Door County

We spent the remaining days of the year in Wisconsin’s easternmost county: Door County. Several people asked the reasons we chose this spot instead of a warmer location. For one, we never visited Door County in the winter before. More importantly, we literally wanted to get away from people and the questions asked further justified our intention in the first place.

This was our second visit to Door County. Our first visit was in the summer of 2017. The name of the county intrigued me enough to do a little more research this time, partly because I wanted to know if it actually specialized in making high quality doors in the past. It turned out the name referred to the dangerous passage between the tip of Door Peninsula and Washington Island. The Potawatomi and Winnebago tribes dubbed that passage the “Death of Door” after many members from both sides died trying to cross it in canoes during an inter-tribe battle. Given that tourism is the main economic driver here especially in the summer, it wouldn’t make sense to call it “Death of Door County”.

This trip took a little extra planning because it was an off season and most restaurant hours were impacted by the holidays. We didn’t have any fish boils since they were mostly available from Friday to Sunday. Our snowshoes were swapped with ice cleats due to the lack of snow on the ground. We still spent most of our day time hiking in various places where we were usually the only souls in the woods. This time, we hiked in 4 state parks (Newport, Peninsula, Whitefish Dunes and Potawatomi), 2 county parks (Ellison Bay Bluff and Cave Point) and 2 off the beaten path trails (Björklunden and Walt’s Woods Natural Area).

The iconic windy road at the tip of the Door County peninsula.
Horseshoe Island view from Nicolet Beach in Peninsula State Park.
The Boynton Chapel — built in a late 12th-century Norwegian stave church (Stavkirke) style — at Björklunden.
Sunset view at Egg Harbor Beach.
The flying Canada geese in Whitefish Dunes State Park.
Door County
Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse — the most iconic lighthouse in Door County.
Places we explored in Door County.
Road trip map.

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