Thanks for joining me this week for another adventure in Door County Wisconsin. We’ll take another look at Potawatomi State Park from a different view in a different year! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts we served as volunteer campground hosts at Potawatomi beginning September 28 to October 23 (when they shut the water off), so over three weeks we had the pleasure of enjoying the outdoors, the scenery and beauty of this resource. Our duties were rather simple, check and clean campsites after campers left and before the next camper arrives. On weekends this was more of a challenge as checkout time and check in time are the same, 3 PM. Most campers vacate earlier so makes our jobs easier, however there are those who stay until the last minute. We did the best we could everyday to provide arriving campers a clean site ready for their outdoor experience. Most days, we completed our chores in an hour or two and a few times we worked 5-6 hours to get everything cleaned up. For us, it’s a pleasant way to enjoy the changing fall season, camping and enjoy the outdoors with something to do to keep us busy.
Our job was also to help campers if they needed assistance. A couple of times we helped campers maneuver into their sites. One young fella we helped (he just bought a trailer and was using it for the very first time) had a little trouble backing into the campsite. His very pregnant wife was trying to help him but without much success, she was timidly waving her hands and didn’t know where to stand so he could see her (I know she was new at it too!). So after they were safely in their site, I advised her that her job was to yell and wave her arms with great vigor as that’s how I saw most other wives/partners guide the person doing the backing! If you don’t believe me, just watch as campers arrive at campgrounds around the country and you’ll find this statement at least 50% true!
The 1225 acre Potawatomi State Park, located just a few miles west of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, was established in 1928. The main feature of the park is the shoreline bluffs overlooking the waters of Sturgeon and Green Bays. These bluffs are a part of the Niagara Escarpment that runs from Door County north up through Ontario and into western New York. This escarpment or cuesta is capped by dolomite limestone that overlays weaker shale that after many years of water and wind erosion leaves a cliff or escarpment. Since the 1830’s, the park area has been public land, once owned by the War Department who quarried rock used for harbor improvements around Lake Michigan. In the 1880’s, “Government Bluff” as it was then known, was no longer quarried and the public began to request access. It was in 1928 that the State of Wisconsin purchased the land from the War Department to establish a state park. This began the development of scenic roads, the building of the 75 foot observation tower and hiking trails. Here are a couple of photos of the tower, one with a couple stopping to rest on their hike to the top.
The trip to the top of the tower rewards visitors with fantastic views. Here’s some photos taken from the top of the tower during our stay.
The Tower Trail (3.6 miles) is one of the most popular trails in the Park. As it winds around through the Park, it intersects with the trailhead of the Ice Age Trail. This 1200 mile trail is a national scenic trail located in Wisconsin and is administered by the National Park Service. The trail roughly follows the terminal moraine from the last ice age, hence the name! The other trailhead is located in Interstate State Park near St. Croix Falls in western Wisconsin.
The Shoreline and Norway Roads loop through the park for roughly an eight mile tour of this natural landscape. Here are few photos from along those roads.
The two mile shoreline also provides some fantastic views such as these below.
The Park boasts a boat launch that is well used by locals and visitors alike to access the lake for fishing and hunting. During our stay, we often heard those boats being trailed down to the launch while drinking our morning coffee. We also occasionally heard gunshots from those hunting nearby especially on those quiet, calm mornings.
During our stay, we helped with the Friends of the Park annual run called Run Wild! Even thought it was cool and a bit drizzly, there was a hearty group of runners that came out to participate in this annual event. Here’s a few photos from Run Wild 2017.
And here’s a few parting shots from our stay at Potawatomi State Park. We hope to be back next year to experience this very pleasant and scenic park.
Until next week, travel safe.