Door County lighthouses can guide your next Wisconsin vacation. Door County’s 300 miles of shoreline, much of it rocky, gave need for lighthouses so that 19th and early 20th century sailors could safely navigate the lake and bay waters around the Door Peninsula and surrounding islands. Today, these lighthouses are majestic landmarks offering compelling, heroic and sometimes tragic stories for anyone willing to listen.
Did you know that Baileys Harbor is the only town in the United States that is host to four outstanding lighthouses? Use our list of Door County lighthouses on your next Wisconsin vacation!
Old Baileys Harbor (Bird Cage) Lighthouse
Built in 1852 and closed in 1869 after the constructions of the range lights. The lighthouse is privately owned and not open to the public.
Baileys Harbor Range Lights
Built in 1869, automated in 1972, these Door County lighthouses are part of the Ridges Sanctuary and viewable in a self guided tour. The unique attraction of these lighthouses was the upper and lower lights. In order for a sailor to enter the harbor safely, he needed to see both lights lined up as one. Once this was viewable, the captain knew “the coast was clear!”
This Door County lighthouse is noted as Door County’s most recognizable lighthouse and one of the most identifiable landmarks. It is also the most visited lighthouse in Door County. It is open mid May through mid October. This lighthouse is located on a small island and can be reached by walking across a causeway. Depending on the water level, you may have to walk through water to reach the property.
Chambers Island Lighthouse
Built in 1868 and automated in 1961, this Door County lighthouse is located in the Bay of Green Bay between Fish Creek, Wisconsin and Marinette, Michigan. It is accessible by special boat tours during the third weekend of May.
Sherwood Point Lighthouse
This Door County lighthouse assists mariners between the Bay of Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay by being located at the edge of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. Sherwood Point was automated in 1983 and is known as the last manned lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It is also a private retreat house for Coast Guard personnel. The grounds are open to the public during the Lighthouse walk in June.
Plum Island Range Lights
Built in 1895 and automated in 1969, this Door County lighthouse is a rare treat for visitors taking the Washington Island Ferry. It is located in the Deaths Door Passage between Northport and Washington Island, Wisconsin.
Pilot Island Lighthouse
Located at the east side of Deaths Door Passage, this Door County lighthouse was integral for guiding ships negotiating the eastern entrance of the Port Des Morts passage. It was constructed in 1846 on Plum Island and moved to Ports Des Morts Island in 1858.
This lighthouse, built in 1836 and automated in 1956, is the oldest of the Door County lighthouses and is located on Rock Island. It is referred to as the “grandfather” of Door County lighthouses and is reachable by ferry from Jackson Harbor on Washington Island.
Eagle Bluff Lighthouse
This lighthouse, built in 1868 and automated in 1926, is located in Peninsula State Park between Fish Creek and Ephraim. It was restored by the Door County Historical Society and is now a living museum that visitors can tour daily through the summer and on weekends through October.
Sturgeon Bay Canal Station
Just as the Sherwood Point Lighthouse helps mariners enter the Sturgeon Bay Canal from the Bay of Green Bay; the Canal Station assists the entry from Lake Michigan. The Door County lighthouse was built in 1899 and automated in 1972. It is open to the public during the third weekend of May.