Door County is one of Wisconsin’s best-kept secrets. When you visit the peninsula, you’ll be minutes away from breathtaking state parks, Lake Michigan beaches, and charming islands off the coast. Hiking in Door County is one of the best ways to explore the area’s pristine natural beauty. Lace up your hiking boots and bring your camera, because you won’t want to forget this Door County experience!
To discover more outdoor activities and Door County’s top attractions, download our free Vacation Guide!
4 of the Best Places for Hiking in Door County
1. Peninsula State Park
Peninsula State Park is the third-largest state park in Wisconsin, with 3,776 acres for visitors to explore. This is one of our favorite Door County parks, as it has eight miles of marvelous Green Bay shoreline and excellent stargazing opportunities at night. Plus, you can climb to the top of Eagle Tower—an observation tower in the park that was recently renovated.
Hikers have over a dozen trails to choose from, all of which vary in length and difficulty level. The moderate Hemlock Trail traverses 1.8 miles through the park’s cedar-hemlock forests and low bluffs. The Trail Tramper’s Delight is an easier, half-mile option with plenty of tree cover for relief from the sun on hot summer days. Eagle Trail is a popular 2-mile loop that features stunning wildflowers and is rated as moderate. These top-notch trails are primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and birdwatching.
2. Newport State Park
Newport State Park is the only designated wilderness park in Wisconsin. Travel up to the tip of the peninsula, northeast of Ellison Bay, to find this outdoor adventure hub. The park contains 30 miles of trails along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The park’s five main trails vary from two to seven miles in length so that hikers can choose their own adventure. There is no shortage of beautiful scenery for hikers to encounter at Newport, from rocky coastline to dense forests to marshy wetlands.
3. Whitefish Dunes State Park
If you’re looking for a Door County state park with picture-perfect beaches and lots of sand dunes, Whitefish Dunes State Park is your best bet. Hike through re-creations of original Door County settlements. Or, opt for a wildlife tour around Clark Lake, where you’ll see waterfowl birds amidst the wetland ecosystem. If you want to explore the highest lookout point in the park, Old Baldy, then hike along the Red Trail. After a tiring hike, reward yourself with a dip in Lake Michigan’s crystal blue waters.
4. Ahnapee State Trail
Are you ready for a challenge? Ahnapee State Trail is a 48-mile wilderness road that winds its way south from downtown Sturgeon Bay. Those who hike the entirety of the trail will pass by evergreen glades, farmlands, prairies, and forests.
5. Ice Age Trail
The Ice Age Trail intersects with two sections of the Ahnapee system. This 1,000-mile path follows the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin. As one of only 11 National Scenic Trails, hikers are guaranteed to see jaw-dropping landscapes along its path.
6. The Ridges Sanctuary
The Ridges Sanctuary is Wisconsin’s first land trust. With scenic beaches and shaded conifer forests, this complex is home to many different ecosystems. The sanctuary also protects over 60 species of birds and 12 endangered species. Hike the trails here and be mesmerized by the natural beauty of Door County.
7. Potawatomi State Park
One of our favorite state parks in the area is Potawatomi State Park. The park provides 1200 acres of gently rolling upland terrain bordered by steep slopes and rugged limestone cliffs. Aside from hiking, this area is famous for scuba diving, snorkeling, and bicycling.
Your Door County Adventure Starts Here
Hiking in Door County’s beautiful landscape is only the beginning of your dream vacation! There are so many unique events and attractions on the peninsula that you won’t want to miss. Attend a Door County fish boil, see a show at the Third Avenue Playhouse, or tour a local brewery. Rather than cramming everything on your to-do list into one weekend, why not extend your stay?
When you stay at The Ashbrooke, we help you do just that. Our Suite Deal special applies when you opt to stay for a total of three or more nights with us. You’ll unlock a discounted rate, regardless of room type. What are you waiting for? Get ready to enjoy your piece of Door County paradise! Browse our rooms and book your stay today.