Sunrise and birdsong are magical to wake up to when you’re on vacation in Door County, so is the sight of a cherry orchard in bloom. Whether you’re an avid birder or you simply want to experience birds eating right out of your hand, Door County in early spring is an amazing place to watch the Earth wake up from its winter nap! Take a break from your spring cleaning and make a reservation at The Landmark Resort for a stay to explore ice shoves (read on for more details), tulips, daffodils and fruit tree blossoms.
As the frozen tundra that is Green Bay thaws each spring, the wind and waves push the ice around and up towards the shore. The ice breaks into pieces, often re-freezing in the still-cold late March and April nights. When sunlight hits these frozen formations, their crystal structures and icy blue color are magnificent and really fun for all ages to (carefully) explore. Sunsets are a beautiful time to capture stunning pictures of the ice formations.
From early April to the beginning of June, Door County embraces spring with a countywide Season of Blossoms celebration. We even have our own daffodil! ‘Door County USA’ is a beautiful white daffodil with a bright orange center that you can purchase, plant in your own yard, and be reminded of Door County each spring. In April and early May you’ll find Hepatica, Daffodils, Dwarf Lake Iris, Large-Flowered Trillium, and other wildflowers that splash color on roadsides and gardens up and down the peninsula and Washington Island. The blossom season continues into June as temperatures warm. Our most famous apple and cherry blossoms are usually gone by then, but the landscape fills in with green and the colors of Blue-Flag Wild Iris, Indian Paintbrush, Red-Osier Dogwood, and Thimbleberry blossoms to name a few.
Want to sync your vacation with the cherry and apple blossoms? Blossoms typically open in mid-May across the southern sections of the peninsula, and open northward about 10 miles a day. The Door County Visitor Bureau tracks and reports on the blossom progress of Door County’s 2,500-plus acres of cherry orchards (doorcounty.com/discover/blossoms-report).
In addition to the 300 miles of varied types of shoreline, numerous preserved and protected landscapes — 19 county parks, two nature sanctuaries, 13 protected areas of the Door County Land Trust, and two official Bird City Wisconsin designations — create a uniquely safe and peaceful environment for our avian friends. Fields begin to flood as the shoreline and inland lakes thaw, creating a migratory stop over, and seasonal home for migrant ducks, geese, and cranes. Spring is the perfect time to spot gulls, terns, cranes, pelicans, colorful warblers in the woodlands, and waterfowl in flooded fields and thawing shoreline. Anything from sandhill cranes and larks to killdeer and redwings come back to Door County by mid-March, possibly even before the ice is off streams. Waterfowl return by mid-April as inland waters thaw out. Birds who winter in central and south America and summer in Door County, return mid-May. Please maintain a generous distance from nests, nesting colonies, roosts, and feeding areas, and don’t try to attract threatened, endangered, or rare species.
If you come up in late March or early April while there’s still ice on the bay, you may see one of the 15-20 pairs of Bald Eagles who nest and hunt around Door County! Look for Bald Eagles in tall pine or dead trees near shorelines, and on the ice as they fish. People often mistake Turkey Vultures for Bald Eagles. To tell the difference in flight, Turkey Vultures hold their wings upward at a distinct dihedral when soaring, while the Bald Eagles holds their wings horizontally.
Visit us at the Landmark Resort for every season – especially spring.