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State Parks in Door County
Door County has five state parks, the greatest number of any county in Wisconsin. Referred to as “Five Jewels in the Crown,” each of Door County’s state parks are unique; they are Potawatomi, Peninsula, Whitefish Dunes, Newport and Rock Island state parks.
Newport State Park
Newport State Park, northeast of Ellison Bay, is Wisconsin’s only “Wilderness Park.” This 2,400-acre park has 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, including 3 miles of sand beaches and one mile of shoreline on Europe Lake. Newport has 30 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of off-road bicycle trails and 16 backpack campsites along the shore. Winter activities at Newport center on 23 miles of cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing, hiking trails and winter camping. In 2017, the International Dark-Sky Association named Newport a Dark-sky preserve. Call (920) 854-2500 for details.
Peninsula State Park
Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek has the largest annual attendance of any Wisconsin State Park and is the only one with a golf course. Peninsula State Park, established in 1909, is a 3,776-acre state treasure on Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula. Nearly seven miles of Lake Michigan’s Green Bay shoreline wrap around a landscape of forests, meadows and wetlands. Rocky bluffs ascend over 150 feet while deer graze contentedly in abandoned farm fields. Considered Wisconsin’s most complete park, Peninsula is also its most popular camping destination. Peninsula is the third largest state park in Wisconsin, and is visited by an estimated one million visitors annually. Call (920) 868-3258
Potawatomi State Park
Potawatomi State Park, near Sturgeon Bay in Door County, is known for its great walleye and bass fishing. Potawatomi State Park, south of Sturgeon Bay, has gently rolling upland terrain, bordered by steep slopes and rugged limestone cliffs along the Green Bay shoreline. Potawatomi offers a 75-foot observation tower, camping, boating, fishing, picnicking, hiking, on and off road bicycling, skiing and snowmobiling. Potawatomi State Park was established in 1928. Call (920) 746-2890 for more information.
Rock Island State Park
Rock Island State Park, at the very tip of the Door County Peninsula, begins with two ferry rides. The ferry to Washington Island runs year round. A second ferry, run by the Rock Island Ferry Line, is in service from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day. Rock Island offers visitors a “walking only” tour through its many trails. Picnic areas, a half-mile sandy shoreline, a light house, and several historic buildings are all part of the Rock Island experience. This unique park features the Pottawatomie Lighthouse as well as stone buildings built by a wealthy inventor who owned the island between 1910 and 1964. For more information call (920) 847-2235 summer or (920) 847-3156 winter.
Whitefish Dunes State Park
The 6600-foot beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park is considered by many to be the best in Wisconsin. Featuring 865 acres, Whitefish Dunes is one of Wisconsin’s busiest day-use parks. Whitefish Dunes offers an extensive trail system winding through wooded sand dunes, an arid meadow, a cool pine plantation, a boardwalk through a marsh and the dramatic rocky shoreline around Cave Point. The park is also home to scenic views of Lake Michigan and 250 yards of fully accessible sand beach. Educational programs geared to all ages are presented year round at the park. Winter activities include cross-country trails, hiking and snowshoe trails. Whitefish Dunes State Park protects the fragile dune environment on the eastern Door County Peninsula. Call (920) 823-2400 for more information.