Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort     8151 Ridges Road Baileys Harbor, Door County WI    Reservations: 800-927-2492

Recreation

Sunsets over Baileys Harbor

Sailboat at Sunset

Sailboat at Sunset

One of the Advantages of staying at Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort is catching the wonderful Sunset over Baileys Harbor without having to cross any roads or carrying anything to sit on. All you have to do is walk out to the harbor and grab one of the many accessible chairs or picnic tables. If you have a bay side room it’s even easier, open the sliding glass door and step out onto your patio or deck.

We generally visit it August and that means the sunsets about 7:00 pm, give or take a couple minutes depending on the time you visit. On the nights we don’t go out for dinner we grab one of the resort gas grills around 5:30 pm and eat bout 6:30 pm, giving us enough time to pop some corn (Koepsel’s Farm Market, located on Highway 57, has a good locally grown selection of popping corn if you did not bring any), grab a glass of wine or hot chocolate and head out to the harbor and grab some Adirondack chairs. It’s really relaxing to watch the seagulls and dragon flies hover around and listen to the waves lap on the rocks.

Since Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort is on the Lake side of the peninsula you are not going to see the sun set into Green Bay. Instead it sets into the wooded town of Baileys Harbor giving off a unique show of light as it sinks into the trees. After the sun sets we hangout for another 10-20 minutes before heading back to the room. We like to watch the sky turn to dark blue and then to purple and finally to black. If you sit quietly long enough there is a chance you will see a bat or two chasing the last dragon flies of the evening.

Sunset over Baileys Harbor

Sunset over Baileys Harbor

After sunset we head back to the room and throw in a movie and watch the first half before hitting pause and head back out to the harbor to do some star gazing. When the moon is new you will see a great number of stars. The Big and Little Dipper are clear in the night sky as well as Orion and Cassiopeia, constellations that are bit more challenging to see from the Chicago lit sky where we live.

The Perseids meteor shower is in August and is one of the years best meteor showers, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Other summer meteor showers include Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower in May and the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower in July.

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Sunrise from Toft Point State Natural Area

It’s about 6:00 am in early August and from our condo balcony I can see the sky is turning from black to purple and the stars are beginning to fade. I shake my wife and my son and say “come on, it’s time to go if we are going to make the sunrise.” Reluctantly they get up and throw on some jeans and sweatshirts. I grab some granola bars and head to the lobby for a couple cups of coffee to go.

Toft Point State Natural Area

Cana Island from Toft Point State Natural Area

We jump into the car and head to the end of ridges road and then take a left on the gravel road and follow it to the end where there is a loop and pull off and park on the west side of the road. There is a small trail head here were we hike through a short overgrown area that open up into a patio of large rocks, shrubs and flowers. From here Moonlight Bay and the Cana Island Lighthouse start to become visible in the early morning light.

There are some nice flat rock on the shore and we unroll a couple towels set out the granola bars and find a place to set the coffee where it won’t spill. It’s now 6:20 am am and the purple sky is changing to blue and the last stars begin to fade away. In the distance I can see a charter fishing boat motoring out to catch their limit of Salmon and an occasional flock of birds flying Southwest.

Sunrise from Toft Point State Natural Area

Sunrise from Toft Point State Natural Area

Then it happens, the Lake Michigan waves begin to burn red/white as the rising sun glows through the breaking waves before it rises above the horizon. My wife, son and I sit quietly watching as the top of the sun  begins to climb above water line. Waves are breaking on the rock beach every couple seconds and the seagulls can be heard in the distance and in about 90 seconds the sun is up shining radiantly.

Before heading back to the condo we explore a couple rock formations, trying not to get wet. After about 20 minutes we gather our belongings and head back to the path that leads us to our car. We will return here later in the week for a longer hike along the rocks but we will ride our bikes next time. We only take the car when we want to make the sunrise. Biking Ridges Road offers several opportunities to pull off to the side and go for hike and explore the rocky water front around Toft Point and Baileys Harbor.. Check out the some history on the area and 2-3 mile hike that you can do from Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort.

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Peninsula State Park: Sunset Bike Ride

There are a great number of activities at Peninsula State Park and I think the Sunset Bike route is a good choice for novice and intermediate riders. The Sunset route is 9.6 mile ride and plenty of  places to stop and snack. I would allow 3-4 hours to do the loop and have lunch at Nicolet beach.

Peninsula State Park, Nicolet Beach

Peninsula State Park, Nicolet Beach

We generally start about 9:00am from Baileys Harbor and hit Nor Door rental in Sister Creek about 9:15 am. Bike rentals start at $6 per hour and full day rentals starting at $25. We get our bicycle and helmet fit by size, provide a credit card for deposit and we are out the door. From Nor Door we quickly cross Route 42 and we are in “Julies Park Café & Motel” parking lot and then through the gates of Peninsula State park. There is no cost or pass needed to enter the park since we are biking in.

You can rent bikes and kayaks at Nicolet Beach Concessions but you will need a Wisconsin State Park parking pass (daily or annual). The Sunset route is a mix of crushed stone, dirt and pavement. The loop goes near Green Bay lake shore and through cedar and maple forests, past camp grounds and Nicolet Beach. The beach is a little more than half way. It’s a great place to break for an early lunch. There are plenty of picnic tables, bathrooms and view of the lake and Horseshoe Island. The second half of the trail has some exciting downhill areas and you ride past the Peninsula Players theater.

Peninsula State Park, Sunset Bike Trail

Peninsula State Park, Sunset Bike Trail

Afterwards we return the bikes to Nor Door and head to Sister Bay to do a little shopping and then hit Wood Market for some fresh corn on the cob and head back to Baileys Harbor to get cleaned up and plan out our afternoon. Perhaps a hike through Tofts park, swimming in the pool or off to do a little shopping before dinner.


Beaches and Picnics

Beach Picnic

The Door County peninsula is carpeted with state parks, nature preserves, and over 300 miles of coastline that create unlimited opportunities for beach picnics. There are public beaches along both the lake side and bay side. After a day of sightseeing, my family needs a relaxing break at the beach!  We pack a cooler of sodas and make some sandwiches in our suite.  Add some delicious goodies from Koepsel’s Farm Market, and we are off to explore the nearby parks.

Toft Point Nature Preserve is an easy walk or bike ride from our room, as it shares the peninsula with Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort. This is also an incredible place to watch the sunrise. Flat, rocky coast line with lush woods on one side and stunning water views on the other. Really nice and secluded place for a picnic, picture taking, bird watching, and just enjoying nature.  The view of Cana Island from here is not to be missed! Become a Friend of Toft Point!

Whitefish Dunes

Whitefish Dunes State Park is home to “the largest and most significant Great Lakes dunescape in Wiscosin.” Come enjoy the vast white sand beach, tall native grasses, and blue water with crashing waves. Check trail conditions, events, learn more about the park and how you can volunteer by visiting the Friends of Whitefish Dunes.

From Hwy 57, follow County WD (Clarks Lake Road) east to the Greeting Center at the entrance of the Park. Whitefish Dunes is open year-round, generally from 6 AM to 8 PM. Changing stalls and bathrooms are family friendly. You will need a Wisconsin State Vehicle Admission sticker to park.

Nicolet Bay Beach in Peninsula State Park is another favorite of ours. We really like to mountain bike the trails here. The beach has volleyball nets (bring a ball!), picnic areas, a playground and a convenient camp store. The park is open year-round, and in the Summer there is also a snack bar and recreational rental concession.  Plenty of tables to have picnic and enjoy some people watching. On the way by, stop at the park’s White Cedar Nature Center for fun, free activities and events. Help support this wonderful park.

Nicolet BeachPeninsula State Park’s main entrance is off of Hwy 42 in Fish Creek. The park is open year-round, generally from 6 AM to 11 PM. The bathrooms and available services are particularly family friendly here. You will need a Wisconsin State Vehicle Admission sticker to park.

Visit our front desk and let us help you to plan your ideal beach picnic!

 

 

 

 


Fishing in Door County

fishing01Fishing season in Lake Michigan is year-round, as long as you don’t mind a little ice!  From January through March, try your hand at ice fishing. Rent your own ice house or book a guide from Lakeshore Adventures in Baileys Harbor.  Hurry back to our lobby and tell your fish tales with a warm drink by the fire.

After the ice melts, the fishing in Door County moves onto boats. If you bring your own boat, check into the floating boat docks available at Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Marina, right next to the Resort. For more information about the Marina’s boat slip rentals, please contact the Front Desk at (920) 839-2336 or submit your questions on our Reservations page. If you don’t bring your own boat, you can charter one by the hour or by the day. Local guides are a great way to learn fishing techniques and seasonal patterns on the lake. If you like your boat captain to come with a PhD in Zoology, give Lynn’s Charter Fishing a call!

No matter the season, don’t forget to check the Wisconsin DNR weekly fishing report before you head out.  Learn the fishing regulations and buy licenses.

Grab a guide and some tackle:

JJ’s Guide Service
Shack Rentals and Guides
920-493-2953

Hooked Up Sport Fishing Charters
920-495-5586

Wacky Walleye Guide Service
920-743-5731

Nan & Jerry’s Bait & Tackle
4084 Main St. (Hwy 42), Fish Creek
920-868-3402

Howie’s Tackle
1309 Green Bay Road, Sturgeon Bay
920-746-9916