Activities / Events

Newport State Park Activities

Most  activities listed here are free.  If not, the cost will be shown in the listing. A vehicle admission sticker is required for any motorized vehicle entering a Wisconsin State Park. For more information, click on this link: Admission Fees to Wisconsin State Parks 
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Some programs are weather related, so check with the park if you have any questions. 920-854-2500

Saturday, August 25thMushroom Hike with Charlotte Lukes 9:30-11:30 Join Door County’s mushroom expert as she leads us through the fascinating world of fungi. Charlotte has been studying wild mushrooms for over 40 years and she loves to share her knowledge through classes and programs throughout Door County. Meet in the Nature Center.

Friday, August 31st – Open Door Bird Sanctuary Raptor Program 1:00. Door County’s only bird sanctuary specialist will be on hand to share information as well as raptors will be discussed, specifically hawks, falcons & owls. This is an awesome opportunity to meet some of Open Door’s resident birds. Meet at the Nature Center.

Friday, August 31st – Outdoor Movie Night at the Park featuring, “The Emissary” 7:00 pm Join us for a star filled night! We’ll start by watching “The Emissary”, a local sci-fi thriller romantic comedy filmed throughout Door County and Newport State Park. If skies allow, we will head out after the movie to view the night sky in Wisconsin’s only dark sky park. Meet Tim and Holly Erskine, the folks who made the movie! There are some picnic tables to sit at, but feel free to bring lawn chairs. This will be held at the shelter building, a short walk down the blacktop path from Lot 3. Flashlights or headlamps with a red light or filter are recommended to help find your way.

Newport State Park Special Event: Newport Wilderness Days

Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd

This event at Newport State Park was started in 1992 as a way for the members of Newport Wilderness Society, the park’s friends group, to showcase their beautiful wilderness park. Volunteers lead hikes and programs Labor Day weekend, covering many areas of interest. This year’s programs include:

Saturday, Sept. 1st

8:30 am Coffee on the Beach donated by Kick Ash Coffee.  What a great way to start your day with a hot cup of coffee on the beach. Meet at the picnic area, Lot 3. In case of rain, this will be held at the shelter building, Lot 3.

10:00 am Herb Hike Dave LaLuzerne was born with a green spark in his heart. (Interestingly, his last name is the French word for alfalfa.) Nurtured through pharmacy school and many years as an herbal pharmacist in his own herb shop, he now finds his passion is educating people about the numerous and wondrous ways to use herbs for our health and well-being. The use of herbs as medicine is on the rise across the U.S. But the best approach to using herbs is to use what’s available in your local environment. Door County has a wealth of herbs that can be beneficial to your health and well-being. This walk will explore those herbs. Learn how the plants that flourish in this climate can help you flourish as well. Meet at the Nature Center, Lot 1.

12:30 pm Newport, an International Dark Sky Park. How We Got There; Where We’re Going Given by the park naturalist, come hear all about the Dark Sky Park designation given to Newport by IDA and what it means for the park. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Held in the Nature Center, Lot 1.

2:00 Bug Walk Join entomologist Dick Smythe as he explores the world of insects. Spend an hour learning about whatever “little critters” we find at Newport-spiders, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, and who knows what else.  If you have a butterfly net, please bring it. Meet at the Nature Center with a hike to follow.

Sunday, Sept. 2nd

11:30 – Trees and Shrubs of Door County Join arborist and horticulturist Tom Wolfe as he shares his vast knowledge about trees and shrubs. There will plenty of time for questions. Weather permitting, we will spend some time in the woods. Meet in the Nature Center, parking lot 1.

1:00 pm The Story in the Rocks Geology Hike Join geologist Jack Travis and learn about the fascinating and rich geologic history of the Door Peninsula and Newport State Park. This hike will start at Sugarbush Trail, Lot 4. We will then move on to see the sink holes in our picnic area, Lot 3.

1:30 pm Animals of Land and Water by Charlotte Lukes  This PowerPoint presentation showcases the many animals that call Door County home, sharing many of her late husband Roy’s pictures. Meet in the Nature Center, Lot 1.

More September Activities at Newport

September 8th  – Mushroom Hike with Charlotte Lukes 9:30 am Door County’s mushroom expert will lead us through the fascinating world of fungi. Charlotte has been studying wild mushrooms for over 40 years and she loves to share her knowledge through classes and programs throughout Door County. Meet in the Nature Center; hike to follow.

Saturday, September 8th –Poetry Trail Hike –Poems of the Moon and Dark Sky 6:00 pm Join local poets from Write On Door County as they share their work written at the Dark Sky Park. Meet at the beginning of the Poetry Trail, Lot 1. In case of bad weather, we will meet in the Nature Center, Lot 1.

September 9th OR 10th – Stargazing at the Dark Sky Park – 9:00 pm Calling all star gazers! Enjoy the dark sky during the new moon. Bring binoculars, telescopes or use one of ours. Blankets or a chair are suggested, as there is limited seating. To protect night vision, please use a flashlight or head lamp with a red filter. This informal gathering is open to all, and will be held if skies are clear. We will meet by the shelter building and beach area, about 600 feet down the path from parking lot 3. Program will be one night or the other, depending on viewing conditions. In event of rain or poor viewing conditions, program will be cancelled. Call the park for information.

Friday, September 14th – “My Favorite Universe” DVD Lecture Series 1:00 What forces molded the universe? Are those forces still at work, removing, changing, or adding heavenly bodies even as we gaze upward? In this lecture series, Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist who directs the nation’s most famous planetarium, makes that understanding available to anyone. My Favorite Universe is a spirited and intellectually engaging journey through the cosmos and its history. This first lecture is offered through The Great Courses series. Meets in the Nature Center.

Friday, September 14th – Universe in the Park 7:00 pm  Join guest astronomers from UW-Madison for a PowerPoint presentation and a chance to view the night skies through a high powered telescope.  Newport State Park is one of the best places to view the night sky as it is Wisconsin’s only designated international dark sky park.  Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket, flash lights or headlamps with a red lens (protects night vision). Meet at Lot 3, follow path to shelter building.

September 22nd – Mushroom Hike with Charlotte Lukes 9:30 am Door County’s mushroom expert will lead us through the fascinating world of fungi. Charlotte has been studying wild mushrooms for over 40 years and she loves to share her knowledge through classes and programs throughout Door County. Meet in the Nature Center; hike to follow.

Friday, September 14th – “My Favorite Universe” DVD Lecture Series 1:00 What forces molded the universe? Are those forces still at work, removing, changing, or adding heavenly bodies even as we gaze upward? In this lecture series, Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist who directs the nation’s most famous planetarium, makes that understanding available to anyone. My Favorite Universe is a spirited and intellectually engaging journey through the cosmos and its history. This second lecture is offered through The Great Courses series. Meets in the Nature Center.

September 23rd – Fall Equinox Fireside Chat with the Naturalist 6:30 pm Meet around the campfire for this informal gathering to celebrate the equinox, enjoy the sunset, view the moonrise and enjoy all nature has to offer. Meet at the fire ring by the shelter building off of Lot 3. Bring chairs, as seating is limited. In case of rain, program will be cancelled.

Friday, September 28th – Fall Findings – 10:00 Join the park naturalist on this hike and be on the lookout for the way things change as winter approaches. We’ll be looking at plants, trees, insects, and reptiles, anything that catches our eye. Meet at Lot 3.

Friday, September 28th – “My Favorite Universe” DVD Lecture Series 1:00 What forces molded the universe? Are those forces still at work, removing, changing, or adding heavenly bodies even as we gaze upward? In this lecture series, Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist who directs the nation’s most famous planetarium, makes that understanding available to anyone. My Favorite Universe is a spirited and intellectually engaging journey through the cosmos and its history. This third lecture is offered through The Great Courses series. Meets in the Nature Center.

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For more information on any of the above items, please call the park during normal business hours at 920-854-2500.