Wisconsin's ice-breaker ferry ride through Death's Door

Feb 16, 2018

Washington Island Ferry Service's ice-breaker vessel Arni J RIchter
Credit Thomas Wilmer

It’s just a two and a half hour drive from Green Bay, Wisconsin to the tip of the Door Peninsula where the family owned Washington Island Ferry awaits to take you on a five mile, thirty minute boat ride to another world. 

There are 600 full time residents on Washington Island, and the heritage of the islanders is dominated by descendants from Norway and Iceland.

Located in Door County, Wisconsin, the derivation of the name Door derives from the pioneers who dubbed the waters off the tip of the peninsula “Death’s Door”.

Videographer Jason Lopez produced a 360 video featuring the Washington Island Ferry Service with Richard Purinton and Jon Jarsh from the Door County Visitors Bureau

Listen to the podcast with Richard Purinton at the ferry docks for an insider’s view of island life and the story of operating one of the only family owned year-round ferry services in America. 

During the summer months, the island booms with visitors from around the world, but in the midst of winter life goes on, but it’s a much quieter time, with a dramatic snow draped beauty of its own.

The Washington Island Ferries are equipped with hardened ice-breaking bows that carve their way across the straits skirting the fringe of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

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Credit SATW Foundation