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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Great Lakes > Lake Michigan
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Old 05-10-2011
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Dorr County Cruise

My SO and I have set a BHAG for our 1st full season of boat ownership. We plan to sail our 30' Islander from Muskegon, MI to the Dorr County area sometime in July.

I would appreciate any suggestions you might have for marinas, anchorages, and must-see attractions. We both like nature, but prefer towns with restaurants and bars for extended stays.

Also, I'm interested in opinions on the best spot to make the crossing. We could cross from Muskegon to Milwaukee (a ferry does this every day) and head north up the WI coast. It's also an option to head north from Muskegon and cross anywhere from Pentwater to Frankfort over to Sturgeon Bay. Any experience on any of those routes?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-12-2011
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Sorry that you are not gettting many responses on your question. I have made the crossing from Leland to Washington Island ( I just had to do "Death's Door" for the logbook) and enjoyed Washington island early in the seaon.

If Door County is your destination I would come north from Muskegon and cross from Frankfort or Leland dependent on the weather window and wind direction. More options to duck into that way. However, if you have the right weather you can do it from home with an over night.

As you are not getting much response here I would suggest you try AnythingSailing.com and ask Tim or Jim as both are familiar with the trip and or the destination. Tim sails out of Holland and seems to have developed a love affair with that side of the lake. Jim sails out of Door County and has lots of local knowledge.

Have a great trip. Northern Lake Michigan is a beautiful place to sail
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Old 05-12-2011
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We made it from Holland, through Sturgeon Bay and to Egg Harbor in 30 Hours. You have to plan a slow trek through Sturgeon Bay due to the fact that the one bridge only opens on the hour, so unless you plan it just right which is very difficult with a 100 + nautical mile sail you can expect to get delayed there.

Dependant on your comfort and skill levels it can be done with out stopping given the right weather window. My wife and I sail shorthanded, but we have been doing it for a while and are comfortable in the open waters.

Destinations with Facilities, Town, shopping, and Dinning? Egg Harbor, Fish Creek and Sister Bay.

Remote Anchorages? Horse Shoe Island, Nicolette Bay, Detroit Harbor.
All are excellent anchorages that offer excellent protection from wind and waves with good holding.
The view from Horse Shoe Island into Nicolette Bay is worth the trip alone.

The local tradition in Horse Shoe Island is to drop the hook and stern tie to a tree to prevent swinging and allow more boats into the small anchorage.

Also, we loved hanging out at Rock Island State Park. Only access is by ferry or Personal Craft.This is an extremely remote area. The island was at one time the personal property of a wealthy Chicago entrepreneur.

Across the Bay the Marina at Menominee gets excellent reviews but I have never been there.

This year we plan on returning and are going to try and make it as far North as Fayette State Park. Fayette is supposed to be one of the finest natural harbors on Lake Michigan.

I could go on and on about the beauty of Door County. I will tell you that it is the EXCACT opposite of what you find in your home waters. Muskegon and the Michigan Shore are all sand and dunes where as Door County is magnificent Rock Bluffs with lots of shoals and islands everywhere.

If your up to a challenge, the sail through "Death's Door" will give you one.

I am confident that you will not be disappointed in your choice of destinations.

Some photos attached....

Horse Shoe Anchorage looking into Nicolette Bay


Approaching Horse Shoe Island Anchorage

Typical Bluff Scene; North Shore Rock Island


Rock Island State Park; Original Owners Private Boat House


The obligatory Sunset Photo

ENJOY!
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Old 05-14-2011
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OH, and Tim has pretty pictures too!
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Old 05-15-2011
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Thanks for the responses and pictures! Now I'm even more motivated to get over there.

Probably not going to try the 100+ mile overnight passage for the first time across the lake alone, so going north to Frankfort sounds good.

It is wonderful that we Great Lakes people have these cruising grounds so close to home.
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Old 12-30-2011
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.....I agree Door County is an awsome destination. I live 30 minutes from the water and drag the trialer sailor their. Lots of good weather windows if your a bit careful and live close.

Did you know that Door County has more miles of coast line than any other County in America ? So they claim anyway.

Tom3215
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Old 01-09-2012
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We've got plans to cruise Door County this coming summer. I'm thinking a circumnavigation of the peninsula would be a good way to spend a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
We've got plans to cruise Door County this coming summer. I'm thinking a circumnavigation of the peninsula would be a good way to spend a couple of weeks.
Kwalter,
In 2010 we entered through the ship canal, stopped at Egg harbor, Horse Shoe Island, Washington Island, and Rock Island than exited out "Death's Door". It was a great trip. The photos above are from that trip.
FWI, Most locals say to stay away from the Lake side of the peninsula as it does not have a lot to offer and the entrances can be a bit challenging. Some day I plan on going into Bailey's Harbor just to say we did it.
The exit out Death's Door was in head winds of about 20 Knots and sloppy conditions. Just by chance, a friend that keeps her boat in Sturgeon Bay happened to be on the ferry to Washington Island and got pictures of us.




A circumnavigation of the Peninsula is a great trip. Lots of places to see and we actually missed a lot of them. I understand Fish Creek is a good stop. Also, I also hear that dropping the hook in Little Sister Bay and taking the dinghy for a dinner at Fred and Fuzzy’s Water Front Bar & Grill is a good fun time.

In 2011 we returned and this time we went about as far North as you can go into Green Bay. We spent about 32 hours sailing out of Holland Michigan and sailed straight for the St Martin Island Passage and Fayette State Park. I highly recommend Fayette as a destination. It is like stepping back into time. Fayette at one time was a booming industrial town that grew up around the blast furnace used to smelt iron ore. When the furnaces were shut down around the turn of the century, most of the residence packed up and left. The remains of there homes, stores, hotel, blacksmith shop, etc.are all still standing. It is a lot of fun to explore for a day or two.











As you can tell, I am a big fan of the area.
No doubt about it, Door County, Green Bay, and the Door Peninsula is an area you can spend weeks exploring and not see it all.
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Old 03-31-2012
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Re: Dorr County Cruise

You can't go wrong with Door County. The bay side is much more delevolped with plenty of shops restaurants and tourist actitives, where the lake side is a little more laid back. Don't miss Fish Creek or Ephraim. Also Washington Island is like a trip back to small town americia. If you are arround in the winter time Jacksonport is the home to one of the largest polarbear clubs for the Jan 1st swim in lake Michigan. The ice is hard on the ships hulls that time of year though. And I agree that Fayette is one of the nicest spots on the great lakes. Overall you'll have a great time over here in our corner of the great Lake. Richard
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