Life on the Ledge / The Niagara Escarpment

Erected by Wisconsin Sate Park System
Peninsula State Park, Door County, Wisconsin
45.162638,-87.198215
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Life on the Ledge
The Niagara Escarpment
Welcome to Peninsula State Park, a diverse and dramatic place. Two features dominate this landscape: rock and water.

At Peninsula, rocky bluffs ascent over 150 feet. They are part of the Niagara Escarpment, a 650-mile geological formation. This fossil-rich sedimentary rock began to form 420 million years ago at the outer rim of a shallow sea. Today the escarpment is the "backbone" of Peninsula State Park. This varied terrain provides critical habitat for 500-year-old cedar trees, delicate ferns, and rate land snails.

Peninsula also harbors eight miles of shoreline. Wave-splashed and ice-pushed, it is ever changing. Walk the coast to see windrows of rounded cobbles. Watch for boulders strewn near the water's edge. Brachiopod and coral fossils, evidence of ancient Silurian Sea, may be embedded in the rock. 
The marker is located on Shore Road in Peninsula State Park, directly across from Eagle Tower, just west of the intersection of Shore Road and Eagle Terrace, Fish Creek, Wisconsin 54212.

NOTE: This is a fee area; a Wisconsin State Park System sticker or daily use fee are required.

The Niagara Escarpment: Wisconsin's eighth natural wonder

Niagara Escarpment Resource Network

Wisconsin State Park System: Peninsula State Park

Wisconsin State Park System: Peninsula State Park: History

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program: Peninsula Park Beech Forest (No. 12)

Use the "Peninsula State Park" label below to view all markers inside the park; there are several.


Cedar trees are cliff survivors. They sink their roots into rock cervices that catch bits of soil and moisture, then are helped along by rock-bound algae and fungi. At least a few of Peninsula's ledge-loving cedars are over 500 years old.

Generalized Location of Niagara Escarpment in North America

Look along the rocky shore for brachiopod fossils. These two-shelled ocean animals lived here millions of years ago.
The marker is inside its own covered area.

The marker is directly across Shore Road from Eagle Tower.

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