Door County’s state parks are a lot of things: grand, majestic, glorious, wildlife havens, ecologically diverse, and epicenters of fun—but they’re also some of the top attractions in the region and can get crowded, which can be detrimental to both the park experience and the environment.
One of the area’s best-kept secrets for escaping crowds and finding peace in nature is heading to county parks. These lesser-known parks often contain as much natural beauty, scenery, and recreational opportunities as the state parks but offer a calmer and quieter experience.
Hike the trail less-traveled at these 19 county parks spread throughout the peninsula and Washington Island to find your next adventure.
Overview: Door County Parks
County Parks: Southern Door
Ahnapee State Trail (Sturgeon Bay)
A 48-mile trail extending from Sturgeon Bay to the Door/Kewaunee county line that has a stone surface ideal for biking and suitable for hiking, snowmobiling, and horseback riding
Forestville Dam County Park (Forestville)
Top-notch fishing spot that borders the Ahnapee Trail and also has a playground, waterfront picnic tables, fishing dock, access to the dam, and a small, paddler-friendly millpond
John Miles Park (Sturgeon Bay)
Features soccer fields, a picnic area, playground equipment, a horse arena, and rentable pavilion and bandstand for events. Stock car races as well as the Door County Fair are held here in the summertime.
Lily Bay Park (Sturgeon Bay)
The smallest park in the county system offers a historic boat launch and a few parking spaces, making it a good launching point for early-morning or late-afternoon water adventures.
Robert LaSalle County Park (Algoma)
A playground, picnic area, grills, beach, and huge greenspace for spreading out and enjoying the view. The lower beach portion of the park is accessed off Lower LaSalle Road.
Sugar Creek County Park (Brussels)
A full 18-hole disc golf course, plus a boat launch for the creek (subject to water levels), picnic tables, grills, hiking trails, fishing spots, and water access to the Green Bay
Tornado Memorial Park (Brussels)
This peaceful park honors the victims of the 1871 Williamsonville fire and has a historical marker, picnic tables, grills, and lush surroundings perfect for a quick rest stop.
County Parks: Northern Door
Baileys Harbor Ridges (Baileys Harbor)
550 feet of spectacular Lake Michigan shoreline perfect for swimming, sunning, birding, beach hiking, and exploring ridges remnants of former shorelines
Cana Island Lighthouse (Baileys Harbor)
Home to one of the most-photographed objects in Door County: the iconic Cana Island Lighthouse as well as lighthouse tours, stunning shoreline scenery, and kayaking and boating
Cave Point County Park (Sturgeon Bay)
Crystalline blue-green waters, rocky limestone cliffs formed by relentless lake waves, semi-submerged caves, and tree-covered shoreline as far as the eye can see
Door Bluff Headlands (Ellison Bay)
Take in extraordinary lake views and sunsets from atop towering limestone bluffs and traverse wooded hiking trails at this park located at the northernmost point of the peninsula.
Ellison Bluff County Park (Ellison Bay)
One of the most breathtaking views of Lake Michigan you can get in the county, plus a wooden observation deck, 100-foot limestone bluffs, hiking, picnics, and bird watching
George K. Pinney Park (Sturgeon Bay)
A west-facing park perfect for sunsets that also features a boat launch, pavilion, fishing pier, picnic area, and an underwater shipwreck. Formerly Olde Stone Quarry Park.
Lyle-Harter-Matter Sanctuary (Baileys Harbor)
A 40-acre nature sanctuary designed for wildlife rather than humans. No facilities, maintained trails, or parking areas but can be accessed by foot from Meridian County Park.
Meridian County Park (Baileys Harbor)
Famous for its latitudinal location halfway between the equator and the North Pole, Meridian is a 155-acre wildlife habitat with natural trails, a picnic area, and plenty of open space
Percy Johnson Memorial Park (Washington Island)
Stunning views of the water, including of Hog Island and its wildlife refuge, plus an excellent place for swimming, birding, kayaking, picnicking, and playing
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