Halfway up the Door Peninsula, and right along Lake Michigan’s shore, you’ll find an interesting bit of landscape. Here, at Whitefish Dunes State Park, very large sand dunes, ones that congregate to support a ton of vegetation, suggest an outdoor wilderness. With that, biking, swimming and hiking adventures are well within reach.
I’ll have to mention, even though it’s not technically part of Whitefish Dunes State Park, the county park known as Cave Point.
While Whitefish Dunes surrounds Cave Point, the cave bearing cliffs remain free to the public- I say this because a park sticker, or day pass, is required for entrance to state parks. So, you could visit this county park, which certainly could, and maybe even should, be included in the state park.
From those cliffs, you could jump into Lake Michigan’s icy waters. What’s more, should you register for a kayak tour, which is available at a Whitefish Dunes beach access, you could paddle right along those caves.
Anyways, back to Whitefish Dunes, which is the real topic of my blog. Our excursion was short, starting right behind the park office, and it didn’t involve beach going.
Never the less, the trail we took had plenty of beach access points.
The walk from forested dunes to sandy beach was aided by a boardwalk.
I should mention, this land, one of forest and sand, once played home to an ancient indigenous nation.
These displays, set right in the forest, are demonstrations of early life near the dunes..
While we walk the first leg, which also plays host to bikes-though the trail is slightly rough, not overly bumpy, but I don’t know if I’d trust a touring bike down that path…but as I was saying…or writing, it’s a pleasant stroll through hilly, forested terrain.
I should also mention that, and no, I didn’t take a picture, anyways, there are bathrooms along the first leg of the trail. This straight shot, I mean the hike/bike path, takes you right along the lake. Unfortunately, since you’re among trees, you won’t see the lake for most of your hike.
At the end of this hike/bike trail, you’ll find a restroom. Then, you’ll find a boardwalk trail.
If you follow that boardwalk,
coursing over cool landscapes,
and maybe a few stairs
you’ll find yourself on the largest dune in Wisconsin. Old Baldy, that’s what they call it, stands 93 feet tall.
The views are pretty cool…ugh, dude, you’re in my pic!
Anyways, the trip back, which I believe was on a portion of a different trail , one simply called the yellow trail, offered some cool photo subjects….
Oh, and poison ivy…no, I didn’t get a pic of that. I did get a pic of this however.
For some reason, I like moss covered deadwood.
Anyways, our hike wasn’t long. I’d say it took about an hour to complete. Maps of the park are available at the park office, and the trails are well marked. So, if you’d like to try other trails, which collectively total 14.5 miles, you could check out other terrains.
Of course, there’s more to whitefish dunes other than hikes,
but that was our experience.
The park is fairly small, at least compared to other state parks, spanning 867 acres. So, you can’t camp here.
But there is a long beach, even a portion that allows dogs. When jumping in the lake, make sure swimming is allowed on that beach segment…there are riptides, at points, just off shore.
Anyways, Door County, and Wisconsin for that matter, offer some excellent scenery. Whitefish Dunes State Park, with its unique geological attributes, is a stellar example of that fact. At this spot, the park’s lush green, mixed with a sand base, and Lake Michigan’s blue will definitely liven your soul.