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The Best (and Worst) Beaches to Visit During Record High Water Levels


Door County is a beautiful vacation destination for anyone, with a myriad of activities ranging from fun things for the more athletically inclined as well as those who prefer a little more relaxation. However, with water levels in Door County being the highest they have been since the 80’s, finding the right place to spend a day in the sun can be challenging. Here is a list of the top 3 best (and worst) beaches to visit in Door County because of the high water levels.

#3 Worst Beach: Waterfront Park

This park is ranked as the least worst beach for a number of reasons, the most prominent being that although the area is slightly flooded, the beach is not entirely submerged. It is accessible to the public, with lots of water to swim in, but certain amenities have been closed. The very popular swimming docks that normally provide a fun area for people to jump off of, play around, or even sunbathe on, are no longer available for use. Obviously safety is the first priority, which is why the docks are closed at this point in time, however if a large beach with docks to play on was the desired destination, this beach is not the place to visit.

#2 Worst Beach: Baileys Harbor Ridge Park

Ranked at number two, Baileys Harbor Ridge Park is not a great beach to visit for the simple reason that there is very little actual beach left. The surrounding area is still gorgeous to hike, and the Ridges Sanctuary provides a fun place to spend a good portion of the afternoon. But beaches are the topic here, and sadly this beach leaves much to be desired, better to find a different location with more space for families and fun.

#1 Worst Beach: Whitefish Dunes Beach

While most of the actual state park is still accessible, the public beach at Whitefish Dunes is actually not open at all. The whole area has been closed to the public to help preserve the park, as well as to keep people safe from the very cold, very high waters. Hiking in the park itself is still an enjoyable experience, but as for a beachside photo-shoot and picnic, this beach is a no-go.


But all hope is not lost, fortunately there are still beaches that are in prime condition to be visited!


#3 Best Beach: Schoolhouse Beach

Schoolhouse Beach is a unique destination with a rare beachfront. Located on Washington Island, and requiring a short ferry ride to reach it, this beach has the potential for some amazing photos. What makes this beach so special is that it is not a traditional sand beach. The beachfront is actually made up of smooth, white rocks. While this may sound undesirable, especially for those who prefer to lay down a towel and relax in the sun, this beach is actually one of the few beaches composed of smooth limestone in the entire world. The white color of these stones also provides the chance for some amazing pictures of beautiful aqua waters with a bright blue sky reflecting in the surface. Schoolhouse Beach is definitely a must-see for amateur photographers, or anyone who is interested in a very unique experience to tell about later.

#2 Best Beach: Anclam Park

Anclam Beach, nestled on the east side of Baileys Harbor, is a small, family friendly beach that is wide enough to have not suffered too badly because of the water levels rising. It is a sandy beach, with shallow water perfect for wading and splashing with the family. There is also a small playground in the park right near the shoreline, and ample space for free parking. It is also not far from other attractions, such as food or ice cream, making this a good stop on a long day full of fun in the sun.

#1 Best Beach: Jacksonport Lakeside Park

This beach, located in the quaint town of Jacksonport, is a little off the beaten path, but a great place to visit on a sunny day. On Tuesdays, there is a farmer’s market that runs in the morning through the early afternoon, and after that the beach itself is a great way to spend the rest of the day. After the sun has set, and photos of the picturesque sunset have been snapped, Island Fever is a short walk across the road. It is a family friendly restaurant that offers coloring books and booster seats for the younger members of their evening crowd. The beach itself is sandy and family friendly. Located in a less busy part of Door County, this park is thriving despite the high water levels across the area, and is a must-visit for anyone vacationing Door County. Whether it’s a day visit, or a whole week of fun, room should be made for fun times at Jacksonport Lakeside Park.

Blog written by Julia Heup

Photo by Collin Richter