The 75-foot-tall observation tower at Potawatomi State Park in southern Door County is permanently closed and will be dismantled as soon as practicable because of significant wood decay, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced.
“This is a difficult decision for us, because we know how much our visitors enjoy climbing this tower for its panoramic views of Sawyer Harbor, Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay, but public safety is always our number one concern,” said Ben Bergey, director of the Wisconsin State Park System.
“At this time there are no plans to replace the tower,” he added, “but we welcome opportunities to work with partners to provide additional recreation opportunities at the park, which could include new observation facilities in the future.”
Potawatomi State Park, on the shore of Sturgeon Bay (just west of the city of Sturgeon Bay), features 1,200 acres of gently rolling upland terrain bordered by steep slopes and rugged limestone cliffs. The observation tower was completed in 1932.
A similar observation tower at Peninsula State Park in the northern Door County town of Fish Creek was removed in 2016 after analysis found severe wood decay in that one, as well. The DNR is working with several partners to build a new, fully accessible tower at Peninsula State Park that will be constructed in late 2018.
Potawatomi and Peninsula are among the most visited state parks in Wisconsin.