Starting the Like to Hike challenge in Peninsula State Park

Like to Hike: Door County Camping Trip, September 2009

A version of this post originally appeared on my blog First Class Great Outdoors. Enjoy!

We upped the activity during this year’s Door County camping trip when Jason and I decided to take part in Peninsula State Park’s Like to Hike program.

To participate in the Like to Hike program, we picked up a program log from the park office and used it to record five silent activities we did in the park. Completing five activities earns you the respective year’s Peninsula State Park Like to Hike pin. (Ok, you have to buy the pin and can buy one without completing any activities, but you get a couple of dollars off with a completed log. Totally worth it.) This year’s visit was our second trip to the park, but our first year aiming to complete the challenge.

We started our challenge at night by stargazing from our campsite. This was in honor of 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy (or so my log said), and counted as one activity.

The next day, we hit it hard. Our morning started with a bike ride along the Sunset Trail, a 10-mile trail that winds throughout the park. After our Washington Island biking adventure, this ride was not very easy. Our legs were pretty spent.

Before and after biking the Sunset Bike Trail in Peninsula State Park

Next, it was off to Nicolet Beach and the Minnehaha Trail. This hike added about 2 more miles to our day. The Minnehaha Trail connected up with Eagle Trail, activity #4. Eagle Trail is a challenging 2-mile loop along amazing bluffs.

Shoreline along the Minnehaha Trail in Peninsula State Park

Bluffs along Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park

Underneath a bluff along Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park

Jason and I hiking the Minnehaha and Eagle Trails in Peninsula State Park

Just as we finished our hike along Eagle Trail and made our way back to Nicolet Beach, it started to rain.

Determined to finish our Like to Hike adventure, we walked the White Cedar Nature Trail in the rain. This 0.5-mile loop winds through the woods. Nature signs along the way give lots of information on deer and tips for spotting them. We didn’t see any (wrong time of day), but I learned a lot.

After an intense day of biking and hiking, I feel I really earned my pin! The 2009 pin features Wisconsin’s state flower, the wood violet. I’m excited to try completing a log each year we visit Peninsula State Park and collecting lots of pins — little mementos from our family trips.

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