Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort

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

Welcome to Door County

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.

Additional Resources:

Wood Orchard Market

One of the perks about visiting Door County is stopping by the numerous farm market stores that are rich in regional produce, food good and art. Wood Orchard in Egg Harbor is daily stop from the day we arrive and the day we leave and I believe they have the best fresh picked sweet corn in Door County.

Wood Market Sign

Wood Market Sign

Established in 1955, Wood Orchard Market has been family owned for three generations. Depending on what season you visit Door County will determine what fruits and vegetables will be available. Spring offers a selection Rhubarb, Asparagus and Morel mushrooms; summer is berries, cherries, peaches and sweet corn season; and fall is pumpkins and gourds. Their onsite bakery produces pies, strudels and breads as well as well as a selection of homemade fudge during the three seasons and you can order their canned jellies, jams and dip mixes all year long.

We make a stop at Wood’s each afternoon during our vacation to pick out some sweet corn and then spend another 20 minutes “browsing” their fresh fruit and dips, crackers and mustards, salsa and chips, and fresh baked goods. They have a small selection of cheeses, frozen meats, coffee and wine (most produced locally in Door County) that meets the needs of a weeklong vacation. There are also free frozen apple popsicles for the kids in the freezer section.

Wood Orchard Market Salsa

Wood Orchard Market Salsa

After buying some cherries juice, cherry jam, cherry salsa and corn my son and I head out to the peddle carts to give the misses some time to browse the yart. That is Yard Art, we have several of these metal creations, and our collection includes sunflowers, birds and yard animals.

The peddle carts are fun distraction for kids of all ages. There is a small crushed stone track around the big Wood Orchard sign and three or four carts available first come first serve bases. Even if you are not peddling it’s a nice area to sit on a bench, soak up some sun and snack on something for the market.

Wood Orchard Market
8112 State Highway 42
Egg Harbor, WI
Hours: May – October: 9am to 5pm CST
November: Friday – Monday: 10am to 4pm

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.

Nicolet Beach

Nicolet Beach: Sunset Bike Ride Stop

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 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 lake shore and through cedar and maple forests, past camp grounds and Nicolet Beach (which has concessions, washrooms and rentals). 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.

Sunset Bike Trail

Sunset Bike Trail, All Downhill from here

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.