We both work full time and value our summer weekends, so when we are out traveling Wisconsin, we try to experience as much as possible in a short amount of time without compromising on the value of that experience.
Sometimes, we'll drive through a park just to get a feel for it. When we find a park that we just have to explore more, we'll plan a trip back that allows for more time to check it out.
This was the case with Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay, WI. We love Door County and try to visit there at least a few times every year. The first time we went to Potawatomi, I had a terrible cold, it was freezing outside, and the tower had just been removed. Despite this, I knew it was a park that I wanted to explore in the summertime. The birch trees were beautiful and the park is located right on the water.
This past weekend, we decided to make Potawatomi our "featured park," with time built in to say a brief "hello" to other favorite Door County Parks and then to explore another new park.
Next, we drove up HWY 42 through Ellison Bay and to the remote Newport State Park. It was a gorgeous day on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Aside from a few people and some really cute dogs, there weren't too many braving the cool waters.
Every time we visit Newport, there is a unique sculpture in the water. This time did not disappoint.
After an afternoon wading and hiking at Newport, we drove down the "quiet side" of Door County to where we were staying in Sturgeon Bay. We enjoyed some pizza at Sonny's Pizzeria, and witnessed the drawbridge go up and down for sailboats. Then, we watched the sunset from the appropriately named "Sunset Park".
The following morning, we grabbed some coffee in Sturgeon Bay before driving the short distance to Potawatomi State Park.
This park is so much bigger than we expected. Overlooking the waters of Sturgeon Bay, this park is absolutely stunning and features several hiking trails varying from easy to challenging.
There is a popular boat launch here, too, and it was fun watching the different boats enter the water and cruise out for some fun or fishing.
Potawatomi hosts the eastern terminus trailhead for the famous Ice Age State Trail, which crisscrosses across Wisconsin. Kind of neat!
After a morning exploring Potawatomi, we headed south on HWY 42 through beautiful Wisconsin countryside before arriving at Point Beach State Forest.
The DNR worker in the office was super helpful in outlining the ideal trails, which are well maintained and wide. We couldn't wait to get to the beach and headed there right away before doing some hiking.
From the beach, you can see the Rawley Point Lighthouse (on private property). The Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant is also nearby - just north of the park. One swimmer commented to us that they thought the water was warmer on that end of the beach. Maybe it was...
We definitely recommend checking out some of these beautiful Wisconsin beaches!