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Jackson Harbor Ridges

No. 110


Photo by Josh Mayer


Situated on Washington Island off the tip of the Door Peninsula, Jackson Harbor Ridges contains several coastal plant communities and an exceptionally rich flora of rare and uncommon plants. The topography is undulating with areas of dry to moist sand ridges and low, wet swales. Twelve ridges and swales are evident, the result of former Lake Michigan water levels. The swales contain an unusual plant community that prefers wet calcareous soils. Characteristic species here are Kalm's lobelia, shrubby cinquefoil, bladderworts and several sedges.

The 9-acre beach gradually grades into drier dunes, which are stabilized with drought-tolerant species such as creeping juniper, bearberry, and sand coreopsis. Behind the dunes is a mixed conifer-hardwood forest of red and white pines, white cedar, balsam fir, and American beech. The point at the entrance to Jackson Harbor is a sand spit that attracts gulls, terns, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Jackson Harbor Ridges are owned by the Town of Washington and were designated a State Natural Area in 1973.

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the Maps tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

The good majority of SNAs are isolated and have few or no facilities. Some SNAs have vehicle access lanes or parking lots, but their accessibility may vary depending on weather conditions. Parking lots and lanes are not plowed during winter. Hiking trails may be nonexistent or consist of undeveloped footpaths. A GPS unit or compass and a detailed topographic map are useful tools for exploring larger SNAs.

Non-DNR lands

Entrance fees: For non-DNR-owned SNAs, we are unaware of any vehicle or admission fees. However, please contact the landowner for more information.

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR-owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the landowner. Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the Resources tab.

Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.


On Washington Island, Door County. T34N-R30E, Section 27, SW¼; Section 28, SE¼. 67 acres.

Driving directions

From the ferry landing on Washington Island, Door County, go north on Losdells Point Road (County W) for 1.8 miles, then continue north on Main Road for 2.6 miles, then go east and north on Jackson Harbor Road for 3.9 miles to a parking area at the Jackson Harbor Ridges town park on the right.

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities.

Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details. The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries. To create your custom map where you can zoom to a specific location, please use the DNR's Mapping Application.

Property Map [PDF]

Jackson Harbor Ridges is owned by: Town of Washington