Door County Welcomes Snowshoers & Other Winter Visitors

Writer finds quiet sports that highlight the wintry months on Wisconsin peninsula  

That little orange spot on the map between Green Bay and the main body of Lake Michigan is the Door Peninsula.

Door County occupies a slender finger of land in the eastern Wisconsin, lying north/northeast of Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay, which is the Door County gateway community as well as home to the NFL’s Packers. The county, which is to say the peninsula, is a popular Midwestern warm-weather destination that is both rural and sporty. With a long Lake Michigan and Green Bay coastline, it’s splendid for sailing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing and enjoying the many beaches and the local fruit and other produce are fabulous too. Like so many summer places, Door County turns inward in winter, with the quiet sports of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing popular.

My friend Laurel Kallenbach has started writing about sustainable travel for a  the website of Greenwala,a loose collective dedicated to green living. She could have picked any number of tropical eco-tourism destinations, low-impact beach-bumming or a voluntourism project where visitors restore habitat, assist communities or do other good work. But for her inaugural column, she chose a cold-weather destination. Snowshoeing, a favorite activity of Nordic Walkers when there’s snow on the ground, is involved in two of her four recommendations in her piece, “4 Carbon-Neutral Ways to Enjoy Winter in Door County, Wisonsin.”

She suggests a horsedrawn sleighride through the vineyards and woods at the Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery, near Fish Creek. I’m all for helping wineries make it through the winter, so thumbs-up on that one. Snowshoeing at The Ridges Sanctuary, which also offers guided snowshoe walks in January.

In addition to 16 miles of groomed Nordic skiing trails with an additional 6 miles of ungroomed snowshoeing trails  through scenic and remote areas of Peninsula State Park. The park also offers 17 miles of separate snowmobile routes, but if that bothers you, better snowshoe elsewhere. Finally, she suggests candlelight cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or (if there isn’t a lot of snow) winter hiking at Door County’s state parks: Whitefish Dunes State Park: January 29; Peninsula State Park: February 5, and Newport State Park: February 12.  Terrific.

Winter in Door County, an online magazine, is an excellent resource for snowshoeing there.

3 thoughts on “Door County Welcomes Snowshoers & Other Winter Visitors”

  1. Claire,
    Door County was one of Barbara’s and my favorite places to visit! We went there at least three times a year, once always in February, Barbara’s birthday is February 22nd, at least once in the Summer and once in the Fall. In February we’d always snowshoed at Peninsula State Park (our favorite). In the summer, I put on several Nordic Walking Clinics for Ecology Sports in Sister Bay. We almost moved there just before Barbara got sick. Great place, Great memories (I also proposed to Barbara there).

    Walk Well!

    Ed Urbanski

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