Considered Wisconsin's most complete park, Peninsula offers 468 campsites, three group camps, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, sand beach, bike trails, a lighthouse and eight miles of Door County shoreline. The rollicking waves that skip towards Peninsula's sky high bluffs are part of the Niagara Escarpment.
Activities and recreation:
The Sunset Bike Route (10 miles) winds through northern forest framed by dramatic Sven's Bluff. Off-road bike trails (12 miles) are rough and rolling. A state trail pass (available at park headquarters) is required for bicyclists age 16 and older using off-road bike trails.
In-line skating is prohibited on Shore and Bluff Roads and on all roads within the Town of Gibraltar (Fish Creek area). In-line skating is allowed on Peninsula's interior roads, including Skyline, Middle, Mengelberg and Highland Roads. Peninsula has rolling terrain with steep ascents and descents, creating a challenge for even the most experienced in-line skater.
North Nicolet Bay campground
Sites: North Nicolet Bay (600-numbered campsites) has 44 sites. There are no electrical hookups. All sites are reservable. A campground host is at 619E.
Services: North Nicolet Bay Campground has a hot water, shower and flush toilet facilities and a cold water flush toilet building without showers. Additional showers are in the beach area.
The campground also has a public boat launch.
Nicolet Bay is also home to Peninsula's only sand swimming beach. No lifeguard is on duty. The beach area has two sand volleyball courts, playground equipment and the camp store. Boat and bike rentals are available at Nicolet Beach.
South Nicolet Bay campground
Sites: South Nicolet Bay (700-800 numbered campsites) has 143 sites; 54 have electricity. Sites 805-814 are not reservable. A campground host is at 783E.
Services: South Nicolet Bay campground has two hot water, shower and flush toilet facilities. A public boat launch is located at North Nicolet Bay.
Nicolet Bay is also home to Peninsula's only sand swimming beach. No lifeguard is on duty. The beach area has two sand volleyball courts, playground equipment and the Camp Store. Boat and bike rentals are available at Nicolet Beach.
Tennison Bay campground
Sites: Tennison Bay (campsites numbered in the 200s, 300s and 400s) has 188 sites; 97 are electric. All sites are reservable. Sites 322E and 324E have been designated for people with disabilities. A campground host is at site 323E.
Services: Two hot water showerand flush toilet buildings are centrally located in Tennison Bay. One is fully accessible. Three flush toilet buildings without showers are located throughout the campground. A play area with new equipment is north of the camping area. Tennison Bay also has a boat launch for canoes and kayaks. The overflow parking area for camping parties is next to the kayak launch. No Swimming. The closest beach is one mile from Tennison Bay, at Nicolet Bay Beach.
Winter camping: A portion of Tennison Bay remains open for winter camping. Services available for winter camping are electrical hookups, fresh (cold) water and vault toilets.
Weborg Point campground
Sites: 12 sites; all are electric and reservable. This campground does not have a campground host.
Services: One hot water shower and flush toilet building, completely accessible. A fully accessible concrete fishing pier is west of the campground.
Shelter: The shelter next to the campground is reservable. It is completely enclosed and has 30-amp electrical outlets, lights and a fireplace. Firewood can be purchased on a limited basis at the Wood Yard on Bluff Road.
Welcker's Point campground
Sites: Welcker's Point has 81 family campsites. There are no electrical hookups. All sites are reservable. A campground host is at site 525E.
Services: The campground has one shower and flush toilet building and also two other flush toilet buildings.
Shelter: Welcker's Point, north of the camping area, has a reservable shelter. The shelter is completely enclosed and has fluorescent lighting and a fireplace. Firewood can be purchased at the Wood Yard on Bluff Road. There is no electrical service at this location.
Peninsula offers three group campsites: Lakeshore orchard and Meadow. All are reservable.
Only tent camping is allowed. Electric service is not available at group campsites. Vault toilets and water fountains are centrally locatedbetween the campsites. The closest hot water, shower and flush toilet facilities are at South Nicolet Bay Campground about one-half mile away. Motor vehicles are allowed only in the parking lots. One motorhome or camper may be set up in the parking lot to serve as a base of operations. This unit is restricted to storage, cooking, personal bathroom and shower only. No overnight camping is allowed in campers and motorhomes at the group camp.
Eagle Trail offers close-up views of the Niagara Escarpment. The White Cedar Nature Trail is a half-mile loop near the Nature Center. Peninsula has a total of 20 miles of hiking trails.
Birding: Weborg Point is a major migration stopover for warblers in mid-May. Peninsula's 8-mile shore often yields views of bufflehead ducks, mergansers and bald eagles. Ask for a bird checklist at park headquarters or the nature center.
Peninsula has an 18-hole golf course and a six-hole learning Short Course, managed by the Peninsula Golf Associates, a nonprofit organization. Challenging holes include a 69-yard drive straight down a 50-foot cliff. The course is open daily late-April through late-October. Amenities include a clubhouse which serves breakfast and lunch. Information and tee time reservations are available at the clubhouse (920) 854-5791.
Nicolet Beach offers a swimming area (no lifeguard provided), rental of kayaks and other watercraft, a snack bar and plenty of sand for sunbathing. For rental information, call 920-854-9220. Pets are not allowed on the mowed area or the beach but are permitted at The Pines picnic area, next to the Nicolet Beach parking lot.
Boating, canoeing and kayaking
Tour Peninsula from the water for incredible views, fine fishing and great fun. The park's eight-mile shoreline is popular with motor boats, sailboats and kayaks. A launch ramp is located at Nicolet Bay. Day-use only vehicle and trailer parking is available near the ramp. Peninsula campers have overnight trailer parking at the amphitheater lot. Kayaks often launch at Tennison Bay, which has a shallow draft.
Overnight, offshore anchoring is allowed at Horseshoe Island and in Nicolet Bay, outside of the designated swimming area and boat launch. Tie-up to ramp piers is prohibited except for launching and take-out.
Horseshoe Island, the only island that is part of Peninsula State Park, is picture perfect from Nicolet Bay. It lies about 1 mile north of Nicolet Bay. It is accessible only by boat. Engelmar Trail, a 1-mile rustic path, meanders the circumference of the 38-acre island. Camping and fires are prohibited. Visitors must carry out their own garbage.
Weborg pier is a hotspot for hooking smallmouth and rock bass or perhaps brown trout. Anglers 16 years or older must have a valid Wisconsin fishing license. A Wisconsin Great Lakes Trout stamp is required for trout fishing.
Anglers of any age may check out basic fishing equipment free of charge at the park office. This equipment was donated by the Tackle Loaner Program. Call the park office to find out what equipment is available.
Hunting and trapping
Archery hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas of the park during the Wisconsin state parks hunting and trapping time frame. At Peninsula State Park, there is a traditional 9-day muzzleloader-only gun deer hunt. There is no other gun hunting in the park. Trapping is not permitted in closed areas as noted on the park hunting map or within 100 yards of any designated use area, including trails.
Picnic areas and playgrounds
Peninsula has six picnic areas; Fish Creek (near park headquarters), Nelson Point, Nicolet Beach, Eagle Terrace, Weborg Point and Welcker's Point. These areas have tables, charcoal grills and toilets. The grills are charcoal grills that you provide your own charcoal. Water and flush toilets are available at some of the picnic areas (typically May 1-October 31). Welcker's and Weborg picnic areas also have indoor shelters with fireplaces (wood not provided). Dogs are not allowed at any picnic areas or in shelters. Leashed dogs are allowed in the Pines area near Nicolet Beach.
Volleyball: Two regulation size, sand volleyball courts are at Nicolet Bay Beach. Nets are provided, but bring your own volleyball.
Tennis: Peninsula offers a single paved tennis court, across from the Skyline parking lot.
Playgrounds: There are activity centers at Tennison Bay campground and Nicolet Bay Beach. Slides and swings are also available at the Fish Creek picnic area.
Classic skiing: Peninsula has 16 miles of groomed, mostly double tracked ski trails. Designed to run one way, these trails are color-coded and vary from easy to difficult. Pets, hiking and snowshoeing are not allowed on ski trails. A warming house near Lot 5 on Highland Road is open in winter. Ski trails are groomed and tracked as conditions permit. Skate skiing: Skaters have access to six miles of trails groomed for both classical and skate skiing. Hilly topography makes the skate trails more difficult. Each skier age 16 and older must have a state trail pass to use any of the Peninsula ski trails.
Peninsula offers six miles of designated snowshoe and hiking trails in the winter. These trails traverse some of the most peaceful and remote regions of the park. Snowshoe trails are not groomed. Snowshoeing and hiking are not allowed on any of the ski or snowmobile trails. All snowshoe trails are marked with a green sign with a pink reflective dot.
Anglers hook perch, walleye and trout while ice fishing near Peninsula State Park. Ice conditions vary and change rapidly. Exercise extreme caution while ice fishing. Wisconsin fishing licenses are required.
Peninsula has 17 miles of scenic snowmobile trails. Snowmobiles are allowed only on marked trails. Maximum speed limit is 25 mph on park property. Snowmobiles must be registered and have registration decals displayed. Any snowmobiles registered outside the state of Wisconsin must have a nonresident snowmobile pass. All snowmobile laws are strictly enforced.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails.
Sledding and tubing
The number 17 fairway at the park golf course is a favorite sledding spot. The hill is steep. Adults must supervise children at all times. Toboggans are not allowed.