My kids affectionately call this the Wild Beach, clamoring for it when they drift back here to visit, dragging their unsuspecting significant others with them (because this place is a BIG deal). Known officially as Door Bluff Headlands Co. Pk., north of The Clearing in Ellison Bay, then west following park signs. Cairn-building heaven plus a giant driftwood tea party-tepee for playing house. (EGADS!—the tepee is down! Winter got it. Timber waiting for some crazy souls to rebuild it.) Rugged, woodsy trail to the shore where there is nothing but rocks underfoot—slippery, algae-covered ones in the surf. Stay, play. Faites Attention! when the wind is strong out of the north.
Our famous Cobble Beaches: Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island and Pebble Beach near Fred & Fuzzy’s (south of Sister Bay on frontage road-go straight past cemetery). Get your fingers ready for some stone caressing amidst Caribbean water colourings. Ker plunk a few. Pile some rock therapy on your friend. Marvel at these smooth, creamy white, ‘soft’ rocks!
Little Lanes (public access): Kickapo Dr, Winnebago Dr., Chippewa Dr. (along Lake Forest Park Drive, north from the Canal Light Station or Robert LaSalle (Lower) Co. Park (east off of Hwy U, south of Sturgeon Bay) all afford excellent opportunities for inspecting glacial till from as far away as the Canadian Shield. The rock colours and textures—the most varied IN THE WORLD, will delight you! It is also quite possible to locate coral remnants and coal—the kind Santa could put in your stocking, washed in from freighters.
The shore section of the Brachiopod Trail at Whitefish Dunes State Park. Access from the picnic shelter off of parking lot 2 and hike towards Cave Point County Park, or start at Cave Point and hike towards Whitefish Dunes. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH POISON IVY IN DOOR COUNTY AS I HAVE SEEN THIS SUMMER ON THE EDGES OF THIS TRAIL. But you can stay clear of it. If a wild wind is out of the south, you will enjoy the shore show as you hike. Bee-you-tee-full heartrending vistas. If you are going to ask her to marry you, do it here.
Potawatomi State Park has lovely rugged shores full of rocks to explore. I suggest scrabbling down to lake level from the big rocks along a pullover spot north of the shore-side shelter-house/fishing pier/mini playground, and heading north towards the “swim” beach near the campground shelter house. This very rugged hike allows for creative cairn building, alternately resting on big warm rocks. Skip some too!