Hiking in Door County
Every spring break we venture to Door County for two nights. No kids, no dogs, no work, just us. It is 48 hours that we treasure every year. While leaving our kids, dogs, and home is one of the toughest things to do as a parent, we also know that our marriage needs to come first and stay strong so that we can continue providing health and wellness to our family. It's no secret that Door County is one of our favorite places to go and while we haven't been everywhere, we have found some wonderful spots to hike, eat, stay, and just explore. If you have ever been thinking about going, or are looking for some new places, here was some of our hiking adventures this past spring.
Peninsula State Park
Peninsula State Park is the 3rd largest state park in Wisconsin by acreage. It is one of our go-to spots every time we are in Door County. When you enter, be sure to grab a trail map! We love to hike the Sentinel Trail and the Eagle Trail. The walk through the Sentinel trail is through some beautiful hardwood and pine forest while the Eagle trail does have some elevation as you hike down to the shoreline and back up to the trailhead. The combination of these two trails provides a diverse hike as you move through woods, dense pine forest, fields, and shoreline. These trailheads are also next to the new tower which will have wonderful view of the Bay and Chamber Islands.
The Ridges Sanctuary
|The Ridges Sanctuary Nature Preserve is nestled in Bailey's Harbor. It is home to some of the most diverse plant and wildlife in the area. The wonderful thing about this area is you can make this hike as long or as short as you want by walking the winding roads within the sanctuary or cutting your hike short at any point. Be sure to look for little paths that lead out into the many ridges. They provide some breathtaking views....we also love the "secret" path to the beach!|
Mink River Estuary Trail
This was a new one for us. We are looking for places to paddleboard and kayak with the kids and this one has been on our "to-do" list. The Mink River Estuary Trails is on the way to Newport State Park and it is an easy trailhead to miss. I always use this website to help give me exact Google Maps coordinates for trail heads: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/wisconsin/mink-river-estuary-trail
This is a fairly short trail, about 1.6 miles out and back, but the view at the end is worth the short trip. A beautiful, calm waterway, perfect for beginning kayaking and paddle boarding.
Deathdoor Bluff Trail
Don't be turned off by the name, this hike is one of our favorites. It has one of those moments as you crest over a hill that makes you literally say "woah". You'll have to travel up to the northernmost parts of Door County to find the trail head at this one. If you only want to get to the "woah" part, you are looking at about a mile walk. The walk can be a bit tricky and confusing for your first time as the trail leads you into this:
Which seems like there is no where to go, but keep walking along the edge of the bluff and eventually the dirt trail will begin again and you will crest up to the top and see this:
The picture does not do it justice. Do yourself a favor and see it for yourself. One of the best views of Lake Michigan from the top of Door County.
You can continue on the path as it leads you away from the edge of the bluff and into the forest. The forest paths are a bit confusing and there is no signage or clear routes as how to make this into a loop. Again, I like to use the All Trails maps here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/wisconsin/deathdoor-bluff-trail as a way to track where we are. But, even if you plan on just walking up to the lookout point and walking back, it is so worth it.
In our two days these were the four hikes we were able to do. There are so many more that we have yet to discover and explore. We can't wait to share them with you!