in Door County
Door County is home to dozens of miles of bike-friendly trails that will take you within view of bluffs, cliffsides, forests, shorelines, waterways, and other fantastic scenery.
But the biking trails are more than just sight-seeing tours. They’re high-speed chases that take riders over rocky and branch-ridden terrain, present them with unique geological obstacles, and offer just enough elevation to keep things interesting.
With cycling season upon us, now is the perfect time to get some inspiration for your next trail-biking excursion, whether you’re dreaming up a day trip or planning to spend a whole week exploring by bike.
Good to Knows
Trails & Road Routes
If you’re not sure where to start, begin with this guide to biking in Door County. The guide has detailed information to help you plan the perfect biking trip, and the maps contain markers for trail rides as well as cycling routes for road riders.
Trail Biking Guidelines
Staying on trail is your number one concern when biking in the wilderness. Riding off the trail, especially to avoid wet or muddy areas, can cause erosion and damage vegetation.
In addition, be sure to:
- Always wear a helmet, proper footwear, and other safety gear.
- Keep your group, yourself, and others safe by always riding in control and within your group’s limits.
- Respect other trail users and protect the quality of their experience.
- Yield to hikers and equestrians and to uphill-traveling cyclists when you are descending.
- Be prepared to stop and dismount if the trail is narrow or crowded.
- Review all of the Door County Leave No Trace 7 Principles.
Don’t have your own bike or don’t want to trek it up to Door County? Rent one from a local equipment lender and be sure to ask about bike styles, helmets, and other gear.
Rental providers are also great sources for insider knowledge on the area’s best trails and biking experiences.
Biking Trails in Door County
The Ahnapee Trail
The historic Ahnapee Trail is built atop former railroad tracks and weaves south from downtown Sturgeon Bay to the county line for 48 miles.
Along the way, bikers are treated to amazing scenery, such as rivers, evergreen glades, wildflowers, farmlands, prairies, forests, and wetlands.
The trail intersects with the famed Ice Age Trail for a total of 27 miles, giving riders a taste of another kind of trail life.
Potawatomi State Park
Tucked away to the east of Sturgeon Bay, Potawatomi State Park has 8 miles of off-road bike trails that travel through forests and offer frequent lake views. The terrain is easy to moderate, and riders can explore any and all park roads by bike.
Newport State Park
This northeastern park has seven biking trails that can take you along the Lake Michigan shoreline, aside the peaceful inland Europe Lake, past quiet bays and coves, through dense forest, and in view of islands. Newport’s trails are some of the rockiest, uneven, and challenging in the region, so be prepared for a workout.
Try the 7-mile Europe Bay/Hotz Trail for a longer ride or the Rowley’s Bay Loop Trail for something a little calmer.
Whitefish Dunes State Park
The biking trail in this lakeside park is a packed trail meandering past sand dunes and forestland.
Stop for a visit to Old Baldy, the tallest sand dune in the park. Note that biking is not allowed on the beach, sand dunes, or hiking-specific trails.
Peninsula State Park
One of the county’s most popular trails is the family-friendly Sunset Bike Route, which takes riders through a huge swath of stately Peninsula State Park, including marshland, forests, and cliffs.
The park also offers 12 miles of off-road terrain for more experienced riders looking for a challenge.
Closer Look: The Ahnapee Trail
No matter where you pedal in Door County, you’re sure to see some beautiful sights. Get a preview of the scenery and landscapes you’re in for when you hit the Ahnapee Trail in Southern Door in this installment of our Lesser Known video series.
Headed to Door County this spring? Be sure to read and sign the Door County Pledge and commit to exploring our parks, preserves, and outdoor spaces safely and responsibly.