Ridges Sanctuary Door County Nature Preserve

Ridges Sanctuary Door County Nature Preserve

Ridges Sanctuary Door County Nature Preserve is located in Baileys Harbor in Door County, WI. The Nature Preserve is 1600 acres and harbors some rare species of plants

General Info

General:Nature preserve featuring 1600 acres of hiking trails & wooden boardwalks leading to exploring rare & common wildflowers, insects, birds, and more! The property holds a lighthouse as well.
Address:8166 Hwy 57 Baileys Harbor, WI 54202
County:Door County
Google Map Location:Google Map Location
Cost:$5.00 cost for visitors age 18+

Explore The Ridges

There Is Always Something To See

There is always something new to point a camera at in any of the four seasons. If you love wildflowers, there is plenty to see along the boardwalk areas that cross over wetlands and pathways.

Home To The Endangered Lake Iris

The endangered Dwarf Lake Iris wildflower is a miniature iris that grows nowhere else in the world but in the Great Lakes Region. 

It is especially concentrated along certain stretches of the Great Lakes shoreline. One of the places it can be found is at The Ridges.

Federally-Listed Threatened Dune Thistle

The Pitcher’s thistle (Cirsium pitcheri), sometimes called dune thistle, is a species of thistle native to sand dune shorelines along the upper Great Lakes. It is native to Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Federally listed as a threatened species.

Between 2 and 8 years after germination, the juvenile thistle abruptly matures and sends forth a flower stalk. On average it takes a full five years before you would see a flower.

Wooden Boardwalks

There are wooden walkways and bridges that run through the property in different sections.

The walkways will give you a chance to look at the wetland areas close up.

Baileys Harbor Range Lights

On one of the wooden boardwalks, you can see The Baileys Harbor Range Lights (one on each end) which are a pair of buildings that make up lighthouses

If you want to stop off for a picnic lunch, head across the street to the Baileys Harbor Ridges Park Beach.

The shoreline is sandy and the cool water is refreshing to soak your feet in or take a dip.


Walking up to one of the wooden boardwalks along the wetlands I ran into this turtle that was unburying himself from the mud.

Along this stretch, you can see turtles on logs and along the edges of the wetlands, dragonflies, damselflies, and a variety of birds.

There is always something blooming or to explore at Ridges Sanctuary Door County Nature Preserve. If you are into the hiking thing, you may want to check out Toft Point, you are a hop step and a jump from it and it is one of Door County’s Hidden Gems.

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