What to do in Newport State Park

Newport, northeast of Ellison Bay, is Wisconsin's only formally designated wilderness park. With 2,373 acres and 11 miles of fantastic Lake Michigan shoreline it offers quiet alternatives to bustling Door County. The scenic shoreline is punctuated with sandy expanses, rocky juts, and elusive coves. Forested heavily during the late 19th century, the park is now lush with notable evergreen and hardwood forests, wetlands, and undisturbed upland meadows. Newport State Park is composed of ash, beech, sugar maple, and white birch imprinted by three to eight-foot-high dolomitic limestone blocks. Located on the tip of a peninsula that separates the bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, cool winds off Great Lake Michigan create habitat pockets similar to boreal forests supporting plant life typically found in Canada.

With approximately 1.5 miles of park roadway, visitors are ensured a semi-wilderness experience at Newport State Park.

An interesting and protected ecosystem establishes nature study as the focal point amid typical park recreations. The lush evergreens, hardwoods, wetlands, meadows, and 11 miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline dominate the interpretive programming and exhibits. Highlighted in a published list are the 175 bird species recorded at Newport. A wildflower list gives blooms times for the botanical bounty found at the park.

Hikers enjoy over over 38 miles of foot trail. Mountain bikers may use 17 of those miles. In winter over 26 miles are available for cross-country skiing; 12.5 miles groomed and tracked for classical skiing and 2 miles groomed for skate skiing, and 4.5 miles are open for snowshoeing.

Newport State Park has 16 backpack campsites, 13 may be reserved and each requires a 1.0- to 3.5-mile trek-in. Winter backpacking is permitted. Carry-in water is available at the park office where backpack registration is required. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below.

A scenic picnic area offers tables, grills, and shelter building with fireplace, open lawn, and scenic lake views.

Anglers enjoy fair shoreline catches of salmon and trout. Boat ramps are available outside the park nearby Ellison Bay where are full-service marina resides. Ice fishing is pursued on Europe Lake.

Nature study, hiking, swimming, backpack camping, bird watching, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are favorite activities.

Newport State Park is located in Northeast Wisconsin at the tip of Door Peninsula.

Northeast Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the teens F (-teens C). Average July temperature is 68-70 degrees F (20 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) for a several day stretch. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 30-32". Annual snowfalls in the Northeast Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 50" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 180". Nighttime summer temperatures can dip below freezing. Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

475 Cty. Rd. NP
Ellison Bay, WI 54210

Phone: 920-854-2500

Fax: 920-854-1914

  • Newport State Park Travel Q&A