Potawatomi State Park
Potawatomi State Park: An Insider’s Walk in the Woods
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    Posted: April 4, 2019

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In the City of Sturgeon Bay you can find all the fantastic family and adult activities that you would expect in a resort town, and here’s a list of things to do in and around town this spring – but just outside of town, and directly across Sturgeon Bay from Bay Shore Inn, is one of the most peaceful and scenic state parks in Wisconsin.

Potawatomi State Park is a 1,225-acre, wooded park located on the Door County peninsula, situated on Sturgeon Bay. Established in 1928, Potawatomi State Park is also home to the eastern terminus of the Ice Age Trail.

If part of your relaxing getaway involves reconnecting with nature, then this is the place for you. Potawatomi’s rolling hills, groomed trails, and scenic bluffs are what nature enthusiasts love. Hiking, canoeing and kayaking, and off-road biking are a few of the favorite activities of park guests in the warmer months.

In the winter months the Park is open to snowmobilers and cross-country skiers as well.

Hiking Trails

The hiking trails of Potawatomi State Park vary in ruggedness and degree of difficulty. Whether you’re looking for a scenic stroll through the forest with the occasional lake view overlook, or a more challenging hike, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

For a shorter hike but more educational experience you can take the Ancient Shores trail. On this 0.5-mile trail you can learn about the three ancient shore lines of the area through the educational signs posted along the route. The signs also give information about the various plants and animals you will encounter at the park.

For a longer hike with a more scenic view try the Tower trail. This 3.6-mile trail is named for the now closed 75ft. observation tower that sits atop the highest bluff in the park. Although the tower is no longer accessible, the views from the bluff are still second to none.

Check out the routes of these trails and more with this map of Potawatomi State Park.

The park is also pet friendly so bring your furry friend along for a walk in the woods – just make sure they are always leashed.

Enjoying the Waters Around Potawatomi

With over 2 miles of shoreline, Potawatomi State Park offers a wide variety of aquatic activities. Some of the things you can enjoy around the park’s waters include:

  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Scuba diving
  • Water skiing

The boat launch can be found on the north end of the park on Sawyer Harbor, a sheltered inlet at the mouth of Sturgeon Bay. Canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals are available at the park.

Fishing enthusiasts can find a fish cleaning station near the boat launch. Anyone 16 years old or older who wishes to fish at the park must have a valid fishing license, and if you don’t own your own fishing gear you can check out basic fishing equipment, free of charge, at the park office.

Events in the Park

There’s more to do in the park than just hiking and paddling though. Here are some great events to attend this spring and summer.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Work Play Earth Day event is a volunteering opportunity held by the Wisconsin DNR and supported by Friends of Wisconsin State Parks. Although Earth Day isn’t officially until Monday, April 22, Potawatomi State Park is holding their event the Saturday before, making it accessible to more people.

Get outdoors and show your love for mother nature by volunteering some time in Potawatomi State Park. Volunteers will have the chance to clean up the park, plant trees, paint structures, and help clear invasive plant species. After volunteering, stick around and explore everything the park has to offer.

Friday, July 19 and Friday, August 9, 2019

Get a close up view of the cosmos with Universe in the Park. The UW-Madison Astronomy Department offers this popular outreach program as a way for anyone interested in learning about astronomy to have a guided experience.

The session begins with a 20-30-minute presentation covering a broad view of astronomy, followed by a telescope viewing of the night sky, and ending with a question and answer period.

If you’re visiting Door County on a romantic couple’s retreat, or with your family, these events are perfect for any itinerary.

For more information about these events visit the Wisconsin DNR calendar, or contact Potawatomi State Park:

3740 County Highway PD

Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235


Toll Free: 888-947-2757

Set up Your Park Exploration Base Camp

Check rates and availability to book your stay and set up base camp for your Potawatomi State Park adventure.