Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
40.00 m (131.23 ft)
Trail type
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Whitefish Dunes State Park is located in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and is nestled along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The park offers over 14 miles of hiking trails and three different beach access points. The Red Trail is 2.8 miles long, a loop that takes you along the dunes and prairie of the park.

The trail begins as a gravel path that leads you through tree-covered dunes. During this portion of the hike you will find an informational display about the Oneota people and examples of lodges that they lived in. In addition, the first half of the trail will lead you to three access points to the beaches. These access points are stairways that take you over the dunes and down to the water. The first two beaches are for humans only, and the third beach is a pet beach. When on the beaches you can feel free to walk along the shore, but the only access to and from the state park are through the designated access points.

At the farthest point of the Red Trail you will come to the Old Baldy Viewing Platform. Old Baldy is the tallest dune in the park, rising 93 feet above Lake Michigan. The last half of the trail will take you through the prairie of the park, where you will see many different wildflowers. Overall, the Red Trail is an easy hike that will allow you to see the many beautiful aspects of the park.

Whitefish Dunes State Park is filled with the historical artifacts of the people who lived there. From 100 B.C. to the late 1800s, eight different groups of people lived on the land of the state park. There have been many excavations in the park, and many of the artifacts and historical information can be found in the nature center at the park entrance.

The dunes in the park are always being reformed by the wind. The young dunes are near the shoreline, and they provide a wind barrier for the older dunes to grow plants and grasses. Stay off of the dunes; foot traffic can disrupt their structure. Whitefish Dunes State Park is wonderful for families and pets.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Great views. Sandy beaches. Wildflowers.



Trailhead Elevation

672.57 ft (205.00 m)


Historically significant
Big vistas
ADA accessible


Nearby Lodging + Camping

Potawatomi State Park, Wisconsin


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