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2019-03-12 - Mike Tittel - Snowshoe Cave Point - 015.jpg


A majestic landscape of forests, cliffs, orchards, and 300 miles of pristine shoreline makes Door County, Wisconsin a beloved summer getaway for Chicago and the rest of the Midwest. But Door County’s five expansive state parks and sparkling Lake Michigan vistas also create various opportunities for winter adventures. This gorgeous peninsula offers non-stop frosty fun from snowshoeing and snow tubing, skiing, and sledding, to fat tire biking, hiking, sleigh rides, and ice fishing.


Snowshoeing and Tubing
Traverse the scenic trails of Peninsula State Park, Newport State Park, White Fish Dunes, or the Ridges Sanctuary, with snowshoes strapped to your feet for a light workout that helps you glide over the snow. Snowshoe trails are specially marked apart from skiing and snowmobile trails and rentals are available. Slide down the number 17 fairway at the golf course of Peninsula State Park for a steep and exhilarating snow tube ride.


Skiing and Sledding
Take off amid the winter beauty of glistening hills and frozen lake backdrops with either cross-country, classical, or skate skiing. Peninsula State Park supplies 16 miles of groomed ski trails, complete with a warming house. There are also six miles of designated skate ski trails at the park. Swoop down 26 miles of cross-country ski trails at Newport State Park, 12 miles for classical skiing, and two miles for skate skiing. In February, the park hosts special candlelight skiing or hiking. The Sledding Hill at the Sister Bay Sports Complex provides the perfect mound for classic sledding, as well as Peninsula State Park’s number 17 fairway.

Fat Tire Biking and Hiking
You don’t need to wait on the snow to enjoy Door County winters, rent a fat tire bike, and roll through the icy forests and past the arctic allure of the frozen shoreline. Check out the cliff and bluffs cradling year-round hiking trails like Cave Point County Park, Potawatomi State Park, Door County Land Trust, and the Ice Age Trail.


Sleigh Rides and Ice Fishing
Door County brings holiday card fantasies to life with picturesque sleighs pulled by a team of regal horses through snow-covered woods and orchards. Mayberry Carriages offers narrated sleigh rides with wine samples and ciders for kids. There’s no winter sport more quintessentially Door County than ice fishing. Venture out onto the frozen lake and drill holes for your winter catch, a heated shack makes the experience even more fun. Beginners would benefit from an ice fishing guide like JJ’s Guide Service or Trophy Ice Fish, both in Sturgeon Bay.


Choose the Victorian charm of the White Gull Inn, a historic B&B that boasts Midwestern hospitality and the famous traditional Door County fish boils. Operating since 1896, the inn provides retro rooms and cottages with fireplaces and some with double whirlpools. A tray of coffee is served at your door and a hearty breakfast is included with your stay. The inn’s restaurant is open to the public and the highlight is the traditional Door County fish boil, where the master boiler throws kerosene on an open fire for a dazzling display and perfectly done whitefish. Don’t miss the German Christkindlmarkt in Sister Bay, on weekends from late November to mid-December.

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