• The trails are wet and Big Creek is "up."


Crossroads at Big Creek is a 200-acre nature preserve located within the city limits of Sturgeon Bay and comprising three separate parcels: Big Creek Preserve, the Cove Preserve, and the Ida Bay Preserve.

Ida Bay Preserve
1195 Canal Road
Sturgeon Bay, WI

The Ida Bay Preserve includes a two-mile trail system that winds through old-growth conifer and hardwood forests, orchards transitioning to shrublands, and ancient shorelines. At various times, these lands have served as a seasonal encampment for First Nations peoples, a logging site, a migrant worker camp, a place to house Sturgeon Bay ship canal workers, a resort and the location of an antique store. The Ida Bay property is a microcosm of the cultural heritage of Door County.

The Ida Bay Preserve is named for Ida Bay, the woman who owned this property and donated it to The Nature Conservancy. In 2014, TNC transferred the parcel to Crossroads, along with an endowment for its ongoing care.

Crossroads at Big Creek nature preserves are open every day, all day. We are glad you’re here to enjoy our nature preserves. For the protection of yourself, other visitors and wildlife, please observe the following:

Welcome activities:

  • Hiking and running
  • Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and kicksledding
  • Birding and other nature study
  • Photography and videography for personal use
  • Dog-walking if dogs are kept on-leash (Note: dogs are not permitted at the Cove Preserve due to the presence of sensitive shoreline and nesting birds.)
  • Fishing at the Cove Preserve, in adherence with DNR regulations

Activities not permitted:

  • Unauthorized motorized vehicles other than mobility-assist units
  • Horseback riding
  • Camping
  • Unauthorized campfires
  • Hunting

Please respect our neighbors by remaining within Crossroads’ property boundaries. Please carry out all trash, including pet waste. Please treat all wildlife you encounter with respect. Thank you for your cooperation.

Crossroads issues an e-newsletter several times a year. You may opt out at any time.