Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin is full of variety and beauty. When you visit in your RV, you’ll find many impressive bluffs, coastal wetlands, mysterious forests, and pretty meadows.
The park is known for its bluffs, which reach 150 feet into the air, allowing for some impressive views from the top. The meadows in the area used to belong to family farms, but have been abandoned for over 50 years. In fact, until recently, people have inhabited the areas of the park for thousands of years. The land for Peninsula State Park was bought in 1909 for only $20 an acre, but wasn’t officially established as a state park by Wisconsin until 1910. Today, many people come to the park simply for the wonderful sights. There are many spots to watch sunsets, including the impressive overlooks. You can even visit historical burial sites and the Memorial Pole where the last chief of the Potawatomi Nation lies. Not to mention all of the activities here in the park as well. When you bring your RV to Peninsula State Park, just a few things you can enjoy include hiking, biking, swimming, boating, golfing, and even live comedy shows in the summer. Summers are the best time to visit, as the temperatures reach up into the 70's - the highest of the year.
RV Rentals in Peninsula State Park
Transportation in Peninsula State Park
Getting to the park is easy. Head north on Highway 42 and you’ll end up at the park. If you go too far, you'll just arrive at the end of the peninsula that gives the park its name. Once inside the park, there are no driving restrictions that you’ll need to worry about, even if you’ve brought a fairly large RV to travel in.
There are lots of parking lots located all within the park. RVs are allowed at most day-use parking lots, but they ask that you don’t park them at the beach parking lots. There is overflow parking available if parking becomes limited as the park gets more crowded. If you're planning on camping at the park, the easiest option is to set up your RV at a campsite and head out on foot or take your car through the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Peninsula State Park
Campsites in Peninsula State Park
North Nicolet Bay Campground
Peninsula State Park is one of the most popular places to come camping in Wisconsin. That is why there are so many options, and also why reservations are required if you want to bring your RV. North Nicolet Bay Campground does allow for RV camping, but does not have any electric hookups. What you will find here though is water, showers, and flush toilets nearby. There is also a boat launch right at the campground, so it’s the perfect place to stay if you’ve brought your boat with you and want easy access to the water. There are 44 total campsites, which is a bit smaller than some of the other campgrounds. But you’ll have access to the beach area and the boat launch. RV size restrictions vary from site to site.
South Nicolet Bay Campground
There are 143 sites here at South Nicolet Bay Campground. Most of these site are reservable, but 25 of them are not. Not all of the sites have electricity either, but there are 54 sites that do. This includes 20, 30, and 50 amp hookups. Just like at North Nicolet Bay, you’ll have access to the beach area, although you’ll have to use the boat launch at North Nicolet Bay if you brought your boat. You’ll also have access to water, showers, and flush toilets.
Tennison Bay Campground
This campground is the largest with the most sites to choose from. There are 188 total sites, and 97 of these have electricity including 20, 30, and 50 amp hookups. There are also two sites that are designated for people with disabilities. This is the only campground here that has camping options available in the winter as well. All the other campgrounds close, and much of this one closes too. In the winter, you’ll still have electricity, water, and vault toilets. In the summer, you can use the boat launch here that’s for canoes and kayaks, and you’ll have access to showers and flush toilets.
This campground is the smallest, but may be the best campground for RV campers. There are only 12 sites located here, but each one has electric hookups. There are showers and flush toilets available, and there is even a concrete fishing pier not far off.
This campground has 81 sites to choose from, but none of them have electric hookups. The sites are very family geared though, so if you’re coming on a family vacation and don’t mind going without hookups, this campground can be a great option. There is one shower building that also has flush toilets, and there are two other flush toilet buildings in the campground.
South Nicolet Campground
There are 25 sites that are not reservable and are first-come, first-served only here at South Nicolet Campground. Out of these 25, three have electric hookups. These limited sites have the same amenities as the rest of the campground - showers, water, and flush toilets are available, and there is access to the beach.
If you would prefer to leave the RV behind for this trip, there are plenty of tent camping options available at all of the campgrounds. There are even a few shelters available as well. Peninsula State park is one of the most popular places to come camping in Wisconsin, and there are hundreds of camping spots to choose from.
Seasonal activities in Peninsula State Park
There are 20 miles of hiking trails at Peninsula State Park and with easy, moderate, and difficult trail, there's a great experience available for all. The Eagle Trail and White Cedar Nature Trail are two of the most popular. The Eagle Trail will give you a close-up of the Niagara Escarpment, and the White Cedar Nature Trail will bring you near the nature center.
Biking can be a great way to get some exercise and see the park at the same time. You can take the Sunset Bike Route for 10 miles of beautiful forest scenery and also see Sven’s Bluff, a popular attraction. If you’re looking for something a little rugged, there are 12 miles of off-road trails you can try. Just be sure to get a trail pass before you head out and be prepared - these paths can be a bit more difficult.
Northern Sky Theater
From mind-June to late August, the Northern Sky Theater puts on a comedy show here at the park. Go see what it’s all about and enjoy a fun night filled with acting and singing. The best part is that these shows are specifically geared towards the whole family, so it’s something that everyone can enjoy.
Here at Peninsula State Park, you’ll find 8 miles of shoreline to gain access to the water of Lake Michigan. If you're looking to take your boat out, there is a boat launch located at Nicolet Bay. If you’ve brought your kayak or canoe, the best place to head out is at Tennison Bay, where the water is a little more shallow. You can also rent a canoe or kayak if didn't bring your own.
In the summer when the weather is the warmest, swimming can be a lot of fun. Here at the park, there is an area set up just for swimming at Nicolet Beach. Just be aware that there is no lifeguard on duty, so you’ll be swimming at your own risk.
If you’re visiting in the winter but still want to go hiking, try snowshoeing. There are six miles of trails specifically set up for snowshoeing. These trails are not groomed, which may prove the trails to be little more challenging. Luckily, you won’t be sharing these trails with skiers or snowmobilers.
There are 16 miles of ski trails here in the park, and as they are for skiers only; you won’t have to worry about sharing the track with hikers or snowshoers. Most of the trails are also well kept and double tracked as well. Whether you’re new to skiing or an expert, you’ll be able to find a trail that works for you, as the routes here range in difficulty level.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go snowmobiling here on the 17 miles of scenic trails that have been designated for snowmobiling only. There are a lot of rules you’ll need to follow if you want to come snowmobiling, though. Be sure to read up before you head out. The maximum speed limit in the park is 25 mph, and you’ll need to be registered or have a snowmobile pass.
The first thing you’ll need before going ice fishing here is a fishing license. After that, you can go ice fishing, at your own risk. Be sure to check weather conditions and make sure the ice is thick enough. Just a few of the fish that you might be able to catch is trout, perch, and walleye.
Sledding & Tubing
Sledding and tubing can be very fun and exciting for people of all ages. One of the most popular spots here is the number 17 fairway at the golf course located right in the park. The hill is pretty steep though, so take precautions and watch your children carefully.