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Wisconsin may not boast any national parks—your closest would be Indiana Dunes (~4.5 hours), Isle Royale (~6 hours), and Voyageurs (~8 hours)—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 even four dog parks. Wherever you go, whichever park calls to you, you're sure to find a cure for your wanderlust up here.
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, with beautiful beaches for swimmers and paddlers to explore. 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 some of the most jaw-dropping overlooks, secret picnic spots, and 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, of course, the must-see 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.
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. The Niagara Escarpment is a massive limestone cliff that runs from Lake Winnebago in east-central Wisconsin through Ontario, Canada before winding down near Niagara Falls in New York. The famous cliff over which the Niagara River plunges is part of the very same rock formation that runs through Door County.
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.
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