Big skies and bright stars are often associated with the vast expanse of the American West. However, thanks to the unique location of the Door County Peninsula, unspoiled vistas can be had right here in the upper Mid-west!
Thanks to Lake Michigan and the Green Bay of Lake Michigan, Door County is nearly completely surrounded by large expanses of water. The nearest large urban area is over and hour away, and the farther North one gets on the Door Peninsula the sparser the population. This remoteness lends itself to dark skies at night and expansive vistas by day. In fact the skies are so dark at night that Newport State Park has been honored as an International Dark Sky Site!
Newport State Park, located north of Ellison Bay, is the first International Dark Sky Site in the state of Wisconsin, and one of only 13 sites in the United States! It is a relatively undeveloped State Park, and offers miles of trails through what was once an attempted settlement. By day guests can see rare orchids and native plants, a diverse array of native birds, and fossils of ancient marine flora and fauna along the woodland and beach trails. When the sun sets, the real show begins starring the Milky Way galaxy! With very little, to no light pollution, Newport State Park shines brightest at night. The Milky Way appears so clear and close, one feels they can touch the stars!
Peninsula State Park, located between Fish Creek and Ephraim, is home to stunning cliff views that over look the Green Bay of Lake Michigan. In the summer, massive cumulus clouds fill the skies creating breath-taking displays grander than any Dixon painting. At sunset, the clouds take up every color in natures palette, splashing them across the sky. If your lucky, just as the sun slips below the horizon, a green flash of light can be seen!
While Newport does feature camping, both inland and beach-side, not everyone is up to a mile long hike-in! Peninsula State Park has fantastic camp sites, however, cooking over a fire and showering with many isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! The Waterbury Inn is perfect Door County lodging for your stay! Centrally located in Ephraim, the Waterbury Inn is a short drive to both Newport State Park and Peninsula State Park! The family friendly accommodations are a perfect home-base for your Door County adventures, featuring full kitchens, grilling stations, and indoor and outdoor pools!
Whether it’s day or night, Door County offers overwhelmingly beautiful views of the sky we all take for granted!