Geology Hike

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 

Saturday, August 5th –  Citizen Science: “Living Fossils”; A Dragonfly Hike with Paul Burton 10:00am This relatively easy hike will take you to the wetland area of the Mink River Estuary in search of “living fossils”,  one of nature’s greatest success stories. Dragonflies have remained much the same for over 300 million years.  We will capture and identify different species of dragonflies – possibly the federally endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly. Paul Burton, a retired professor who taught and conducted research in cell biology at the University of Kansas for 28 years, has been researching, photographing and writing about dragonflies and Door County history since moving to Door County in 1991. Meet at the Nature Center, Lot 1. Some nets will be available to use.

Saturday, August 12th – Monarch  presentation: Migration to Mexico 10:00 In February of 2013,Marilyn and Phil Hansotia joined Mary and Dick Smythe took a trip to the Mexican wintering grounds for the North American Monarchs residing east of the Rocky Mountains.  The trip was led by Dr. Tom Emmel, Professor of Entomology at the University of Florida, Gainesville and Director of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) and Biodiversity also in Gainesville.  A well-known entomologist, he has led numerous trips to the Monarch Mexican wintering grounds. Visiting two different wintering sites, Marilyn and Dick will share their experience of this astounding and unique phenomenon.  Nowhere in the world is such an event duplicated. Join us in the Nature Center for this presentation.

Saturday, August 12th – Special Program: Universe in the Park and Perseid Meteor Shower 8:30 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 in Ellison Bay is the best place to view this spectacular meteor shower 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.

Wednesday, August 16th – “The Trails of Newport” Challenge Hike – 9:00 The 12th in a series of weekly hikes, the goal is to hike all the trails of Newport this summer. This week’s hike will be the Newport Trail, 5 mile hike. Meet at Lot 2.

Friday August 18th –Arachnid Adventure – Spider Hike – 2:00 Take a walk at Newport State Park and see for yourself the wonders of the park’s most ubiquitous predators…the spiders.  Learn about their preferred niches, web construction, mating, and other unique behaviors of these most misunderstood of arthropod neighbors of ours! Join spider expert and educator John Dobyns at the Hotz park lot at the end of Europe Bay Road.

Saturday, August 19th – Spider Talk: The Evolution of Arachnids 10:00 Hear spider expert and educator John Dobyns about special insights into the fossil record of spiders.  We will discuss the major changes in the anatomy of spiders as it relates to their ability to exist and thrive on almost every continent on the planet (and soon, even in the Antarctic).  Minimal “scary” images…..maybe. Meets at the Nature Center, Lot 1.

Saturday, August 19th –Navigation Skills; Orienteering,  Map &  Compass 2:00 – 3:30  Join search and rescue volunteer and fire science instructor Ken Foszcz and learn all about how navigation was done in early days, outdoor skills, how to read a map and correctly use a compass. The discussion will start in the Nature Center with outdoor activities to follow.

Sunday, August 20th – New Moon Night Photography Workshop – 7:00 pm Want to take great photos of Newport’s dark sky? Join photographer Denny Moutray for this informative how-to session as he gives tips and tools for taking night sky photos. This is a hands on workshop is for all, but some knowledge of your equipment would be necessary. Bring your camera and a tripod, as we will stay and take photos of the night sky, particularly the Milky Way. Meet at the picnic area by Lot 3. In case of rain or bad conditions, this will be held on Monday, August 21st, same place and time.

Monday, August 21st – Total Solar Eclipse Viewing – 11:45 am-2:35 pm   Come view the first total solar eclipse on America’s mainland in 38 years and the first time “totality” — the path of total darkness — will sweep coast to coast since 1918. While we are not in the optimal viewing area of the country, we will still see about 75% dark out of the sun. The moon will pass between the sun and the earth starting at 11:54 AM and end at 2:37 PM. Maximum coverage will be around 1:17 PM. We will have special solar eclipse viewing glasses for you to use. Never look directly at a solar eclipse. We will gather at the picnic area, Lot 3.

Wednesday, August 23rd – “The Trails of Newport” Challenge Hike – 9:00 The 13th and final in a series of weekly hikes, the goal is to hike all the trails of Newport this summer. This week’s hike will be the Europe Bay Trail, a 7 mile hike. Meet at Lot 3. After we finish the hike, we will enjoy a picnic lunch to celebrate completing the hike challenge. Meet at Lot 3.

Wednesday, August 23rd – Star Gazing at Newport; an International Dark Sky Park – 8:30 pm Calling all star gazers! Enjoy the dark sky during the night of the new moon. Bring binoculars, telescopes or use one of ours. This informal gathering is open to all, and will be held if skies are clear. To protect night vision, please use a flashlight or head lamp with a red filter. We will meet at Lot 3, picnic and beach area. Rain/bad conditions date: August 24th, same time.

Saturday, August 26thMushroom 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.


Summer Job Openings at Newport State Park!!
Both Laborer and Visitor Service positions available. These are LTE seasonal positions.  For more information, you can call the park (920-854-2500) or visit the Wisconsin DNR site on the Internet at
On the Wisconsin DNR site, look for the Ellison Bay (or Washington Island) locations.

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