Winter Beauty &
Wonder in Door County

Door County’s shorelines, beaches, bluffs, caves, inland lakes, and forests are spectacular any time of year, but in the depths of winter, these scenic landscapes take on a wildly different look.

Beautiful and otherworldly when covered in snow and ice, these outdoor spaces provide the distinct feeling of having stepped into another world or having entered a distant frozen planet.

 

Lake Michigan

The lake takes on a new aesthetic in the winter, when enormous ice sheaths form and eventually break apart, which can create a stunning stained-glass appearance. Hop the winter ferry to see it up close and personal.

Broken ice sheets atop Lake Michigan

 

The Green Bay

The Green Bay side of the peninsula typically freezes solid, which creates its own must-see views.

It’s also where you’re most likely to find ice shoves, which are giant ice pieces that jut skyward and sometimes come ashore for people to marvel at.

Check out the view from nearly any shoreline. 

 

Bluffs & Cliff Faces

Bluffs and rock faces across the region will take on extraordinary appearances when the snow and especially ice come. The iconic Cave Point may be the best example of how lake waves combined with below-freezing temperatures can create some stunning natural ice sculptures.

The frozen, icy wonders of Cave Point County Park

 

Shoreline

Not just for summer fun in Door County, the shorelines become places of wintery wonder where hikers can view massive ice shoves, watch the ice fishermen cast into frozen lakes, hike or snowshoe along the waterfront, and watch the giant winter waves crashing on the shores.

Hiking at Sturgeon Bay Canal Nature Preserve

 

Inland Lakes & Bays

While the Great Lake may not freeze over completely in winter, harbors, bays, and inland lakes do. Many people will hike out onto the lake for some once-a-year views or even set up camp for a few days and do some ice fishing.

Snowshoeing atop the frozen lake at Garrett Bay

 

Forests & Woods

The day after a decent snowfall, head to a wooded park, preserve, or trail to take in the snow-covered scenes, including glistening tree branches, delicate animal tracks, pines bowing beneath the snow’s weight, and the unusual silence of the winter woods, broken only by the sound of the wind whipping through the empty branches.

Cross country skiing in the woods

More Ways to Winter in Door County

Cabin fever, winter doldrums, wintertime wanderlust—whatever you call your insatiable need to explore, you can find a stunning landscape to satisfy your need in Door County. Check out these resources for planning a winter fun-filled trip: