Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach

Hi, I’m Mark, a Door County local with a passion for the great outdoors. As a father of four, I’m always looking for fun, affordable, and family-friendly activities to enjoy in our beautiful corner of Wisconsin. One of my favorite spots in Door County is the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach. This hidden gem on Lake Michigan is owned by the Door County Land Trust and offers a peaceful escape from the crowds. In this blog post, I’ll share what you need to know about this unique beach, including safety tips, amenities, and more. So grab your sunscreen and let’s dive in!

This is just one of the great beaches in Door County. Check out our comprehensive post on all the beaches of Door County to find the right beach for your trip.

Lighthouse. Superimposed text says: Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach

General Description: Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach

Located on the eastern shore of Door County on Lake Michigan, the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach offers stunning views of the lake’s crystal-clear waters and sandy shoreline. While the water may be cooler than the Green Bay side early in the season, it’s a refreshing retreat on hot summer days. As a local, I can tell you that Lake Michigan is known for its beautiful beaches, and this one is no exception.

What makes this beach unique is that it’s situated on land owned by the Door County Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve the county’s natural areas and scenic beauty. This means that the beach is protected from development and open to the public, ensuring that future generations can enjoy its natural beauty.

The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach is also a great spot to view the historic Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse, which has been guiding ships into the canal since 1882. The beach provides an excellent vantage point to see the lighthouse up close, and it’s a popular spot for taking photos.

In addition to the lighthouse, the beach is an ideal place to take a walk along the south breakwater, which extends out into the lake and offers panoramic views of the water and shoreline. The beach’s location also means that it’s a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy some peaceful relaxation. So if you’re looking for a serene spot to unwind and take in the natural beauty of Door County, the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach is definitely worth a visit.

Amenities

It’s important to note that this beach offers fewer amenities compared to other beaches in the area. However, there is a parking lot available for visitors, which makes it easy to access the beach. Once you’ve parked, you’ll need to keep in mind that there are no bathrooms or changing areas available, so plan accordingly before you head to the beach.

It’s also worth noting that there are no rentals available, so be sure to bring any gear or equipment you might need for your beach day. There are no concessions or picnic tables, so you’ll want to pack your own food and drinks if you plan to stay for an extended period. You could carry out food from one of Sturgeon Bay’s restaurants to bring here. However, this lack of amenities is part of what makes this beach so special; you’ll feel like you’ve discovered your own private slice of paradise.

Beach Safety

When enjoying a day at the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach, it’s important to be mindful of beach safety to ensure a fun and enjoyable experience. Here are some important things to keep in mind while enjoying this beautiful beach on Lake Michigan.

Swim Safety

It’s important to note that there is no lifeguard on duty, so it’s recommended that visitors practice the buddy system and keep a close eye on each other. The beach is located on Lake Michigan, which means that the water can be cooler than the Green Bay side, especially early in the season.

Hypothermia

Visitors should be aware of the risk of hypothermia and its symptoms, which can include:

  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion or feeling very tired
  • Confusion
  • Fumbling hands
  • Memory loss
  • Slurred speech

If someone is showing symptoms of hypothermia, it’s important to get them to a warm and dry place as soon as possible and to call for medical attention.

Sun Safety

Visitors should also be mindful of sun safety and should consider wearing a hat, using sunscreen, and seeking shade during the hottest parts of the day.

Water Quality Safety

It’s also important to be aware of water quality safety and to check the Wisconsin DNR’s beach advisory map before heading to the beach to ensure that the water is safe for swimming.

Cost

Sure thing! One great thing about visiting the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach is that parking and admission are completely free, which makes it an affordable option for families and individuals. However, visitors should still be aware of potential associated costs. For example, since the beach doesn’t offer any rentals, visitors may want to bring their own beach chairs, umbrellas, and other beach essentials. Additionally, since there are no concessions, visitors may want to bring their own snacks and drinks. By planning ahead and being prepared, visitors can enjoy a great day at the beach without breaking the bank.

General Information: Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach

Address: 2499 S Lake Michigan Dr, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

More Beaches in Door County

If you’re interested in visiting a beach in Door County, make sure to check out our posts on the other great beaches in this location:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a fee to enter the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach?

No, parking and admission to the beach are completely free.

Are there lifeguards at the beach?

No, there are no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should practice the buddy system and be aware of potential hazards.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the beach?

Yes, since there are no concessions on site, visitors are welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks.

Summary: Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Preserve Beach

  • The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve Beach is located on Lake Michigan.
  • The beach is owned by the Door County Land Trust and is open to the public.
  • There are few amenities, including no bathrooms, changing areas, or concessions.
  • Visitors should practice beach safety, including watching for hypothermia and checking the water quality.
  • Parking and admission to the beach are free, but visitors should plan for associated costs.
  • There are no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should practice the buddy system.
  • Visitors can view the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse and walk the south breakwater.
  • The beach is a great place to get away from the crowds.
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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