Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park

Nicolette Bay Trail

For the past four years we’ve taken a trip out to one of our favorite places on the planet, Door County, Wisconsin. I wont go into the details of the trip here and really wont try to explain how truly beautiful this little peninsula is, as it simply wouldn’t do it justice. You have to experience this place to really get it. It’s a trip we look forward to all year long and arrive giddy, like kids on Christmas morning, and we leave sad, wishing we could stay for another week. It’s the lush countryside, the flowers, the green, the perfect water, the trees, the quaint towns, the¬†quiet, the stillness, the weather, the people, the memories, the food, and the trails.

While not my favorite thing about our Door County trips, the trails are definitely a highlight for me. In particular, the trails of Peninsula State Park have become one of my favorite places to run… anywhere. The trails contain just about everything I love. Perfect narrow single track, steep, though short, climbs and descents, soft cushy trails, rolling terrain, rugged and rocky stretches, and all under a canopy of tall, beautiful trees.

And this time Jamie and the girls surprised me with some goodies on my birthday! It was our first full day there and I wanted to run for a couple of hours so I just wound my way all over the park. On my way back to Eagle Panorama they all met me with a card, a doughnut cake, complete with candles, and all sung me happy birthday! Such an awesome end to a perfect run and a memory I’ll always hold dear! Not to mention this is also where I asked Jamie to marry me almost a decade ago… A special place for sure.

If you enjoy running on trails of any kind, you’ll love running in Peninsula. I usually start at the parking lot at Eagle Panorama, checking out the views first, of course. From here, you’d start out on the Sentinel Trail, a wonderfully rolling trail through shaded forest. Where the trail splits, I like to take the right hand fork on the way out. It’s winding and narrow through lush vegetation and beautiful wildflowers. This leads you to a connector trail that will lead to a slew of other trails that wind through the peaceful forests. My favorites are the Hemlock Trail, the Nicolette Bay Trail, and Trail Trampers Delight, which, by the way, is the best name for a trail, like, in ever. In ever.

My only nit about the park are the trail junctions. I always feel like I finally get it down by the end of our trip and have to re-learn it at the start of the next trip. I’ve gotten lost a couple of times. Well, not really lost, just ended up running down the wrong trail or in the wrong direction. No biggie… just more time on these sweet buttery trails!

You can check out some of my runs on Strava… I’ll post some links below. So if you ever find yourself in Door County, Wisconsin, and holy crap you should, make a run here a priority. You are oh so very welcome!

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