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Winter Recreation

Whitefish Dunes State Park

When there's snow, the Red, Yellow and Yellow Spur trails, and a portion of the Green Trail are groomed and can be used for cross-country skiing. The beach and Black, Whitefish Creek Spur, Clark Lake Spur, Winter and Brachiopod trails, and a portion of the Green Trail are open for snowshoeing.

Park staff do not monitor ice conditions on the lakes. Be extremely cautious of ice conditions at all times. Ice on Lake Michigan off our park’s shoreline is never safe to walk on.

Snowshoeing Trails


The park has 1.5 miles of sandy beach. The beach shoreline is a great place to walk, view the dunes and enjoy the water of Lake Michigan. Beach accesses are not maintained in winter. Use at your own risk.

BLACK TRAIL (2.1 miles)

The Black Trail is 2.1 miles long but also has a shorter loop (1.2 miles) 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.


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


The Clark Lake Spur Trail extends to the shore of Clark Lake from the North Green Trail.


The Winter Trail loop starts and ends at the Red Pine parking lot. Wander through parts of the Red Pine plantation and the open back-dune prairie.


Hike and learn about the history, 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. The trail gets its name from fossil remains of clam-like brachiopods that 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 a Leopold bench and listen to songs of the Ovenbird and American Redstart.
  • Spend time on the boardwalk observing the wildlife and interacting with nature.
  • 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 monument 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.


The North Green trail starts near the nature center and then crosses Hwy WD through a lowland area that supports the growth of white pine and hemlock trees. Complete a hiking loop by crossing Hwy WD near Dunes Park Rd. and head down the Third Beach access to hiking back to the nature center along the beach.

Cross-country skiing trails

South Green Trail (1.0 mile)

The South Green Trail starts at the western intersection with the Yellow Trail. It travels along a forested old dune featuring beech and maple trees.

Red Trail (2.4 miles)

The Red Trail is 2.4 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. The boardwalk is not maintained in winter. Use at your own risk.

Yellow Trail (2.2 miles)

The Yellow Trail starts at the Red Pine parking lot. It goes through a cool, quiet, red pine plantation, a back-dune prairie, and then back through a wooded dune area.

Yellow Spur Trail (0.6 miles)

The Yellow Spur Trail creates a small detour around a portion of the west Yellow Trail through a forested dune landscape.