This small island off the tip of the Door Peninsula is well worth a day trip. Cycle, sip local cider, and picnic on Schoolhouse Beach.

It will take a drive and a ferry to get here, but once you do you’ll want to rent a bike to explore the island in earnest. You’ll have time to cycle around the whole island, with side trips to beaches, frontier houses, and picnic spots or small cafes.

To get to Washington Island, drive north on Highway 42 until reaching the top of the Door Peninsula. It’s easy to follow the signs for the ferry, and there’s only really one main road. Close to the end of the road, the path is quite windy — locals love to speed this section for the thrill.

The ferry leaves frequently in the summer (every 45 minutes in peak season) and takes about half an hour. The cost is $13.50 round trip for adults.

At the dock on the island, there are several places to rent a bike, or you can bring your own. Follow the main road around the island. Some worthwhile side trips include the pebble-covered beach, a lavender factory, and an old frontier-era house. There is also a small village on the island with several nice cafes for lunch.

The ride is not difficult, with just a couple small hills. You will pass through farmland and forests along the way. The entire loop is about 15 miles and can easily be accomplished in a day trip with plenty of time for breaks.

Of course, you can also extend your trip to the island by staying at one of the numerous inns, or going even further to the tiny Rock Island to camp. 

Pack List

  • Picnic supplies
  • Athletic clothing
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit
  • Daypack
  • Money
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RT Distance 15 Miles
Elevation Gain 100 Feet
Activities Cycling, Chillin
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Adult Beverages
Food Nearby
Picnic Area


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