Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal

The Best Things to Do at Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal

The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal connects Sturgeon Bay on Green Bay with Lake Michigan across the Door Peninsula. While it is mainly used for ships coming in and out of Door County, there are a variety of ways visitors can make use of this historic waterway. Whether you’re interested in spending a day in the great outdoors or exploring some of Door County’s most stunning lighthouses, a visit to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal is in order!

After your adventures at the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, be sure to check out the other activities we have listed in our free Door County Vacation Guide! This handy planning tool is filled with only the best recommendations for local attractions, entertainment, dining, and more.

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal History

During the 1870’s, the seven-mile canal was created by orders of then president of Chicago and the North Western Railway, William B. Ogden. In the beginning, it was mainly used for smaller ships until larger watercrafts began using it in the 1890’s. In 1893, Ogden sold all interest of the canal to the United States government. Since then, the canal has been maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and used as a U.S. Coast Guard station.

3 of the Best Things to See at the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal

1. Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light

This impressive eye-catching structure is nearly impossible to miss from both land and sea. Its brilliant red color has made it a sight to behold since its construction in 1882. Today, it is found on the fully operational U.S. Coast Guard Station at Lake Michigan. Visitors are not permitted into the tower, but you are more than welcome to explore the lower level break wall.

2. Sherwood Point Lighthouse

The construction of the Sherwood Point Lighthouse began in 1883 and was intimately connected with the completion of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. Although the lighthouse itself is closed to the public, many visitors opt to take in its beauty from the water. However, the lighthouse is open for tours once a year during the Door County Lighthouse Festival. Many ghost hunters also frequent this historic lighthouse in search of a paranormal entity named Robert Cochems.

3. Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve

This waterside nature preserve is as ecologically diverse as it is beautiful. Many species on the verge of extinction call the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Preserve home, making it one of the nation’s most critical nesting spots for migrating non-tropical birds. During your visit to the preserve, you may indulge in a wide variety of activities including bird watching, hiking, fishing, or simply admiring the Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light from a distance.

Experience the Best of Door County During Your Stay at The Ashbrooke

Whether you plan to explore the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal or simply enjoy a relaxing getaway, you’re invited to stay with us at The Ashbrooke. Our adults-only hotel provides you with everything you need for a rejuvenating and memorable stay. From unique amenities to cozy guest rooms, you’ll be sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Door County Fall Colors

Ready for the getaway of your dreams? Book your stay with The Ashbrooke for the 2018 season today!  

Don’t forget to download your free copy of our Vacation Guide! It’s filled with great recommendations for things to do and experience during your getaway.

Photo Credit: PJSchleimer/Getty Images