During your stay in Door County, there is a multitude of ways to get out and explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for your next hiking adventure or interested in local history, a visit to Rock Island State Park is in order! This primitive island off the coast of Door County boasts a wide variety of activities that you won’t want to miss this summer. Here is everything you need to know about Rock Island State Park and what to expect during your visit.
Find even more local attractions like Rock Island State Park when you download your free copy of our Door County Vacation Guide! It’s filled with only the best recommendations for things to do and experience during your vacation to our one-of-a-kind destination.
How to Get to Rock Island State Park in Wisconsin
Since Rock Island State Park is located off the coast of Door County, it can’t be reached by normal car rides. In fact, getting there is half the fun! Two ferry rides are needed to reach the park from Door County. First, you’ll need to board the Washington Island Ferry, which carries people, vehicles, and bicycles to nearby Washington Island. From there, you’ll be able to board the passengers-only ferry to Rock Island State Park. The ferry runs each day from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. However, the island can be visited any time of year by private boat.
Round-trip tickets from Door County to Rock Island can be purchased at the Northport Car Ferry booth for $24.50 per person.
4 Things to Do at Rock Island State Park
1. Rock Island State Park Hiking
The park welcomes over 30,000 visitors per year, many of which come to take advantage of the island’s fantastic hiking trails. The 5.2-mile Thordarson Loop offers visitors with great opportunities to see the best sights on the western edge of the island.
2. Pottawatomie Lighthouse
Also known as the Rock Island Light, Pottawatomie Lighthouse is Wisconsin’s oldest and most historic lighthouse. Its name means “keepers of the light,” in the language of the Native American tribe that once inhabited the island. From Memorial Day to Columbus Day, the lighthouse staff will give visitors free guided tours of the lighthouse.
3. Relax on the Beach
Rock Island State Park is home to over 2,000 feet of pristine beach! During the summer months, this is the perfect spot to take a refreshing dip in the lake and soak in the sunshine. This is also a great place for fishing! Just be sure you have a fishing license before casting the line.
4. Explore the Stone Buildings and Exhibits
In the early 1900’s, a wealthy inventor built a variety of stone buildings throughout the park. Today, many of these stone buildings and carvings still stand and host fascinating exhibits about the island’s history. As you explore the island, you’ll be sure to come across one or more of these old structures.
Come Back and Relax at The Ashbrooke
After your adventures in Door County’s parks, you’re invited to come back and rest your feet with us at The Ashbrooke! Our peaceful and luxurious adults-only hotel is a favorite for couples looking to get away from their day-to-day schedules. The Ashbrooke’s prime location places you just minutes from all the incredible things to see and do!
Guests will also enjoy comfortable rooms and suites adorned with only the best amenities. Our impeccable guest services will ensure that you are enjoying your stay from the moment you arrive. When booking your stay, be sure to ask us about our current specials. We look forward to hosting you here at The Ashbrooke very soon!