Door County offers some of the Midwest’s most scenic, well-groomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails! It boasts four state parks along the peninsula, along with numerous other natural areas, providing more than 50 miles of trails for anybody interested in getting out and enjoying an invigorating Wisconsin winter.
Need a place to unwind and take in some breathtaking views? The charming and quaint Bay Shore Inn is located just a few miles from Sturgeon Bay, and is situated just across the bay from Potawatomi State Park. The resort offers numerous romantic winter getaway packages for couples, as well as on-site massage packages to help visitors de-stress.
With 300 miles of scenic shorelines around the Door Peninsula and 10,000 acres of parks, Door County has something for everyone when it comes to four-season, outdoor recreation. The county’s striking natural beauty makes it a dreamy vacation spot any time of the year, but the winter views are always spectacular! The warm waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan help hold back the coldest part of winter along the shorelines even when the cold takes over the peninsula itself.
Door County is home to 19 picturesque county parks, 11 historic lighthouses and 53 Lake Michigan beaches. With its small, waterfront towns full of home décor, art and clothing shops, its mouthwatering local cuisine and its never-ending, magnificent landscape, the peninsula provides some of the most beautiful seaside experiences in the Midwest.
Bay Shore Outfitters of Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay handles daily cross-country ski and snowshoe rental needs, and also has equipment, clothing and accessories for purchase. Owner Marc Schuster said there is a Room to Grow program available for kids, allowing their parents to buy gear for them as children and then upgrade to larger sizes at no charge as needed.
“We have all the apparel, gear and accessories for people to get out and play during winter,” said Schuster. “We do daily rentals but also have outdoor gear for purchase.”
Potawatomi State Park has four diverse loops stretching across the county, totaling nearly nine amazing miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. The trails start close to the picnic shelter, where there are also water and toilets available. People who are visiting to snowshoe can explore most of the park as long as they avoid the groomed winter ski trails.
The beautiful Whitefish Dunes State Park runs along the eastern shores of Lake Michigan and has 14.5 miles of trails. The red, green and yellow trails are groomed throughout the winter for cross-country skiing, making it easy for skiers to focus their complete attention on their natural surroundings. The black trail is reserved for snowshoeing. There are eight separate trails that will take visitors sightseeing through shoreline and forested dunes, beech forest, and pine plantations as well as one that’s an adventurous and fun interpretive trail.
As the area’s largest state park, Peninsula State Park offers 16 miles of groomed, mostly double-tracked cross-country skiing trails on nearly 4,000 acres of pristine landscape. A cozy warming house along Highland Road is open throughout the winter for visitors’ comfort. Although not groomed, the six miles of snowshoeing trails cover some of the most remote and serene regions of the park. Snowshoeing is not allowed on the skiing trails and all snowshoe trails are clearly marked.
Newport State Park, a 2,400-acre wilderness area, is home to 26 miles of groomed skiing trails and five miles of snowshoeing trails. This scenic park, situated in Ellison Bay near the tip of Door Peninsula, features 11 gorgeous miles of Lake Michigan shoreline so visitors can take in the lake year-round.
Ahnapee State Trail is a little slice of paradise for folks who cross-country ski and snowshoe! The trail showcases more than 40 miles of groomed goodness for winter sports enthusiasts. Sturgeon Bay is the setting for the beginning of the trails that run along the Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers through Algoma. From there, they meander south until splitting in three directions to go west, northeast and southeast into Kewaunee. All trails are flat, making them easy to navigate. They’re accessible at different points, and they must be shared with some louder sport machines.
Cave Point County Park is north of Whitefish Dunes State Park and is a must-see location any time of the year, but especially throughout the winter. At this time, the spectacular limestone cliffs and caves are unbelievably beautiful from being carved out by the fierce waves that pound the Lake Michigan shoreline. The trail south through the county park is only a half mile long, but it connects with a trail in the state park and continues along the bluffs, providing some very gorgeous sights.
A recently-rebuilt lookout provides an incredible view of Green Bay, Hedgehog Harbor and the surrounding bluffs at Door Bluff Headlands County Park. This county park, the second largest and most northerly one in Door County, provides visitors with 155 glorious acres of nature! Ellison Bluff Park boasts a wooden observation deck that safely leads to the very edges of the 100-foot limestone bluffs. An enclosed catwalk that stretches out over the bluffs is also available for the more adventurous visitors.
To have an exceptional winter retreat, visit www.bayshoreinn.net today or call 1.800.566.4551 to make reservations. Check out all the great seasonal packages and amenities the renowned Bay Shore Inn offers to make a winter vacation memorable for all!
For more information on a wonderful winter wonderland vacation anywhere in Door County, visit www.doorcounty.com. Ski and snowshoe gear rental is available as well as lodging accommodations, driving directions, trail maps, hours, fees and schedules.