WI- Peninsula State Park

Chilidog

Active Member
Aug 27, 2011
148
By far one of the best of the Wisconsin State parks.

Great trails, beach, etc.

Tennison Bay campground has some nice private sites. you can walk out the canoe launch area and watch the sunset over the strawberry islands.

Door county can get a bit touristy, but it is fun.


You can go to whitefish dunes state park on the Michigan side and take the dogs for a swim.
 

ex-tenters

Super Active Member
Jan 24, 2010
781
One of our favorite places to go.

Great hiking and biking. Plus the theater in the park shouldn't be missed!

We usually like to camp at Nicolet Bay, although we've stayed in Welcker's many times with the tent.

The trip from the Chicago area can be a bit tiring at times - heavy traffic.

Lots to see and do in Door County.

One of the best times to visit is mid-September - this also best for the wide variety of apples at the roadside stands.

Great facilities - we've only 'dry camped', but are looking forward to the electrical upgrades.

WL
 

rccs

Active Member
Mar 16, 2003
139
One of our favorite campgrounds also. Try to get there at least once a year. Usually camp in Tennison Bay. Like to get an electric site when possible but hard to get much of the time so we take what we can get.
 

ghacker

Super Active Member
Nov 8, 2009
3,437
Haven't been there for a long time but it is a great SP. We've favored Devils Lake and Governor Dodge the last few yrs. Must be as popular as ever. DW just told me last week she wanted to do the Door County thing so I tried to get reservations. Every single site is taken for the weeks I've checked (July & Aug.) so looks like we're going to a private CG. Guess you have to book early in the 11 month window just like DL, especially if you want a specific site.

Any recommendations on a private CG in the area? Plan to do Peninsula and Washington Is. for starters.
 

rccs

Active Member
Mar 16, 2003
139
Have you ever checked out Potawatomi State Park by Sturgeon Bay? Very nice park also. Does not seem to fill up as fast as Peninsula. There are a lot of private campgrounds in Door County also but I don't know much about them because we only camp at state and county parks, much quieter and more peaceful. You can check out doorcounty.com to get more information.
 

Chilidog

Active Member
Aug 27, 2011
148
The Jellystone up there is very laid back. The only drawback is that it is just south of sturgeon bay.
 

Lisa0nly

Lifelong Camper
Aug 5, 2011
1,953
SE Wisconsin
We camped in Door County last summer. Unable to get into Penisula, happened upon a really nice PCG. Try Bailey's Harbor Campground. Great spot, reasonable, family run and centrally located on the island. FWIW, Door County is an island, made so when the Sturgeon Bay canal was cut.

Swimming in lake Michigan in Bailey's Harbor was nice in a very small community park. They have online reserves too.
 

Bullfrog Bheer

Super Active Member
Feb 19, 2010
2,944
Central Wisconsin
We camped at Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay a couple years ago. Very nice CG. We stayed as far back in as you could get and had a small loop and shower almost to ourselves. Our only complaint would be the water smells less than ideal.
 

Dan Wilson

Active Member
Jan 30, 2019
306
Appleton, WI
Potawatomie State Park is just 20 miles down the road from Peninsula State Park and has beautiful sites, and is nice and quiet. Situated on the shipping canal across from Sturgeon Bay, lots of things to do in Sturgeon Bay and great seafood restaurants. There is a beach on the canal and there is also a municipal swim beach a couple of miles outside the park. You can usually get a site here when Peninsula is booked up.
 

nineoaks2004

Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday
Oct 15, 2006
8,241
Dukes, Fl
I wish it were closer to Fl. as it sounds like a great place to have adventures and make memories and I would sure like to try it out. But my favorites in Fl. have a lot going for them and most have great fishing.
 

neighbormike

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 6, 2012
3,829
WI
Door County and Peninsula State Park is gorgeous but incredibly busy (over run with tourists and out of state summer residents)... Its only a couple hours from my home but haven't been there in years. I do have many fond memories of camping with my folks there!
 

BigAl

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 22, 2019
143
Wisconsin
Just stayed at Peninsula over Memorial Day - I was amazed last February that a double site was available, so I booked it. We stayed in the Tennison Bay campground, and our sites were on the outside loop of the campground with no one behind us. Drawback was these sites have no hookups, but this was our first trip with the PUP so we didn't miss having hookups anyways (battery ran the lights and the furnace in the PUP fine for 3 nights we were there). Kids had free range of the woods behind our site.

Sites are decent-sized, and privacy varies with distance from site to site as well as vegetation between sites. Out site had a definite slope away from the road and was muddy from the wet spring, but it wasn't a swamp. Bathroom and shower facilities were clean and functional, but they're not new and they see a lot of use.

Park has lots of hiking and biking trails. We hit up the small nature center one day with the kids, which they enjoyed. There's a decent beach but Lake Michigan isn't the best for swimming in May unless you like 50 degree water. Good frozen custard stop just outside the park entrance in Fish Creek.
 

Andy G.

Member
Sep 2, 2017
88
WI
Just back from Peninsula State Park, and it is my new favorite. Big sites and quiet. One tip though: watch out for the poison ivy- it is EVERYWHERE. Bathrooms are worn out, but they keep them as clean as possible. Lots to do in the area, and there is a vintage drive-in movie theater right outside the park.
 

hayyward

Active Member
Sep 16, 2006
297
Packerland
I've stayed at the Wagon Trail Campground in Ellison Bay which is very well run with every convenience including laundry facilities. Big campground, the higher numbered perimeter sites are the most private.

I highly recommend the Sunday brunch at Rowleys Bay and the lighthouse tour with Shoreline Charters out of Gills Rock.
 

BigAl

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 22, 2019
143
Wisconsin
Just back from Peninsula State Park, and it is my new favorite. Big sites and quiet. One tip though: watch out for the poison ivy- it is EVERYWHERE. Bathrooms are worn out, but they keep them as clean as possible. Lots to do in the area, and there is a vintage drive-in movie theater right outside the park.
I was just talking to my cousin this weekend who works for the State of Wisconsin - there are plans moving forward to begin replacing many of the bathroom facilities in the park because Peninsula makes money for the state park system. Good new for the popular parks like Peninsula, Devil's Lake, and Kohler-Andre, but not so much for the less popular parks as investments for those parks will be cut back to focus on the money making parks.

That said, of my 20+ years of visiting the WI state parks, I can only think of 1 or 2 places where I felt they had let the park deteriorate too far. The vast majority are well kept and nice, even if they're a bit old.
 

Andy G.

Member
Sep 2, 2017
88
WI
I was just talking to my cousin this weekend who works for the State of Wisconsin - there are plans moving forward to begin replacing many of the bathroom facilities in the park because Peninsula makes money for the state park system. Good new for the popular parks like Peninsula, Devil's Lake, and Kohler-Andre, but not so much for the less popular parks as investments for those parks will be cut back to focus on the money making parks.

That said, of my 20+ years of visiting the WI state parks, I can only think of 1 or 2 places where I felt they had let the park deteriorate too far. The vast majority are well kept and nice, even if they're a bit old.
Glad to hear about this. Just curious- What parks are the less popular parks? Maybe I need to check them out.
 

BigAl

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 22, 2019
143
Wisconsin
This is from 2013, but it's probably not too far off - https://madison.com/ct/news/local/e...cle_3db1d1ee-4267-5c65-b853-a7346e6a6b8f.html

5 least profitable: Interstate, Havenwoods (no camping & no admission fees), Kettle Moraine North, Wildcat Mountain, Lakeshore (no camping & no admission fees). I'd recommend Kettle Moraine North and Wildcat Mountain - I've tent camped at both of them and they both have plenty to see and do.
 

Andy G.

Member
Sep 2, 2017
88
WI




Top