Photo by Joshua Mayer
Situated on an isthmus of sand between the south end of Kangaroo Lake and Lake Michigan, Meridian Park contains a diverse set of natural features characteristic of Door County including dolomite outcroppings and escarpment, sand ridge and swale complex, forested dune, alkaline marsh, and sedge meadow.
Of note is the 10-to-15-foot high ledge of rock outcrop, part of the Niagara Escarpment, which chronicles the weathering effects of Lake Michigan waves in ancient times. This area is an important habitat for rare land snails and ferns living in the tiny, damp grottos of moss and dolomite. Other natural features are the mile-long 50-to-60 feet high dunes forested with a mature northern mesic forest of hemlock, sugar maple, and yellow birch.
Canopy associates include beech, red maple, white cedar, and a few super-canopy white pines. The shrub layer is composed primarily of Canada yew, a declining species in Wisconsin due to deer browse. Also present is a series of dry sandy ridges alternating with lower wet swales that tell the story of the receding shoreline of Lake Michigan. In 2006, The Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy donated a forty-acre parcel to the county. The park was then legally dedicated as a State Natural Area, the highest form of land protection in the state. Meridian Park is owned by Door County and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.
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. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map. 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.
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
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.
Door County. T29N-R27E, Sections 1, 12. 174 acres.
From the intersection of County F and Highway 57 in Baileys Harbor, go south on 57 4.1 miles to a wayside west of the road.
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.
Meridian Park is owned by: Door County