SHORELEAVE by Ashley Tanis
The Parks of Door County, WI Some of Wisconsin’s best natural attractions.
Peninsula State Park
he abundant freshwaters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay surround Door County, Wisconsin, providing locals and tourists alike with a 70-mile long natural amusement park. Three hundred miles of coastline offers 54 public beaches; a plethora of all-season fishing opportunities; 34 islands; picturesque views of sandy shores and limestone cliffs; 11 lighthouses — the largest number of any county in the U.S.; a surplus of space for watersports; more than 260 miles of maintained snowmobile trails; and some of the best sunsets the Midwest has to offer. Within Door County, there are five state parks and 19 county parks, as well as many local parks, natural areas and nature preserves. Between the public and preserved land in Door County, there are about 23,000 acres of land begging for adventurers to explore. Much of this land is used year-round for various activities, such as hiking, biking, snowmobiling, bird watching, snowshoeing, sightseeing, camping and so much more. There really is no end to the recreational Whiteﬁsh Dunes State Park opportunities available in this scenic coastal county with a dynamic and diverse park system. Here, we list the top five must-visit parks in Door County: They’ll be well worth the trip.
One distinction that sets this park apart from others is the Northern Sky Theater located within the park, which puts on professional productions throughout the summer at its one-of-a-kind outdoor amphitheater. Walk down the tree-lined, illuminated path leading to the theater to enjoy an enchanting production under a starry Wisconsin night sky. Nicolet Beach is another hot spot in the park, with a beautiful sandy stretch, a concession stand, water sport rentals and a boat launch. Spend the afternoon kayaking along the beach; on a calm day, hop on a stand-up paddleboard and adventure over to Horseshoe Island.
Peninsula State Park: Fish Creek, WI Dubbed Door County’s most complete park, Peninsula State Park is also the largest state park in the county, providing seasonal events, watersports and recreation activities. It’s no wonder visitors travel from all over the world just to experience this slice of paradise. An 18-hole golf course, 468 campsites, 40 miles of trails, 8 miles of shoreline and the historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse are only a few of the amazing features within the park.
Newport State Park: Ellison Bay, WI More than 2,300 acres of shore, wetland, forest and meadow are ripe for exploration at Newport State Park, Wisconsin’s only officially-designated wilderness park. Stroll down the tranquil sandy beaches and meander the forest trails while appreciating the organic beauty of the seemingly unfettered woodlands. The park boasts more than 30 miles of hiking trails, roughly 17 miles of off-road biking trails, 26 miles of open trails for cross-country skiing and 5 miles of snowshoeing trails. Newport State Park also offers 16 hike-in only campsites for a truly rustic camping
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DOOR COUNTY VISITOR’S BUREAU
Newport State Park
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