Located in Door County, the town of Liberty Grove is home to approximately 1,858 residents. You’ll find the communities of Ellison Bay, Gills Rock, and parts of rural Sister Bay located within the town limits–and the town runs to the Tip of the Door!
Liberty Grove Homes for Sale
Mother Nature smiles on Ellison Bay, and you can witness the beautiful view from the crest of a 200-foot escarpment just north of Sister Bay. We encourage you to visit when the fall air is crisp, and the leaves are enchanting hues of yellow, orange, and red.
Newport State Park is a favorite location for those who are looking for secluded hiking and cross-country ski trails.
The gateway to the Mink River Estuary, Rowleys Bay is on the Lake Michigan shore and just four miles east of Ellison Bay. Due to its protected status by the Nature Conservancy, this area is a pristine wilderness that is home to rare plants, birds, and other animals. The shoreline has a cross that is a replica of the original one built by Jesuit missionaries in the 1600’s. The bay is named in honor of Peter Rowley, a man who lived in the area in the mid-1800’s.
Originally called Hedgehog Harbor, Gills Rock is north of Ellison Bay. The village was named by the Washington Island fisherman and boat builder named Amos Lovejoy.
During the winter of 1855, Lovejoy kept his sloop in the safety of a cove that he was well acquainted with due to fishing. Unfortunately, his sloop wasn’t as safe as he thought. A family of hedgehogs had claimed the sailboat for their own. This may not have been a problem except for the holes they left behind in the hull of the boat. Imagine Lovejoy’s surprise when he set sail that spring only to find the sloop taking on water. He was forced to hurry back to shore and abandon his ship. From that time until 1870, the cove was called Hedgehog Harbor. At that time, the area was renamed Gills Rock to honor Elias Gill who was a prominent lumber businessman.
If fishing is a favorite pastime, you’ll appreciate the strong tradition of commercial fishing that Gills Rock is known for locally. A favorite location for those who enjoy diving for treasured artifacts, Gills Rock is often visited by shipwreck divers who are searching in and around Death’s Door. In fact, the Door County Maritime Museum is home to quite a few artifacts that have been recovered from the shipwrecks. These artifacts help paint a picture of the history of the fishing industry in this area.
Those wishing to visit Washington Island from Gills Rock will find the ferries that depart daily from Northport Pier useful.
Liberty Grove Beaches & Marinas
Door County has lots of beaches for a locals and visitors out for a day in the sun, and many of the beaches offer paddle board and kayak rentals, or a place to launch your own. The area north of Sister Bay, Ellison Bay and Gills Rock are no exception.
Sand Bay Town Park is on the lake side of Door County, and far enough from communities to ensure that crowds don’t overflow this beautiful sand beach. Take County ZZ out of Sister Bay, head east and you’ll hit the water!
Newport Bay beach is a beautiful, 2849-foot sand beach that is part of Newport State Park. The beach has restrooms, shelter, and picnic areas close-by. Newport State Park is open year-round, has an interpretive center and naturalist program, and is Wisconsin’s only wilderness-designated state park.
Three beaches on Europe Bay are located near the Europe Bay Woods (a part of Newport State Park) is a nice sandy beach fringed by native grasses and wildflowers.
Marinas are a great place to catch the sunset, or drop a line in the water to try your hand at fishing. If you have a boat, you want to know where to put it in! In Ellison Bay, Gills Rock and the area just north of Sister Bay you might try:
The Liberty Grove Town Dock at 11161 Old Stage Road. 16 slips, water 6 feet, maximum boat length 28 feet.
Rowley’s Bay Marina at 1041 County Road ZZ. 12 slips, water 3 feet, maximum boat length 30 feet.
If you’re boating over to Washington Island the Washington Island Town Dock has 10 slips, water at 4 feet, and a maximum boat length of 30 feet.
Because Door County is surrounded by water you’ll find numerous other boat launches, check out this link for some in the Ellison Bay and Gills Rock area.
Liberty Grove Parks & Recreation
The Liberty Grove parks department manages 13 parks and boat launch areas. Let’s take a closer look at several of these incredible community assets.
Located on the Niagara Escarpment, Grandview Park provides residents with a scenic overlook of Ellison Bay. This park is perfect for relaxing moments when you just want to enjoy the view or have a walk. Keep in mind that parking is not allowed on the highway, so you’ll want to park at the Liberty Grove Historical Society parking in Ellison Bay.
Located next to the Maritime Museum, Gills Rock Park features a picnic area that has grills and picnic tables. Since the area is covered, it’s perfect for special gatherings. The park also has a playground and benches. From May to October there are restrooms open to the public. It should be noted that dogs are now permitted within the park.
Those needing a shallow boat launch will find Europe Lake Boat Launch and North Bay Boat Launch handy. While the Europe Lake launch area has a picnic table and grill for picnics, the North Bay location has a bench for relaxing. Swimming is not encouraged at the North Bay Boat Launch.
Liberty Grove Real Estate
Like other communities in northern Door County, Ellison Bay and Gills Rock have a variety of real estate styles and locations that appeal to those seeking a relaxed lifestyle. Residents enjoy being close enough to Sister Bay to benefit from year-round entertainment, shopping, and services that are offered.
If you’re looking for a truly laid-back lifestyle, let’s explore your opportunities in northern Sister Bay, Ellison Bay and Gills Rock, the area also known as Liberty Grove.