Newport State Park
Since I started my Door County blogs way up north with Rock Island and Washington Island, I may as well stay way up north and east in the peninsula at Newport State Park. The pictures in this post were taken the end of August in 2015, so this will be a nice break from the bare trees, snow and ice that going on outside my window now. Not sure where you are reading this, but I hope it’s nicer than here! This was a fabulous day and Newport State Park offers lots of great trails and some awesome Lake Michigan views, as well as a beautiful lighthouse.
We have been to Door County quite a few times over the years, but have never been to this Park. I hope that this post encourages you to visit if you are a nature/trail lover. It is really quite beautiful!
“Newport State Park, northeast of Ellison Bay, is Wisconsin’s only formally-designated wilderness park. With 2,373 acres and 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the park offers quiet alternatives to bustling Door County. Explore 30 miles of hiking trails with hike-in campsites. There are evergreen and hardwood forests, wetlands and upland meadows.” – READ MORE
We’ll start with Fern Trail (above) which, as the name implies, was a great walk in the woods with some dense and lush greenery and a pretty easy trail. Somehow we got turned around, so I don’t think the pictures of Lake Michigan (below) are still on the Fern Trail, we may have switched trails to the Europe Bay trail mid-walk, but we didn’t care. It was a great day and the trail was easy on the legs and full of beautiful scenery and no bugs – which we were kind of expecting. It was a great day all around.
As you’ll notice in these pictures and a few of the next, the Lake has risen, so a lot of the trees seem to be growing in the water. Not sure how long they can withstand that “over-watering”, or whether the Lake will be lower next year, but I’m sure some things will be a little different on our next trip here. The sun was intense as it glimmered off the water, but wow, what a fabulous day.
The pictures above are of the lake right next to the causeway to the Cana Island Lighthouse, a dilapidated building on the grounds (my favorite kind of photos) and our first glimpse of the lighthouse. I have seen pictures of this lighthouse at night, even though the sign at the entrance clearly says it closes at dusk, I think. The pictures are stunning, but take great caution if you plan a trip after hours as the causeway is a little tricky to maneuver even during daylight hours sometimes. It was definitely wet and the waves were crashing pretty close as we passed by, but it wasn’t too bad on our visit. I just love the picture of the lake above. It was the most beautiful shade of blue and the contrast with the whitecaps and the vegetation growing along the shore was really something.
“Travel back in time and explore one of Door County Wisconsin’s most popular lighthouses that’s been standing watch on the shore of Lake Michigan for more than 140 years.
Investigate the entire 8.7-acre island that includes the 89-foot-tall light tower, the original home of the lighthouse keeper and his family, and the oil house where fuel for the light was stored.
The highlight of any Cana Island visit is climbing the 97 steps of the tower’s spiral staircase to reach the gallery deck. The outside deck delivers a sweeping view of Lake Michigan and the Door County peninsula.
While the ascent is fun for visitors, imagine the lighthouse keeper’s job as he trudged up and down the steps each night, carrying heated lard to keep the light burning!” – READ MORE
Out front of the lighthouse was a wonderful natural fence that beckoned us to check out the lake. Our shoes crunched on the beach of millions of tiny shells that had washed ashore. The views of the lake were fabulous from this vantage point with the “floating” trees and the lighthouse behind us.
We decided there was time for one more trail, so we decided upon the Upland Trail, which was close to the entrance to the Park and only about 2 miles long. Similar to the Fern Trail, it was green and lush but also had lots of mushrooms and a wonderful root cellar that was pretty great.
Almost immediately as we entered the trail, there was a sign about Poison Ivy (above). “Leaflets Three, Let It Be” was the sign that warned us of its prevalence on the trail. Funny, growing up in Iowa where every summer included at least one slathering of Calamine Lotion, I was never really sure what it looked like. So there you have it!
As we left the park, there was a great farm with a couple spectacular barns and a barn quilt. As much as I like the bright red barns, these were just great, giving off that “lived-in” vibe that I love so much.
Wisconsin – with its nature and barn quilts, cows and dilapidated buildings, cornfields and Lake Michigan – can add up to one of the prettiest states around. Door County has a little bit of all of those things – along with some great cherries, yummy wine and great fish boils (we’ll talk more about that later!). I can’t wait to return ASAP!
Next up: Baileys Harbor