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Explore Baileys Harbor
Cana Island Light is Door County’s most painted and photographed lighthouse, and is a must see for your weekend lighthouse excursion. The station was established in 1870, and it is still operational with the original Third Order Fresnel lens. The 81 foot tower is constructed of steel, which was wrapped around the original brick in 1902. The attached keeper’s house is of the same cream-colored Milwaukee brick that is used in other Door County lights. The cast iron lantern at the top of the tower has two levels–a watch room at the top of the tower with the lantern room above containing the lighthouse’s lens. All the lighthouses are in close proximity, and there are many bed and breakfasts.
Surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness and wetlands, much of it preserved as part of the Bjorklunden, Toft’s Point and Mud Lake Wildlife Area, Baileys Harbor also offers birding and hiking at their best at the Ridges Sanctuary, a privately-held wildflower preserve that includes the Baileys Harbor Rangelight and Lighthouse and a beautiful sand beach that’s open to the public. This 1,000 acre Sanctuary contains sandy ridges, wooded bogs, and a complex of rare wildflowers, wildlife, and birds in their natural habitats. Self-guided tours on an extensive walking trail and boardwalk system are available to the public for a small donation fee. Wildflowers bloom in the ridges from late April to mid October. A nature center with displays, information, and a nature store is open to the public during the flowering season.
Shipwreck sites in Wisconsin’s Great Lakes attract divers from around the world. The steamer Frank O’Connor, one of the largest wooden ships ever built, met its fate in the form of a fire from a discarded match in 1919; it is now 65 feet underwater about 2.6 miles north-northeast of Cana Island. Three schooners – the A.P. Nichols, the Forest and the J.E. Gilmore – lie in a heap 15 to 40 feet down near the cement dock on Pilot Island in Door County, at the infamous Death’s Door passage.