halfway between the equator and the North Pole! A picnic area, parking, toilet facilities, and well are available.

George K. Pinney County Park
Renovated in 1996, this park features a two-lane boat launching ramp and a great pier for shoreline fishing located just north of Sturgeon Bay on Bay Shore Drive. Parking and toilet facilities are available.

Percy Johnson Memorial Park
Located on Washington Island, Percy Johnson Memorial Park has a sand beach with welcoming picnic facilities that serve as a beautiful setting for lunch. Parking and restrooms are available.

Dog Parks

Door County has four officially designated dog parks and many other greenspaces that are pet-friendly.

Find a full list of dog parks here

State Parks Trail Maps

Sunset over the lake looking through the trees

Newport State Park

A group of boys sitting on a cliff looking out at the lake

Peninsula State Park

Wooded trail through the trees

Potawatomi State Park

People sitting on a bench looking out at the sunsetting over the lake with the stone boathouse in the background

Rock Island State Park

A woman on a boardwalk through the trees

Whitefish Dunes State Park

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