This was almost the last weekend to enjoy the fall colors, so I don't want to miss this chance to get the last glimpse of fall leaves. So I immediately checked fall color report and door county had 100% fall colors. So we decided to go door county on Saturday. I found out places to go and also figure out the route. I saw the news in the evening and came to know there are chances of rain. So I check out weather app and it said 90% chance of rain till Saturday afternoon. Finally, at night we drop the idea of door county trip. On Saturday night we were checking what to do on Sunday and my husband said, let's check out the weather of door county on Sunday. And guess what it was sunny whole day. Although the temperature was in the 50's, but until it is sunny we can bear.
How to get there?
You can land on any of three airports Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. You take a rental car from airport rentals and head to the Door County.
Tips to explore Peninsula State Park
- If you are going to explore fall colors than do check the fall color report and then plan your trip.
- If you are living in the nearby city, then you can do a one day trip easily, but it has lots of things to do so make your trip itinerary first.
- Check the weather and decide your attire accordingly.
- As Peninsula State Park is on Lake Michigan you might feel windy, especially in cold weather, so be prepared for it.
- If you are planning to hike than get your proper hiking gears.
- There is no facility for food inside the state park so carry enough food and water before entering.
We went to the visitor center first. If you are not sure what to explore in Door County than you can check in to the visitor center and they will provide information. You can also get maps and other brochures from there. one of the best things of these visitor center is its open 24/7. Isn't it great? You will get all types of brochures like shopping and dining, attractions, parks & beaches etc. I really liked the rocking chairs kept in patio of visitor center.
So we grab our maps and head to peninsula state park. In Door County two main highway go through 42 & 57 which helps you cover whole door county area.
In the Peninsula State Park you require to buy vehicle permission sticker. If you have already bought than you are good to go. They have yearly, monthly, daily and hourly passes. You can buy these stickers at the entrance. You will also get map in which you will get hiking trail guide details as well.
If you don't want to do hiking than also it has a nice view points and scenic drive. We started from pier center and Weborg point. Camping and picnicking available at Weborg point. Hemlock trail can access from Weborg point. This trail is 1.8 miles long and contains rolling terrain, cedar and hardwood forest.
From this point you will get a very nice view of the lake and forest as well. They also build the concrete doc walkway. It was little bit windy otherwise you can sit there with coffee and enjoy the view. In parking lot also there were beautiful trees with pretty fall colors.
Our next stop was Nelson point. This point also has a small picnicking area. You can get a view of Lake Michigan from this point as well. Follow the same road and next is the Tennis court point. Here they provided steps to get down to the Lake shore. The view of the lake from this point is absolutely stunning.
When we proceed further road splits in Shore road and Skyline road. We want to cover both drives as both drives are scenic according to the visitor center representative. So we decided to complete the Shore road drive first. On this road you drives parallel to the Lake. These gives the illusion of lake and sky flows together as far as you can see.
On Shore road drive one more split will come which is Shore road and Bluff road. By mistake my friend took right instead of left. And I am so glade he did this mistake. We took immediately right On Bluff road as so many cars were parked there so wanted to check out what's in there. It was nature center and White cedar nature trail. This trail is a self guided nature trail teaches deer ecology. This is 0.5 mile loop trail with amazing fall color views.
After viewing beautiful scenery on this trail we get back to shore road and head to Eagle bluff lighthouse. You will get great the view of Lake Michigan and peninsula forest. Unfortunately, when we visited the lighthouse was closed for the season. It normally opens till early September.
This is a great place. It has quite good photography spots as well. From the Eagle bluff lighthouse to the Nicolet beach is very beautiful drive. You can see colorful fall leaves. It's a simply amazing drive.
As we didn't want to miss the scenic drive on the Skyline road as well, we took the Bluff road and return on the shore road. We took the skyline road from starting point and stopped at Sven's bluff. These point is on higher elevation so very nice view of the lake.
You can also take the skyline loop trail from the Tennis court. This trail is 3 miles long. You can also check out the hemlock road. If you just want to drive by than you can finish viewing these state park within one to two hours. But if your planning to hike than there are around 11 trails. You can choose which trails you want to hike on.