What to do in Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park, established in 1909, is a 3,776-acre state treasure on Wisconsin's Door County peninsula. Nearly seven miles of Lake Michigan's Green Bay shoreline wrap around a landscape of forests, meadows and wetlands. Rocky bluffs ascend over 150 feet while deer graze contentedly in abandoned farm fields. Considered Wisconsin's most complete park, Peninsula is also its most popular camping destination. Visitors explore bays fringed by sand and cobblestone. Islands and ships can be viewed from the bluffs.

Peninsula State Park offers endless opportunities to experience natural beauty.

The park has four family campgrounds (Weborg Point, Tennison Bay, Welcker's, and Nicolet Bay) with a total of 469 regular (family) sites, of which 102 have electric hookup. Facilities include nearby modern bathhouses. The campgrounds are open from May through October, dependent upon weather. The park has a sanitary fill / dump station, but no water / sewer hookups. Only 25 sites are non-reservable. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below. Peninsula State Park is also home to three reservable group camps: Lakeshore, Orchard and Meadow. Only tent camping is allowed. Electric service is not available at the group sites and pit toilets and water fountains are located centrally between the campsites. The closest hot water, shower and flush toilet facilities are at Nicolet Bay campground, about a mile away. Firewood is for sale on a seasonal basis. Nearest groceries may be found at Nicolet Bay Beach.

Peninsula State Park is surrounded by water on three sides. The shoreline extends for seven miles offering landscapes from 180-foot bluffs to cobblestone and natural sand beaches. Visitors enjoy sunbathing, swimming, sailing, boating, and fishing. Boat rentals available from the Nicolet Beach Concession.

One of the best avenues for exploring this busy park is on foot or bike. Twenty miles of trails varying in difficulty course through all areas of the park. One of the most popular and scenic trails is Eagle Trail. This difficult route treks along shoreline and steep bluffs. Sights include a fresh spring, foundation ruins, Ephraim village - across Eagle Harbor, and plant life such as Jack-in-the pulpit (June bloom time) with its distinctive spathe, and impressive 500-year-old cedars. A fitness course emphasizing pull-ups, leg presses, leg lifts and more is located near Nicolet Beach. Bicyclists are offered five miles of path along Sunset Bike Trail and an eight-mile section of park road for touring. Bikes may be rented in summer from the Nicolet Beach Concession. Trail passes are required for mountain bikers 16 years of age and older.

A visit to the White Cedar Nature Center is a wonderful way to acquaint oneself with the park's natural and cultural history. Numerous photographs, archaeological and geologic information enlightened the visitor. The center is located on Bluff Road near the Woodyard. Scheduled year-round programs are offered. There is information on the park's 125 bird species, native fish displays, a children's discovery area, and souvenir section featuring colorful field guides. Children's outdoor recreation equipment is available for loan from the center.

Six picnic areas are offered each featuring tables, grills, and toilets: Eagle Terrace, Fish Creek (near Park Headquarters), Nelson's Point, Nicolet Bay Beach, Weborg Point and Welcker's Point. Day use opportunities at Peninsula State Park extend far beyond the typical park amenities. Visitors will find the 75-foot Eagle Tower rising 250 feet above Green Bay. Three platforms on the tower provide panoramic vistas of the lake, its shorelines, and recreational boaters. The park is home to the 1868 Eagle Bluff Lighthouse whose beacon shines 16 miles along the rugged shoreline. The lighthouse is 43 feet tall and towers 76 feet above the bay. Recognized as a Wisconsin Historic Place, the Door County Historical Society in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard permit tours that include the lightkeepers' quarters. The American Folklore Theater is a popular attraction during the summer months offering a variety of region-oriented performances. In-line skating is allowed on Peninsula's interior roads including Skyline, Middle, Mengelburg and Highland Roads. Users should be aware that the rolling terrain has steep ascents and descents, creating a challenge for even the most experienced in-line skater. Peninsula offers a single paved tennis court across from the Skyline parking lot. It is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Two regulation size sand volleyball courts are at Nicolet Bay Beach. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rapidly approaching its century-old status is the park's 18-hole, par 71 golf course. This seasonal facility is typically open May through October offering golf carts, pro shop, and restaurant. Reservations are needed to play this busy course. Call the course for a tee-time.

Maps are available at the park office and nature center. Be sure not to miss touring the park's three cemeteries and catching a glimpse of the 40-foot -high memorial pole marking the gravesite of Potawatomi Chief Simon Kahquados. Look for it on the golf course between the first and ninth fairways.

Recreation
Recreational opportunities are boundless. Visitors can hike, bike, boat, golf and swim during spring, summer and fall. Winter offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and snowmobiling. Camping, nature programs, and sightseeing are offered year-round.

Location
Located in Northeastern Wisconsin, Peninsula State Park is in Fish Creek, off Hwy. 42.

Climate
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.

Address
P.O. Box 218
Fish Creek, WI 54212-0218

Phone: 920-868-3258

  • Peninsula State Park Travel Q&A

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