Fern Trail Boardwalk Restoration

Depending on the amount of winter snow and spring rains we receive in Door County, the park’s Fern Trail is often seasonally-flooded from April into early June. The flooding has been impressive in 2022.

Newport Wilderness Society has designed and begun construction of an 1,800-foot elevated, ADA-compliant boardwalk through this section of trail. We are documenting each phase of the project; this resource page highlights the progress so far.

This is a major infrastructure project for Newport Wilderness Society. To date, we have received approximately 75% of the funding support we need through grants and philanthropic donations. Fundraising continues. If you would like to donate to this effort to keep the Fern Trail accessible to all visitors in all seasons, please use this donation form on our website.

Gene Kenny, NWS Long-range Planning Committee; Fern Trail, April 2022

The Newport Wilderness Society invites you to explore beautiful Newport State Park.

Newport State Park is Wisconsin’s only formally-designated wilderness park. Located near the tip of the Door County peninsula, it includes 2,373 acres of evergreen and hardwood boreal forests, wetlands and upland meadows and is situated along 11 miles of rugged Lake Michigan shoreline. 

We have 26 miles of year-round ‘silent sport’ trails (hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing). Trails are considered easy to moderate, with no great elevation changes. Newport has 16 hike- or bike-in wilderness campsites, all with access to either the Lake Michigan or Europe Lake waterfronts.

In 2017, Newport received Wisconsin’s first Dark Sky Park designation. Because of the park’s location along the shores of Lake Michigan and its absence of artificial light, the nights are remarkably dark and provide exceptional opportunities for viewing the night sky.