While the winter may not seem like the time of year to escape to Wisconsin, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Baileys Harbor comes alive in the winters as the premier place to go exploring. Door County winters are far less busy than the summers so there’s no wait list to get in for your favorite Friday fish fry, no congested hiking trails, and virtually no traffic.

Baileys Harbor boasts over 6,000 acres of public land that stays open year round. Imagine wandering through a prehistoric forest hearing nothing but your own foot steps and the charming calls of native birds. Close your eyes and catch a snow flake on your tongue or walk the shores of Lake Michigan at one of our public beaches. Not fast enough for you? Cruise the peninsula on miles of groomed snowmobile trails through fields, forests, and along the shore.

The Ridges Sanctuary and Toft’s Point Natural Area boast some of the densest populations of native species in the county. Some of the trees along the trails are several hundred years old. Keep an eye out for Bald Eagles as they are year round residents of these spots. The trails in Toft’s Point are perfect for cross country skiing, snowshoeing or hiking through a historic homestead. Please remember to “Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints!”

Be sure to make your way up here for  Door County Pond Hockey Tournament, the second weekend in February. This weekend started in 2014 as a way for the locals to get out and beat cabin fever and have become the greatest way to enjoy Kangaroo Lake’s ice, great food, ice cold drinks and all the socializing & fun you can ask for, these events are a must see!

Snowmobiling is a great way to explore Baileys Harbor and the rest of the county. Many of the towns have snowmobile access to local restaurants and bars. Stop in, grab some hot food, and then hit the trails again! You’ll go for miles without seeing another group of sleds.

Our lighthouses may be closed for tours, but you can still access two of them to explore the grounds. Cana Island Lighthouse  stands over 80 feet above the shores of Lake Michigan about seven miles north of town. Although it technically is on an island, there is a man made causeway to it providing year round access. Explore the grounds and take in the picturesque panoramas of Lake Michigan. If you stand quietly, you can hear the ice popping and cracking. This place is great for explorers searching for a maritime experience or even a romantic place to make memories.

Travelling with kids? The Ridges Sanctuary’s trails have guided and independent hikes with signage explaining many of the key points. Who doesn’t love a great sledding hill! Hill 17 in Peninsula State Park is a perfect spot to tire out a stir crazy crew of kids. The weather not cooperating? Have no fear! The McArdle Library is a perfect spot to spend a less than sunny day discovering new adventures from the comfort of a reading chair.

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We know you can’t spend all of your time exploring so be sure to stop by some of the local restaurants and shops that are staying open! If you can’t find it in Baileys Harbor, we are just a few minute drive from many of the other communities.