This primitive island off the tip of the Door County Peninsula and northeast of Washington Island in Lake Michigan offers hiking trails, the oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin and 2000 feet of beach. Vehicles are not allowed on the 912-acre island, making for an experience unlike any other Wisconsin state park. Stone buildings, built by a wealthy inventor and his family, house exhibits. The ferry to the island runs Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day.
Wisconsin State Park System Rock Island State Park
Notice: Due to construction of a new well, the lighthouse and grounds around it will be closed to the public from May 26 until June 6th.
- The park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; however, the ferry only runs Memorial Day Weekend until Columbus Day
Two ferry rides are needed to reach Rock Island State Park. Take Wisconsin Highway 42 to its end at Northport, the tip of the Door County Peninsula. Take the Washington Island Ferry to Washington Island. The ferry carries people, vehicles, bicycles and freight. From the Washington Island ferry landing, travel across the island to the northeast side to the Rock Island ferry landing. Leave your vehicle or bike there and take the passengers-only Rock Island Ferry to Rock Island.
Visitors may take their boats to Rock Island, but caution is urged as Lake Michigan can be hazardous due to reefs and storms. There is a nightly fee for all boats mooring overnight at Rock Island.
- There are fees for both the Washington Island Ferry and the Rock Island Ferry.
- There is a nightly fee of $1 per foot of boat length for all boats mooring overnight at Rock Island State Park. Dock space is limited and cannot be reserved.
- Vehicle admission sticker is not required for the Rock Island ferry parking lot.
- Hunting and fishing licenses apply.
Concessions and rental equipment
Drinking water is available, but there is no camp store on the island. All supplies and equipment must be brought to the island. Firewood is sold on Rock Island. The Friends of Rock Island also sell T-shirts and other souvenirs.