Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Lighthouses of Door County


Door County boasts about 300 miles of shoreline and much of it is rocky. Because of this and other navigational hazards, a network of 10 lighthouses (the most in any Wisconsin county) were constructed in the 19th Century in order to help guide ships through the treacherous waters. Out of Door County's 10 area lighthouses, I was able to visit and/or take photographs of four of them today. You can access the photos through the Flickr link. Meanwhile, here's what I have to say about them specifically:

  • Cana Island Lighthouse - Located on Cana Island and accessed via a small throughway to the island, you'll be charged $5 just to set foot on the grounds and another $5 to access the lighthouse. Neither of the fees are worth it. There isn't much to see and do on Cana Island and the lighthouse itself isn't impressive enough to merit paying for a tour. If you show up after 3:00pm, it's likely that there will be nobody around to charge you the fee to get onto the island, so, you can just walk through. 

  • Eagle Bluff Lighthouse - In order to get up close to this one, you'll have to pay the entry fee to Peninsula State Park. There's so much to do there, I gladly paid the access fee and spent a lot of time pursuing a number of non-lighthouse related activities. The lighthouse itself can be found about 4 miles inside the park and faces the Strawberry Islands. Keep in mind that parking near the lighthouse is limited, so you might be better off parking a little further away and walking. It's worth the trip because there are plenty of great photo opportunities along the way. Access to the lighthouse itself is $5 for adults and about $1 for kids depending on their exact age. The tour was definitely worth the price and features a lot of historical stories as told by the enthusiastic tour guides. Be prepared to spend about 30-45 minutes on the tour.

  • Bailey's Harbor Range Lights - This pair of lighthouses were arranged in a range light configuration and are located in the Ridges Wildlife Sanctuary. You'll be asked to pay $5 to access the sanctuary, but you can easily avoid that expense through a number of means. One of the easiest is to simply drive down Ridges road which passes between the Upper Range Light and the Lower Range Light. I couldn't in good conscience skip this fee. It's a worthy cause, and I was rewarded for my nature-karma when my daughter and I happened upon a doe and her fawn less than 20 feet way from us. We startled them, but they just sat there and watched us until we left.

  • Old Bailey's Harbor Light - This one is privately owned, so getting access to it probably carries a trespassing charge along with it. However, both Anclam Park and The Beachfront Inn in Bailey's Harbor offer decent views of it. I was able to snap some great pictures of it using my mega zoom camera. 

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