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7 Reasons Why Whitefish Bay Dunes State Park is a Must Visit

Whitefish Bay Dunes State Park kitesurfing

We love Whitefish Bay Dunes State Park and you will too!

The state park is one of the Door County Parks system.  It is considered 1 of the 5 gems along with Rock Island State Park, Peninsula State Park, Newport State Park, Potawatomi State Park.


  • The park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The main gate opens at 8 a.m.
  • The park office/nature center is open Friday through Monday during fall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Whitefish Dunes State Park
3275 Clark Lake Road
Sturgeon Bay WI 54235


Friends group and volunteering


Take State Highway 57 northeast from Sturgeon Bay about 10 miles to Clark Lake Road (County Highway WD). Turn right on Clark Lake Road and go about 3.8 miles. Turn right onto the park entrance road to the greeting center and parking area. Geographic coordinates are 44° 55′ 42.0″ N, 87° 10′ 55.8″.

Please note there is no access to the park entrance from South Cave Point Dr. The entrance is located off Clark Lake Road.

The Beach

The long beautiful beach is a great walk and goes on forever! With the rise of the water over the past few years, the beach has significantly eroded and made the pathway from the visitor center to the beach left unusable.  To access the beach, you must hike through the trails to get to the beach.  And sunbathing space has disappeared as well now that the dunes are slowly being eroded by waves on larger storm days.


The hiking trails are great and there are no bikes allowed which makes for peaceful walks, the state park puts on numerous educational talks and walks throughout the summer.


There is a beautiful biking trail there.  Please follow the rules of the park.

Kayaking and surfing

Surfing can be tricky at this location due to the numerous rip tides and significant amount of water movement.  As well when there are waves, it is usually quite windy as well.  Make sure to wait until the wind goes west and offshore to try and surf.  Kayaking Whitefish Bay Dunes State Park is also a bit harder now that the pathway to the beach is eroded, making the portage much longer.  It is better to launch your kayak from either Schauer Park or Whitefish Bay Dunes boat launch down south near the pier in the bay.  Make sure to be mindful of water temperature at all times of the year and waves if you are considering heading towards Cave Point County Park.

Door County coastline with kayaks in water

Event Space

I have hosted a party for my daughters first year birthday.  It was a great space and really enjoyable view of the water.  Make sure you reserve the space if you are thinking of it, as it can book up quickly.  A great little event space for birthday parties and BBQ.

Visible Shipwreck

The AUSTRALASIA shipwreck sits off of the Whitefish bay beach and can be seen on a clear day from a cave point county park kayak tour or Cave Point scenic boat tour.

Cross Country Skiing

Winter Cross Country Skiing trails are hosted during the winter and the park offers candle lit night skis during certain dates.  Grab your skis and head out to the trails after a nice snowfall.


Swimming, the lake takes till July to warm up, but as long as the wind doesn’t go off shore, the water stays warm.  Bring a floaty and your chairs while you relax in the shallow waters.