Ultimate Guide to Peninsula State Park, Door County, WI

Overcast sky and bare trees overlooking Green Bay in Peninsula State Park, Door County, Wisconsin

Located in Door County in the town of Fish Creek, Peninsula State Park is one of Wisconsin’s most popular state parks for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Whether you are looking for a beautiful drive with overlooks or a challenging hike, Peninsula State Park promises an adventure for every skill level. 

I’ve explored this Wisconsin state park in the winter, spring and summer seasons and my explorations have been just as picturesque and fun each time. I imagine visiting during the fall season is even more spectacular with the colors peaking through. 

This post features the details you need to plan the best outdoor adventure at Peninsula State Park and how to make the most of your visit to this Wisconsin gem.

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Short on Time? Here’s a Mini Guide!

Top Trails: Eagle Trail (difficult) for gorgeous views of the bay and Sentinel Trail (easy) for a foresty-feel

Where to Stay: Julie’s Park Cafe and Motel

Best Restaurants: Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza & Grille & Julie’s Park Cafe

Guided Tours: Viator has great options! (Guided Segway Tour, Kayak Tour, Cruise the Park’s Shoreline)

More About Door County: Check out the Top 15 Things to Do in Door County

Where is Peninsula State Park? 

Address: 9462 Shore Road, Fish Creek, WI 54212

Peninsula State Park is located in Door County in the town of Fish Creek, which is about 45 minutes from Sturgeon Bay and an hour and twenty minutes from Green Bay. 

Peninsula State Park Entrance sign with you woman posing next to it in the snow.

Unlike many state parks that are in remote areas, Peninsula State Park is just minutes from downtown Fish Creek where you’ll find popular shopping, delicious restaurants, and water activities. 

Peninsula State Park Hours? 

You can enter the park for a visit from 6am until 11pm daily. The park offers two entrances: either via Fish Harbor right by Julie’s Cafe and Motel or by the Peninsula Golf Course. 

Cost of Admission to Peninsula State Park: 

As with all Wisconsin State Parks, you must pay an admission fee to enter Peninsula State Park. Admission is included with the Wisconsin annual state park pass, which is $28 for WI plates or $38 for out-of-state plates. Passes can be purchased at the park entrance gate or online at the DNR website.

The cost to purchase a day pass is $10 for WI plates or $13 for out-of-state plates, which is slightly higher than the day pass rate for other Wisconsin State Parks. 

Things to Do in Peninsula State Park: 

Peninsula State Park truly has something for everyone to enjoy, whether you want to hike along the cliffside or take a leisurely drive through the winding road of the park. 

Even if you’re not looking for outdoor adventure, I highly recommend checking out the Eagle Tower which overlooks Green Bay. The top of the tower is accessible via wooden stairs or an accessible boardwalk and provides sweeping views of the water and surrounding park land. It’s a highlight of any visit to Door County. 

As a heads up, the tower is closed during the winter months due to snow and ice, and dogs are not allowed on any portion of the tower. 

Hiking in Peninsula State Park: 

The hiking trails in Peninsula State Park offer a range of difficulties and are some of my favorites. Altogether, the park has over 20 miles of hiking trails that showcase the landscape and vegetation of the area. 

Consider the Sentinel Trail loop (2-miles) for an easier hike, but one that provides the opportunity to explore and learn more about the flora and fauna within the park. 

Image of Eagle Tower and sign to entrance to Sentinel Trail in Peninsula State Park, Door County
Image of a snow-covered trail in Door County, WI surrounded by tall evergreen trees

Another popular trail is the Hemlock Trail (1.8 miles one-way), which is rated as moderate and provides beautiful views of the nearby islands. Additionally, the Nicolet Bay Trail is a moderate 2.2 mile (one-way) trail that is home to turkeys and woodpeckers. 

One of the most popular trails in the park is Eagle Trail (2-mile loop), which is rated as difficult, but provides breathtaking views. The trail starts near Eagle Tower and winds its way around the cliffs, eventually overlooking Green Bay.

Image of dog on trail surrounded by dirt path and tall, thin trees - Door County, Wisconsin
Image of the cliffside of Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park

Check the WI DNR website for the Peninsula State Park Hiking Trail details prior to heading out on your outdoor adventure. 

Dogs are allowed on the trails in the park, but some dogs may struggle with the terrain and steep steps on Eagle Trail. 

Biking in Peninsula State Park 

During the summer months, you’ll find many visitors biking along the main road and on the trails in the park. There are designated trails for biking and many will ride their road bikes along through the park. 

The most popular route is the Sunset Bike Trail which provides 9.6 miles of relatively flat, scenic trail. The trail accommodates bicycles, wheelchairs and hikers, and begins near the Fish Creek entrance to the park. 

You can rent a bike at the Nicolet Bay concession stand within the park or at various spots within Fish Creek. Biking through Peninsula State Park is such a fun way to experience the park and I highly encourage you to try it. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you are using extreme caution when driving through the park so as to not hit any bikers. 

Cross-Country Skiing in Peninsula State Park 

During the winter months, some of the popular trails in the park are groomed for cross-country skiers (and snowshoers). Reference the park’s winter map once snow covers the area to make sure you are aware of which trails are dedicated to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. 

Golfing at Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park has a 18-hole golf course and a 6-hole learning course, both which are managed by the Peninsula Golf Associates. There’s also a clubhouse that serves breakfast and lunch. 

For golf lovers, this is a great way to experience the state park without diving too deep into the outdoor elements. 

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse

The iconic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse lies within Peninsula State Park and paid tours are offered mid-May through mid-October. The lighthouse is full of maritime history and is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. The State of Wisconsin assumed ownership of Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in 2003.  


Beach lovers will enjoy spending the day at Nicolet Beach. The beach is a prime spot for relaxing with friends and family, while enjoying the sun and cooling off with the fresh water, all while surrounded by the beautiful park. 

It’s easy to lose track of time as you relax on the sandy beach with a book in hand. If you’re looking for a little more activity, you can also swim in the water or launch a kayak to explore the beautiful cliffs. Check out the Best Beach Bag Essentials to ensure you are prepared for your day at the beach.

Camping in Peninsula State Park

According to the Wisconsin DNR, Peninsula State Park is the most popular camping destination in Wisconsin. For overnight stays, the park offers 468 family campsites and 3 group camping options. Since this is a very popular Wisconsin State Park for camping, make sure you secure reservations in advance, particularly during peak seasons. 

Campgrounds in Peninsula State Park:

– North Nicolet Bay Campground (44 sites) 

– South Nicolet Bay Campground (143 sites)

– Tennison Bay Campground (188 sites)

– Weborg Point Campground (12 sites)

– Welcker’s Point Campground (81 family sites) 

Hotels Near Peninsula State Park 

There are several wonderful motels and hotels located just outside of Peninsula State Park for you to call home during your park adventure. I stayed at Julie’s Park Cafe & Motel which is right outside one of the park entrances, making it the perfect option if you do not want to camp (I love my bed and shower!). Additional hotel options include the Peninsula Park-View and Eagle Harbor Inn

Image of Entrance Sign to Julie's Park Cafe and Motel in Fish Creek with large purple chair next to it
View of bed and pull-out couch at Julie's Park Cafe and Motel in Fish Creek

Check out the map below for even more lodging options near Peninsula State Park, including Airbnb and VRBO options. 

WI State Park Essentials:

Exploring Wisconsin state parks is one of my favorite outdoor activities, and being prepared for the environment and weather always makes my adventures one hundred times better. Before heading out to the park, I recommend having the following items on hand:

Hiking Boots: While Wisconsin may not have mountains, the state does feature uneven terrain, rocks, rivers and more that make hiking boots a must when exploring the state parks. I love hiking in my Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof hiking boots. I prefer the mid version, but they also have a shoe version. A pair of trail running shoes (with excellent tread) also work very well.

Sunscreen: The sun will get you when you least expect it – always wear sunscreen! My go-to sunscreens are Supergoop and Sun Bum. I especially love the Glow (tinted) Supergoop face sunscreen and the spray sunscreen for your hair by Sun Bum.

Bugspray: I swear everytime I go on a hiking trip, I forget bug spray! This is your reminder to throw it in your bag right now. Wisconsin has mosquitos, ticks, fleas and many more bugs that you’ll be so grateful for your spray.

Rain Jacket: Wisconsin gets plenty of the rain during the best hiking times so always be prepared with rain gear. I love my NorthFace rain jacket and pack it on every trip, just in case.

Backpack: I recommend bringing a daypack/backpack for your state park adventure to carry everything from water bottles and snacks to rain jackets and your first aid kit. My go-to daypack is the Osprey Daylite Commuter Backpack, which is lightweight and the perfect size for state park day trips.

First Aid Kit: Always bring a first aid kit with you, especially when hiking and/or going places that may not have cell phone reception.

Final Thoughts:

Peninsula State Park is one of Wisconsin’s state parks that you won’t want to miss. With beautiful overlooks, excellent hiking trails, and relaxing beaches, this park has something for everyone to enjoy, all within the confines of Door County. As I’ve fallen in love with Door County over the years, this park has become my home away from home. 



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