There are many stunning destinations to explore throughout Door County, including several islands located right off the coast. One of the most popular places for kayakers and boaters in Door County is Horseshoe Island in Peninsula State Park. Named for its distinctive shape, Horseshoe Island is a spring and summer destination that visitors won’t want to miss!
Find more places to explore like Horseshoe Island within the pages of our free Door County Vacation Guide! This handy reference will help you plan the ultimate getaway to the peninsula.
History of Horseshoe Island in Door County
The rocky 38-acre island was a home and fishing site for Native Americans for over 2,500 years. In 1850, a Norwegian immigrant named Ole Larsen settled on the island and supplied boiler fuel wood for ships that passed in Green Bay.
35 years later, the Foldas family purchased Horseshoe Island and used it as a summer retreat until the Great Depression forced them to relinquish the property. In 1944, it became a part of Peninsula State Park. If you search closely enough, you may still find evidence of the Foldas family lodge and root cellar on the island.
Things to Do on Horseshoe Island
Located approximately 2-miles offshore, Horseshoe Island can only be accessed by boat. That’s why it is such a popular destination for Peninsula State Park kayakers. Once you park your boat on the shores of the island, you’ll be welcome to explore the pristine and relatively untouched land. Here are some activities that many visitors travel to Horseshoe Island for:
- Hiking: The Engelmar trail is a 1-mile trek that wraps around the perimeter of the island.
- Fishing: The waters around Horseshoe Island are usually abundant with trout. Be sure you have your Wisconsin fishing license before casting the line!
- Wildlife Viewing: As you explore the island, you may find a wide variety of local wildlife, mainly water birds. Take a look at even more animals you may find during your visit to Peninsula State Park!
Peninsula State Park Kayak Rental
Interested in kayaking to Horseshoe Island? Rentals can be purchased at Nicolet Beach Concessions in Peninsula State Park. You may also choose to rent bikes and stand-up paddleboards here.
More Islands to Explore in Door County
Horseshoe Island is just one of the many incredible islands to visit by boat or kayak. Here are even more water-locked destinations to spend a relaxing spring or summer day.
After Your Adventures, Return to The Ashbrooke For Some Well-Deserved Relaxation
As one of the only adults-only hotels in Door County, The Ashbrooke is an ideal destination for couples looking to getaway from it all and simply relax. In addition to our convenient location in the heart of the peninsula, guests will also enjoy well-appointed rooms, luxury amenities, and access to exclusive specials and vacation packages!
Ready for the getaway of a lifetime? Book your favorite room with The Ashbrooke and we look forward to welcoming you to Door County soon!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to request your free copy of our Door County Vacation Guide to help you plan the ultimate getaway!