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Whitefish Dunes State Park

Whitefish Dunes State Park has 14.5 miles of hiking trails. Please do not climb on the sand dunes and stay on the park's designated trails and stairs to protect the rare plant and animal species that call Whitefish Dunes home.

Hiking trails


The park has 1.5 miles of sandy beach. The beach shoreline is a great place to walk, view the sand dunes and enjoy the water of Lake Michigan.

Black trail (2.5 miles)

The Black trail is 2.5 miles long but also has a shorter loop available. The trail takes hikers through a forest of mixed hardwoods and many exposed rocks. The dolomitic limestone bedrock near the surface is part of the Niagara Escarpment which underlies all of Door County and forms the rock ledges of nearby Cave Point.

Brachiopod trail (1.5 miles)

Hike and learn about the plants and animals of Whitefish Dunes. This 1.5-mile interpretive trail will introduce you to some of the treasures this special area has to offer. Follow Byron, the brachiopod, on his adventure along the interpretive trail. Byron represents a one-footed clam-like creature that lived here millions of years ago. Fossil remains of brachiopods and other fossils of that era can be found throughout Door County.

  • Walk out onto the rock shelf shore to enjoy one of the most beautiful views in all of Wisconsin.
  • Rest on the Leopold bench and listen for songs of the ovenbird and American redstart.
  • Watch for signs of the white-tailed deer in the forest.
  • The steep forested dunes in this area are the highest dunes on the western shore of Lake Michigan.

The trail begins at a fossil rock wall near the shore in the picnic area. It is intended to be accessible for all people, but weather and terrain variations may cause some sections to be difficult. People using mobility aids may need some assistance to complete the 1.5-mile loop.

Brachiopod trail [PDF]

Clark Lake Spur trail (0.7 miles)

The Clark Lake Spur trail extends to the shore of Clark Lake from the Green/Yellow trail.

Green trail (1.8 miles)

The Green trail travels along a forested old dune, through a lowland area that supports the growth of white pine and hemlock trees and back through a beech-maple forest.

Red trail (2.8 miles)

The Red trail is 2.8 miles long but also has a shorter loop available. The trail takes hikers to "Old Baldy," the tallest dune in the park, which rises 93 feet above lake level. Old Baldy has an observation platform, for views of Lake Michigan and Clark Lake. A boardwalk and stairs lead to the top.

Red Pine trail (0.25 miles)

Hike this 0.25-mile loop and see how the pine plantation has changed through time.

Whitefish Creek Spur trail (1.0 mile)

From the Yellow trail, the Whitefish Creek Spur trail leads to a small creek with the soothing sound of water trickling over stones.

Yellow trail (4.2 miles)

The Yellow trail branches off the Green trail at its farthest point. From the dune area, the Yellow trail goes through a cool, quiet, red pine plantation and then back through a wooded dune area.