Newport State Park

Newport State Park is my personal favorite state park in Door County. A chance to get away from the crowds, amazing hiking trails, backcountry camping, and a chance to experience Lake Michigan’s majesty – these are all things that I love about Newport State Park.

As Wisconsin’s only wilderness-designated state park, it spans over 2,300 acres of richly forested land and rugged Lake Michigan shoreline. This idyllic setting provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities, from peaceful hikes along secluded trails to exhilarating nights under starlit skies. Whether you’re planning a day trip to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life or an immersive backcountry camping experience, Newport State Park invites you to explore its unspoiled wilderness. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the top things to do, costs to consider, and tips for making the most of your visit to this stunning natural oasis.

Grid of images from Newport State Park in Door County, including a boy at a campfire, a man watching the stars, and trees. Superimposed text says: Newport State Park.

Lodging Near Newport State Park

If you want to experience this magnificent park, make sure to arrange your lodging well-ahead of time.


One option for lodging is to camp at Newport State Park. But, bear in mind that camping at Newport State Park isn’t your normal camping experience. All campsites are backpack, walk-in campsites in order to maintain Newport’s wilderness setting. You can reserve campsites at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website. Keep in mind that campsites throughout the state of Wisconsin book up well ahead of time.


Another option is to get a hotel near Newport State Park. Read our rundown on the best Door County hotels to find the perfect lodging near Newport State Park.

Things to Do in Newport State Park


Newport State Park is designated as a dark sky park, making it an ideal location for stargazing. The lack of light pollution offers visitors a clear, unobstructed view of the night sky, perfect for observing stars, planets, and meteor showers.


The park provides numerous opportunities for fishing along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of species, including trout and salmon, in this serene setting.

Backcountry Camping

For those looking for a rugged outdoor experience, backcountry camping is available at Newport State Park. This allows for a more secluded and intimate connection with nature, with campsites accessible only by foot.

Going to the Beach

The park features a beautiful, undeveloped beach along the shores of Lake Michigan. It’s a perfect spot for a day of relaxation, swimming, or simply enjoying the scenic views.


During the winter months, snowshoeing is a popular activity in Newport State Park. The snow-covered landscape offers a tranquil setting for exploring the park’s natural beauty.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is another great way to experience the park in winter. Miles of trails are available, providing both beginner and advanced skiers with beautiful routes through the snowy forest.


Hiking is one of the most popular activities at Newport State Park. With over 30 miles of trails, hikers can explore diverse habitats, including forested areas and rocky shorelines.

Poetry Trail

The park also features a unique poetry trail, where visitors can enjoy nature-inspired poems displayed along the path. This creative touch adds an artistic dimension to the natural landscape, enhancing the walking experience.

Cost to Visit Newport State Park

Visiting Newport State Park requires a vehicle admission sticker, which can be purchased for daily or annual use. Fees vary depending on whether the vehicle is registered in Wisconsin or out-of-state.

Daily Admission:

  • Wisconsin residents: $8
  • Non-residents: $11

Annual admission:

  • Wisconsin residents: $28
  • Non-residents: $38

Additional costs may apply for specific activities such as backcountry camping, which requires a camping permit. The price for a camping permit is typically a nominal fee per night, intended to maintain and preserve the park’s natural resources.

Tips for Visiting Newport State Park

Visiting Newport State Park can be a memorable experience with a bit of planning. Here are some tips to make the most of your trip:

  • Check Weather Conditions: Weather can change quickly on the shores of Lake Michigan. Check the forecast before your visit and prepare accordingly with suitable clothing and gear.
  • Pack Appropriately: For day trips, bring snacks, water, sun protection, and insect repellent. If you plan on participating in activities like backcountry camping or hiking, ensure you have the appropriate equipment and supplies.
  • Respect Wildlife: The park is home to diverse wildlife. Maintain a safe distance from animals, and do not feed them to protect both the wildlife and yourself.
  • Leave No Trace: Help preserve the beauty of Newport State Park by following Leave No Trace principles. Pack out everything you bring in, stay on designated trails, and dispose of waste properly.
  • Plan Your Activities: Some activities like stargazing and hiking are best enjoyed at specific times of day or under certain conditions. Plan your visit around these to enhance your experience.
  • Arrive Early or During the Week: To avoid crowds, especially during peak season, consider visiting early in the day or on weekdays.
  • Explore Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with park rules, especially if you plan to fish or camp. This includes understanding fire restrictions, fishing limits, and camping regulations.

By following these tips, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and respectful visit to Newport State Park.

Quick Facts

Address: 475 County Road NP, Ellison Bay, WI 54210

Phone: 920-854-2500

Hours: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM



  • Newport State Park, located in Door County, is Wisconsin’s only wilderness-designated state park, offering over 2,300 acres of diverse natural landscapes including a pristine Lake Michigan shoreline.
  • Popular activities in the park include stargazing at the designated dark sky park, fishing along the expansive shoreline, backcountry camping in secluded areas, and enjoying the scenic beach.
  • Winter visitors can engage in snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, taking advantage of the park’s snowy landscape, while warmer months are perfect for hiking over 30 miles of trails and exploring the unique poetry trail.
  • Entry costs are $8 for a daily pass or $28 for an annual pass for Wisconsin residents, with slightly higher fees for non-residents. Additional fees are required for camping and other specialized activities.
  • Tips for visiting include checking weather conditions, packing appropriately for activities, respecting local wildlife, adhering to Leave No Trace principles, planning visits during off-peak times, and familiarizing oneself with park rules, especially regarding fishing and camping.
About the author
Mark Stoneman
Hi! My name is Mark! I have been a resident of Door County for almost ten years now, and I'm glad to help you say "Hello" to Door County. I believe that travel helps to change lives, and because of that, I want to help you improve your life through travel.

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