Door County is home to towering limestone cliffs, sunny beaches, and endless days on the water. The world-class dining and shopping experiences can’t be beat, and there are unique lodgings and accommodations in every corner of the Door Peninsula. The whole area is a veritable playground for young and old, with something for everyone to do and see!
The best parts of the county have been preserved for all to use and enjoy. While most visitors to the Door Peninsula are aware of the fantastic public beaches and State Parks, not all realize how much land has been set aside for the public and future generations. Various state and national programs operate and preserve more than 23,000 acres in Door County. Each year more land is obtained for conservation and public use by such groups as the Door County Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and The Ridges Sanctuary. The Door County Green Fund and the Door County Environmental Council help preserve and conserve the public lands, protecting our rare and unique natural resources and treasures.
Door County is home to three State Parks! Ranging from rustic Newport State Park at the northern tip to the bay-side fun of Potawatomi near the southern end, there is camping, biking, and hiking for all levels of outdoor explorer. Peninsula State Park, located between Ephraim and Fish creek, has beautifully maintained trails for all levels of accessibility. Located just down the road from the Waterbury Inn, visitors can rent bicycles, mopeds, and even kayaks and paddle boards in the park. It is also home to an eighteen hole golf course with stunning views of Ephraim and Eagle Harbor. There is even a driving range and practice course if a full round can’t be squeezed in!
For visitors looking to get off the beaten path, the ever-expanding list of nature preserves may hold the just the ticket! The Door County Land Trust offers 14 unique properties to explore on the Door Peninsula and Washington Island. Trail maps are available for each of the properties and can be found at their website http://www.doorcountylandtrust.org. One property, the Ephraim Nature Preserve at Anderson Pond, is located just down the road from the Waterbury Inn and makes a lovely morning stroll! The Nature Conservancy has preserved 7,572 acres in Door County. They work closely with the Door County Land Trust and State parks to protect, conserve, and repair habitats. Their trails are rustic, but well marked. The list of Nature Conservancy owned lands can be found at their website https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/wisconsin/placesweprotect/priority-area-the-door-peninsula.xml. The Kangaroo Lake preserve is particularly interesting hike, it covers many different types of forest and field habitats. It’s also located close to the Coyote Roadhouse, which is a fantastic place for BBQ!
Crossroads at Big Creek is a scientific, historical, and environmental learning center. Located near Sturgeon Bay, they host programs and activities at their three properties all year around. They encourage learners of all ages to be good stewards of the land, respectful of native peoples, and outdoor adventurers. Their programs and trails are designed for accessibility and development of curiosity. Information on educational programs and the three nature preserves can be found at http://www.crossroadsatbigcreek.com.
Waterbury Inn is centrally located to all the natural splendor Door County has to offer! Nestled in the woods of North Ephraim, guests can enjoy the peace and beauty of nature right from their lodging. It’s the perfect place to relax after a day of outdoor adventure and learning. Give us a call today to book your Door County Getaway!