Wisconsin’s Culture - Harrington Beach

A camper’s paradise with a terrific beach

Harrington Beach State Park, north of Port Washington,  has a mile long beach, 73 camping sites, many offering considerable privacy, and many trails.

Reserve America says this:

“The park encompasses about 702 acres, including one mile of wide, sandy beach, a scenic 25-acre quarry lake, an 80-acre white cedar lowland forest, and a 300-acre upland area affording a panoramic view of Lake Michigan and excellent birdwatching opportunities. There is a one-half mile interpretive nature trail, a hiking trail around Quarry Lake, a historical trail highlighting the history of the :Stonehaven" mining community once located in the park, and about two miles of cross country ski trails. Quarry Lake and Puckett's Pond provide fishing opportunities for trout, smallmouth bass, and panfish. There are four picnic areas overlooking Lake Michigan and two near Quarry Lake. All of the picnic areas are equipped with tables and grills, and the South Picnic Area has an open picnic shelter and sand volleyball court. Pets are allowed in certain areas of the park≥”

I was there on a sunny July day. The camp grounds were packed. Many campers simply parked along the roadside next to the wooded area and set up shop that way.

The Lake here is said to be a bit cool.

Chelsey Lewis, writing for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said this:

“The park is also a prime spot for birdwatching. More than 250 species have been spotted here, and spring and fall are especially good times for catching birds as they migrate. Look for warblers, sandpipers, bluebirds and purple martins.

“Near the point picnic area, look for a large anchor that belonged to the wooden steamship Niagara, which sank off the shore near the park in 1856. The 3,000-pound anchor was removed before the shipwreck site was protected, but scuba divers can still explore the underwater wreck today.

“If those aren't enough activities for you, here's a nighttime one: stargazing. The park is home to the Jim and Gwen Plunkett Observatory, which has a 20-inch telescope and a roll-off roof that can be opened to expose the entire night sky.

“The Northern Cross Science Foundation operates the observatory and hosts a number of public astronomy programs throughout the summer, including a solar viewing June 8 at noon and a telescope viewing at 9 p.m. July 5.”