The White Cliff Nature Preserve is located near downtown Egg Harbor. The preserve features a unique wetland complex, mature forest, Niagara Escarpment, and a scenic stretch along bucolic White Cliff Road. The centerpiece of the preserve is a 30-acre fen fed by alkaline-rich groundwater that passes through the dolomitic limestone. Although the fen area is dominated by sedges and reeds, an impressive number of other plant species are present in the preserve, including such uncommon ones as swamp milkweed, common bog grass, yellow lady’s slipper, marsh marigold, small-flowered gerardia, Kalm’s lobelia, swamp goldenrod, and northern bog aster. An upland forest composed primarily of white cedar, hemlock, red oak, big toothed aspen, American beech, and sugar maple surrounds the fen.
The White Cliff Nature Preserve was once part of the large landholdings of a man named Ferdinand Hotz. In the early 1900s, the wealthy jeweler from Chicago owned more land than any other landowner in Door County, including all of what is now Newport State Park, much of the orchard and bluff lands near Fish Creek and the White Cliff Preserve neighborhood. The acreage that constitutes White Cliff Nature Preserve remains much the same as the day Ferdinand Hotz first laid eyes on it over 100 years ago.
Help us continue to protect Door County’s special places. Door County Land Trust nature preserves were established to protect fragile ecological resources and provide habitat for plants and wildlife. You can help maintain the health of the forest, meadows, and wetlands by respecting the nature preserves in the following ways:
Stay on the trails. Hiking off-trail disturbs vegetation and wildlife, and increases your chances of encountering poison-ivy, other natural hazards, or trespassing outside of preserve boundaries.
Clean your boots or shoes. You can reduce the spread of invasive plants by brushing your boots or shoes where a boot brush station is provided.
Pets are welcome. Please keep your pets on a leash at all times and pick up after your pets.
Collecting is not allowed. Collecting of any vegetation, wildlife, or other material is not allowed.
Leave no trace. Please carry out everything that you carry in, including garbage.
Some activities are not allowed. Horseback riding, ATVs, bicycles, snowmobiles and other motorized recreational equipment is not allowed on the preserves.
Wear brightly colored clothing during hunting seasons. Hunting, trapping, and fishing may be allowed at some Door County Land Trust nature preserves. For more detailed information about hunting on Door County Land Trust preserves, please visit our Hunting Program page.
- 103 protected acres
- 1.5-mile looped hiking trail over level terrain
- Long stretch of scenic open space along bucolic White Cliff Road
- Mature forest stands of maple, beech, hemlock and white cedar with a diverse understory including spring ephemeral wildflowers
- Rock talus slope of the Niagara Escarpment