The limestone bluffs you see along Green Bay are part of the same formation that Niagara Falls plunges over in New York.The Niagara Escarpment arches for a thousand miles around the Great Lakes. Lower layers of soft, erodible shale are protected by a hard cap of dolomite limestone. As the uplifted edges of the shale erode, the hard limestone snaps off to form steep cliffs.Grand Views,
Cedars as old as 1,200 years cling to the bluffs of the escarpment. Rare plants grow in the crumbled rocks below.
The Niagara Escarpment rises in cliffs 250 feet above Green Bay providing lingering views of sunsets over water. The dolomite bedrock slopes eastward and disappears beneath Lake Michigan.
The Door Peninsula is on the western rim of a geologic formation called the Michigan Basin. The rim forms the bayside cliffs of Door County while the incline of the bowl slopes east below Lake Michigan.
The Clearing - Connecting with NatureJens Jensen, the renowned landscape architect and conservationist, was inspired by the "grand view" on top of this hill. He chose a site overlooking Green Bay to create his folk school, The Clearing, in 1935. This site is nestled in forest openings high above the Bay, where busy people can clear their minds and reconnect with nature.
Hidden GemsNatural & Historic Sites
· Ellison Bluff County Park - Enjoy spectacular views of Green Bay from a safe viewing deck on the brink of 100-foot limestone bluffs. An enclosed catwalk extends out over the edge. Walk the quiet woodland trails.
· Door Bluff Headlands County Park - Located at the most northerly point on the peninsula, this undeveloped park offers views of Green Bay and Hedgehog Harbor. Explore the spring display of wildflowers. · Mink River Estuary State Natural Area - This is one of the most pristine freshwater estuaries in the country, where lake and river waters mix. It serves as an important fish spawning and bird migration area. Paddle in from Rowleys Bay, or hike in from two parking areas.
· Grand View Park - Take a short walk to the nearby overlook for a breathtaking view of Ellison Bay and the escarpment bluffs. A byway interpretive hub describes how the Door County Land Trust preserves rare places for nature, including this park.
· Garrett Bay Town Park - Enjoy views of the peaceful Garrett Bay waters. A quiet sports launch area is available. Discover a sunken shipwreck on the Maritime Trail.
· The Clearing Folk School - This artist's retreat was founded by landscape architect Jens Jensen on the wooded shores of Green Bay in 1935. The Jens Jensen Visitor Center,
open to the public, interprets his legacy and the Folk School Tradition of learning.
· Liberty Grove Historic Park - This Liberty Grove Historical Society museum includes a restored Lutheran log church that houses artifacts from local families, two cherry picker's shacks, a granary, and a cottage from the Liberty Park Lodge.
· Ellison Bay Parks - Ellison Bay Community Park offers a sandy beach, picnic tables, and playground. Wills Park and Marina provides a boat launch and sitting area for enjoying the hay.
· Historic Ellison Bay - Discover several historic buildings that tell the early story of Ellison Bay. The Pioneer Store was built in 1900 as Ruckert's Store; the original building was destroyed in a 2006 explosion. The Disgarden Hotel, built in 1902, is one of the oldest continuously operating hotels on the peninsula. Gus Klenke's Garage was restored by the Liberty Grove Historical Society. Gus was legendary for helping farmers and fishermen repair equipment, often with scrap parts.