Colors are beginning to turn on Horseshoe Island on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo by Dan Plutchak/Door County Shore Report.

ELLISON BAY — Locals say the peak for fall colors in 2021 in Door County is still about a week away, but there are already plenty of painterly delights to see as you travel the peninsula.

This year’s peak is sandwiched between Egg Harbor’s Pumpkin Patch Festival and Sister Bay’s annual Fall Fest, so expect lots of company as you travel the highways and side roads throughout the next few weeks.

Here are a five of our favorite spots to view fall colors as we loop around Door County.

  1. Heading north from Sturgeon Bay, take the downtown bridge and hang a left to take Bay Shore Drive, which takes drivers along the shore all the way to Egg Harbor. The views along the road and out into Green Bay are spectacular.

2. Spend some time in Peninsula State Park to take in the the sweeping vistas from above on Skyline Road, which provides a bird’s eye view of Nicolet beach. On the way out, be sure to stop at the new, barrier free Eagle Tower.

3. Just as you leave the park and head down the hill into Ephraim, look across the bay to downtown to see the twin churches nestled into the hillside.

4. At the tip of Door County, take the famous Jens Jensen “curvy” road to the Northport ferry dock. If you stop for photos, be sure the area is clear of traffic. The road is busy this time of year.

5. Head down the Lake Michigan side, turn left just outside Jacksonport to visit Cave Point County Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park.

Finish your day in Bailey’s Harbor looking out over the marina.

For those who would rather have someone else drive, the Door County Trolley hosts a variety of tours, from color tours to haunted tours.

If you can’t make it up this year, follow some of the great photographers on the Door County Photographer’s Facebook group.


By Dan Plutchak

Editor and publisher of the Door County Shore Report