It’s a cold one. As of this writing, we’re currently seeing temperatures rising into the low double digits, finally on the upswing from a frigid early February in Door County. This is the time of year when the County is covered in, and surrounded by, ice. Ice is surprisingly fascinating – it can be beautiful, dangerous, and unpredictable.
Ice isn’t only a part of Door County’s natural history, it’s a part of our economic history as well. Before mechanical refrigeration was commonplace, the Door County ice harvest provided block ice for iceboxes used in business and private homes all over the Midwest. Today, the frozen waters of Green Bay are dotted with the vehicles and ice shacks of local fisherman and ice fishing charters alike.
In literature, ice represents many things, including rigidity, stillness, and the unexplored. The stillness of Door County at this time of year was meant to be explored.
It is a gross understatement to call Door County’s ice formations spectacular. A more appropriate description would be have-to-be-seen-to-be-believed. Every year, our unique climate, endless shoreline, and location between a large body of water and a massive one mean that ice does things that do not seem possible on a regular basis.
These Instagram-ready sights combined with miles of snowshoe-able trails make for an unforgettable day out, and warm, cozy accommodations make for a relaxing evening in.
Wisconsin’s Spectacular Ice Formations
Door County’s Cave Point County Park a must-see for wintry ice formations
One of the many things we love about our community are the quirky annual traditions that help us get through the long winter with a smile on our face. For 83 years, Sister Bay has hosted the Ice Out Contest, allowing participants to support local businesses by attempting to guess precisely when a raft, carefully placed on the frozen Bay, will begin floating away.
The “goat on a boat” is tethered to a clock, and once it pulls away, the tether breaks, stopping the clock. The person who guesses the closest date and time will receive the $100 grand prize, with many gift certificates from local businesses also up for grabs. This year it’s even more critical to support these vital local businesses, so we’re hoping for a big turnout.
83rd Annual Sister Bay Ice Out Contest
Keep Your Dog Safe in Winter
Our dog-friendly expansion is still under construction, but at the Open Hearth Lodge, we’ve always loved our dogs. We welcome them into our Lodge because we know that people who bring their dog on vacation do it because they want their dog to be safe, secure, and happy – and because they enjoy their vacation more with their dog at their side.
Winter is a great time for dogs and their people, but it can be dangerous as well. When you come to Door County, bring your dog, but follow these tips to keep him safe:
Cold Weather Pet Safety
One More Thing: Open Hearth Expansion Update
Construction continues on our new pet-friendly expansion! The ultra-cold weather has made construction challenging, but we’re seeing progress both inside and out. We can’t wait to unveil these new rooms to you!