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Our Door County: Winter in Door


“What do you do here in the winter?”

It’s the question Door County residents may be asked more than any other by visitors who love the summer fun on the peninsula but struggle to picture life when the snow arrives. In the new Our Door County episode, we talked to a handful of locals of all ages about what winter is like for them, and we found that winter fun isn’t all that hard to find.

From broomball and pond hockey, to cross country skiing and ice fishing, locals relish the winter months for the opportunity to experience a different side of the Door.

“The most beautiful thing is being able to go on a trail that no one has been on yet right after a snowfall,” Elli Lapolla says.

Joe Swanson loves the quiet of a snowshoe hike or a winter sunrise. Bill Becker urges folks to come up midweek, when it’s just you and the locals, to experience the feel of a small town life.

“If you get out and celebrate’s pretty enjoyable,” says Brian Fitzgerald, who founded the Door County Pond Hockey Tournament in 2013 and played a big part in building the Sister Bay’s Teresa K. Hilander Community Ice Rink 20 years ago.

That rink is at the center of winter life in northern Door County, filled with broomball competitors on winter Wednesdays and hockey and ice skating the rest of the week. Bowling leagues fill up, winter theater takes the stage at Third Avenue Playhouse, and the arts scene takes a turn with lectures and local coffeehouse music series.

Still others take the sled to the vast snowmobile trail system, and cyclists bundle up for winter riding or turn their attention to fat-tire bikes to climb through the snow-covered bike trails. Many more clamor for the snow to come and leave a blanket to groom for cross-country skiing.

No, Door County doesn’t hibernate in winter time.

So what do we do up here in the winter?

A little bit of everything. Check out our winter guide to plan your trip today.

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