The Islands surrounding the Door County Peninsula make this area a boater’s dream. Drop anchor in a cove, and take a swim or drop a line. Of course, no visit to Door County would be complete without a trip to our most famous island, Washington Island. Ferry across the Death’s Door straits to an enchanting land of art, history, folklore and recreation. And don’t miss Door County's northernmost State Park, Rock Island. Accessible only by boat, there are no vehicles allowed on the island, making it the perfect spot to truly get away from it all.
The Cana Island Lighthouse, built in 1869 and automated in 1944, is an active navigational aid. Thanks to painters and photographers, it also is Door County's most recognizable lighthouse and one of the peninsula's most identifiable landmarks. Located just off shore, the lighthouse grounds can be reached by wading across a causeway. The keeper’s house is off limits to visitors, except during the Door County Maritime Museum Lighthouse Walk, held during the third weekend in May.
The island’s lighthouse was built in 1858 and automated in 1961. Normally not accessible to visitors, the lighthouse is reachable by special boat tours during the Lighthouse Walk, held the third weekend in May.
This privately held island guards the entrance to Washington Island’s Detroit Harbor. Local history has it that the island was a hideout for the Indians on Rock Island when they were under attack by marauding tribes. Your best chance to see Detroit Island is when you pass by on the ferry ride to Washington Island.
Named for its shape, Hat Island is located due west of Peninsula Players Road, to the northwest of Juddville Bay, and provides a scenic foreground for the sunsets enjoyed by Peninsula Players’ patrons. The privately owned island also is a favorite with seagulls and terns that nest there.
Hog Island is a National Wildlife Refuge and a nesting ground for seagulls and terns.
It is located off the eastern shores of Washington Island and is visible from Percy Johnson Memorial County Park.
Also named for its distinctive shape, Horseshoe Island lies two miles offshore from (and is administered as part of) Peninsula State Park. The island is a favorite anchoring spot for boaters who often wade ashore with picnic lunches.
Located off the southeastern tip of Detroit Island, Pilot Island got its name from its importance to early navigators of the Death’s Door passage. The island is visible from North Port and from the ferry to Washington Island. The Pilot Island lighthouse, built in 1858 and automated in 1962, is also part of the Door County Maritime Museum Lighthouse Walk, held the third weekend in May.
Part of the Grand Traverse Islands chain, Plum Island is the site of a Coast Guard station and the Plum Island lighthouse range lights. The island lies in the middle of the Death’s Door straits that separate the peninsula from Washington Island.
Rock Island was discovered by Robert LaSalle in 1679. This 906-acre island is located one mile northeast of Jackson Harbor, Washington Island and is one of Door County’s five state parks. Rock Island features ten miles of hiking trails as well as camping, swimming and fishing. It is the site of Wisconsin’s oldest lighthouse as well as Thordarson great hall and boathouse.
This pair of small, uninhabited islands gave Sister Bay its name and are located due north of the Sister Bay marina. The islands are owned by the state of Wisconsin.
Spider and Gravel Islands
Located east of Newport State Park, these tiny islands provide nesting opportunities for shorebirds and resting spots for migrating birds. Gravel Island is the northern island, visible from the shores of Europe Bay, while Spider Island lies south of Newport Bay.
The observation tower at Peninsula State Park provides a great view of these four small islands, clustered to the southwest of the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and east of Chambers Island. The privately owned islands are named Adventure, Jack, Pirate and Little Strawberry.
The largest of Door County’s islands is located at the tip of the Door County peninsula. A ferry across the Death’s Door straits leads you to an enchanting land of art, history, folklore and recreation.