Peninsula State ParkActivities and recreation
Observation tower: The observation tower located in Peninsula State Park, known as Eagle Tower, is closed because of structural concerns. At this time, the department has not made any plans to repair or replace the tower. Further study of the inspection report along with the availability of funding will determine the future of the structure. See the Eagle Tower web page for more information.
Timber harvest: The timber harvest has ended for the season and will resume in late October 2016. Loggers will be selectively thinning a number of conifer plantations and removing Scotch pine on a variety of small parcels throughout Peninsula State Park. Learn more in a letter to park neighbors and visitors and see a map of where logging operations will take place in the park.
Sturgeon Bay detour: The Bayview Bridge in Sturgeon Bay on Highway 42/57 is closed. The Department of Transportation expects the bridge to reopen by the 4th of July weekend. For more information, see the detour map.
The park office will be closed Tuesdays in April. Self-registration materials for purchasing stickers and campsites will be available at the kiosk located by the office.
Many people consider Peninsula to be Wisconsin's most complete park. When you see its many offerings, it is easy to see why.
Northern Sky Theater
Northern Sky Theater performances are held "under the stars," within a cathedral of red pines.
Photo © Len Villano
The Northern Sky Theater is a professional group of actors and musicians that perform from mid-June to late August. These whimsical musical comedies are geared toward families.
The Sunset Bike Route (10 miles) winds through northern forest framed by dramatic Sven's Bluff. Off-road bike trails (12 miles) are rough and rolling. A state trail pass (available at park headquarters) is required for bicyclists age 16 and older using off-road bike trails.
In-line skating is prohibited on Shore and Bluff Roads and on all roads within the Town of Gibraltar (Fish Creek area). In-line skating is allowed on Peninsula's interior roads, including Skyline, Middle, Mengelberg and Highland Roads. Peninsula has rolling terrain with steep ascents and descents, creating a challenge for even the most experienced in-line skater.
Eagle Trail offers close-up views of the Niagara Escarpment. The White Cedar Nature Trail is a half-mile loop near the Nature Center. Peninsula has a total of 20 miles of hiking trails.
Birding: Weborg Point is a major migration stopover for warblers in mid-May. Peninsula's 8-mile shore often yields views of bufflehead ducks, mergansers and bald eagles. Ask for a bird checklist at park headquarters or the nature center.
Pets must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet. Pets are not allowed in the beach, picnic or playground areas, in park buildings or on cross-country ski trails or nature trails. For more information about bringing your pets to state parks go to Enjoying the parks with your pet.
Peninsula has an 18-hole golf course and a six-hole learning Short Course , managed by the Peninsula Golf Associates, a nonprofit organization. Challenging holes include a 69-yard drive straight down a 50-foot cliff. The course is open daily late-April through late-October. Amenities include a clubhouse which serves breakfast and lunch. Information and tee time reservations are available at the clubhouse (920) 854-5791.
The Door County Historical Society (DCHS) conducts tours of the 1868, Eagle Bluff Lighthouse from mid-May through mid-October.
Nicolet Beach offers a swimming area (no lifeguard provided), rental of kayaks and other watercraft, a snack bar and plenty of sand for sunbathing. For rental information, call 920-854-9220. Pets are not allowed on the mowed area or the beach but are permitted at The Pines picnic area, next to the Nicolet Beach parking lot.
Boating, canoeing and kayaking
Tour Peninsula from the water for incredible views, fine fishing and great fun. The park's eight-mile shoreline is popular with motor boats, sailboats and kayaks. A launch ramp is located at Nicolet Bay. Day-use only vehicle and trailer parking is available near the ramp. Peninsula campers have overnight trailer parking at the amphitheater lot. Kayaks often launch at Tennison Bay, which has a shallow draft.
Overnight, offshore anchoring is allowed at Horseshoe Island and in Nicolet Bay, outside of the designated swimming area and boat launch. Tie-up to ramp piers is prohibited except for launching and take-out.
Horseshoe Island, the only island that is part of Peninsula State Park, is picture perfect from Nicolet Bay. It lies about 1 mile north of Nicolet Bay. It is accessible only by boat. Engelmar Trail, a 1-mile rustic path, meanders the circumference of the 38-acre island. Camping and fires are prohibited. Visitors must carry out their own garbage.
Weborg pier is a hotspot for hooking smallmouth and rock bass or perhaps brown trout. Anglers 16 years or older must have a valid Wisconsin fishing license. A Wisconsin Great Lakes Trout stamp is required for trout fishing. Fishing licenses and Great Lakes stamps can be purchased online or at local sporting goods stores.
Anglers of any age may check out basic fishing equipment free of charge at the park office. This equipment was donated by the Tackle Loaner Program. Call the park office to find out what equipment is available.
Archery only hunting and trapping
Archery hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas of the park during the Wisconsin state parks hunting and trapping time frame. Gun hunting is not allowed in the park. Trapping is not permitted in closed areas as noted on the park hunting map or within 100 yards of any designated use area, including trails. Certain trap types are restricted on state park properties. For more information, please see:
In addition to the opportunities that are available during the state parks hunting/trapping time frame, hunting opportunities in state parks that were already established by rule and in place prior to the enactment of 2011 ACT 168, remain in place.
- At Peninsula State Park, this includes a 9-day muzzleloader deer hunt. There is no gun deer hunting at the park.
Picnic areas and playgrounds
Peninsula has six picnic areas; Fish Creek (near park headquarters), Nelson Point, Nicolet Beach, Eagle Terrace, Weborg Point and Welcker's Point. These areas have tables, charcoal grills and toilets. The grills are charcoal grills that you provide your own charcoal. Water and flush toilets are available at some of the picnic areas (typically May 1-October 31). Welcker's and Weborg picnic areas also have indoor shelters with fireplaces (wood not provided). Dogs are not allowed at any picnic areas or in shelters. Leashed dogs are allowed in the Pines area near Nicolet Beach. Reservable shelters.
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Waste/recycling containers are not provided, so please remember to practice carry-in/carryout. Fires are restricted to fire rings and charcoal grills in picnic and camping areas. If you bring your own grill, dispose of hot coals in the nearest picnic grill. Please extinguish your fire before leaving.
Volleyball: Two regulation size, sand volleyball courts are at Nicolet Bay Beach. Nets are provided, but bring your own volleyball.
Tennis: Peninsula offers a single paved tennis court, across from the Skyline parking lot.
Playgrounds: There are activity centers at Tennison Bay campground and Nicolet Bay Beach. Slides and swings are also available at the Fish Creek picnic area.
Sightseeing and touring
Peninsula is known for breathtaking views of Green Bay. There are eight miles of Green Bay shoreline within the park, compelling visitors to stop, take a photo and rest.
Watch the glowing orb of sunlight sink into the shimmering waters of Green Bay.
Photo © Paul Burton
Sunset Spots: Popular sunset spots in the park are the Tennison Boat Launch, Welcker's Point and Eagle Tower. After dusk, Sven's Bluff offers clear views of starry skies.
Scenic Overlooks: Skyline Road traverses the highest terrain, providing excellent views of the local islands and landscape. Shore Road follows the lower coast with access to the cobblestone beach. Sven's Bluff and Eagle Panorama are favorite look-outs.
Historic Burial Sites: Both a private and a public cemetery can be found nestled within Peninsula's boundaries. Blossomburg Cemetery is open to the public for visits during regular park day-use hours, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. The Pioneer Cemetery, near Weborg Point, is privately owned and maintained.
Memorial Pole: Chief Simon Onanghuisse Kahquados, the last hereditary chief of the Potawatomi Nation, is buried near the Memorial Pole on the golf course. Belgian artist C. M. Lesaar carved the original pole in 1927, basing designs on art created by Vida Weborg. Park staff replaced the original pole in 1970 with a laminated pine replica carved by Adlai Hardin. The pole was painted and restored again in the fall of 1994. View the bear carving that topped the original pole at the White Cedar Nature Center. The Memorial Pole and Chief Khaquados' grave may be visited only during non-play hours at the golf course.
Classic skiing: Peninsula has 16 miles of groomed, mostly double tracked ski trails. Designed to run one way, these trails are color-coded and vary from easy to difficult. Pets, hiking and snowshoeing are not allowed on ski trails. A warming house near Lot 5 on Highland Road is open in winter. Ski trails are groomed and tracked as conditions permit. Skate skiing: Skaters have access to six miles of trails groomed for both classical and skate skiing. Hilly topography makes the skate trails more difficult. Each skier age 16 and older must have a state trail pass to use any of the Peninsula ski trails.
Peninsula offers six miles of designated snowshoe and hiking trails in the winter. These trails traverse some of the most peaceful and remote regions of the park. Snowshoe trails are not groomed. Snowshoeing and hiking are not allowed on any of the ski or snowmobile trails. All snowshoe trails are marked with a green sign with a pink reflective dot.
Green Bay can yield some big fish.
Anglers hook perch, walleye and trout while ice fishing near Peninsula State Park. Ice conditions vary and change rapidly. Exercise extreme caution while ice fishing. Wisconsin fishing licenses are required.
Peninsula has 17 miles of scenic snowmobile trails. Snowmobiles are allowed only on marked trails. Maximum speed limit is 25 mph on park property. Snowmobiles must be registered and have registration decals displayed. Any snowmobiles registered outside the state of Wisconsin must have a nonresident snowmobile pass. All snowmobile laws are strictly enforced.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails. The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report, and local club and county snowmobile web pages and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.
Sledding and tubing
The number 17 fairway at the park golf course is a favorite sledding spot. The hill is steep. Adults must supervise children at all times. Toboggans are not allowed.