Rock Island

Gills Rock, Wisconsin 54246

Rock Island

Rock Island Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Two ferry trips are required to reach this vehicle-free island state park. A mostly wooded trail circles the entire island and shows views of Lake Michigan and wanders past historical pioneer attractions and a lighthouse. Camping is wonderful if you get the chance.

State maps and common wisdom portray Rock Island as the end of the line. A small island off the tip of Door County, it is the ultimate weekend getaway and a prime place to watch the moon rise from a watery Lake Michigan horizon. Turn the clock back 300 years and travel patterns, as well as the way humans viewed Rock Island, were significantly different. Both Native Americans and voyageurs saw Rock Island not as the end but rather as a middle point in the trading route known as the Grand Traverse."

Rock Island Trip Reports

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I have to say this is the BEST State Park in Wisconsin. I visit the park several times a year, winter & summer. My passion is the oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin which is open for tours May thru October.
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This is a 912 acre island. From the dock the Pottawatomie Lighthouse(1858) is about a mile north. There are other historic buildings on the island to explore. The camping is primitive, no electricity and you must carry your gear to your camp site. There are no bikes allowed and many camp sites have a beautiful view of the sunset. The trail around the island is about five miles and you hike through a virgin forest, along a sand beach, next to rocky cliffs and through open fields. This is one of my favorites Wisconsin State Parks if you just want to escape to quietness.

Rock Island Photos

Trail Information

Gills Rock
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2.5 hours
June - October
Rock Island State Park, 1924 Indian Point Rd., Washington Island, 54246; (920) 847-2235;
Local Contacts
USGS Washington Island Northeast; Rock Island State Park map
Local Maps

Trail Log