Robert M. Carmody Park is a 6-lane boat launch protected by a 350’ x 12’ wave attenuator dock. This dock also serves as an excellent handicap accessible fishing pier. The park was designed around 3 mature oak trees.
The boat launch is located on the bay of Little Sturgeon in the town of Gardner, which has a long history of excellent waters for fishing, whether by boat or on ice. It is also the area where Door County’s first Euro-American settlers, Increase and Mary Claflin, built a cabin in 1835.
Although the area has long been a fisherman’s haven, there was a lack of public access to the boating waters as well as a safe boating harbor from storms. In 2001, Door County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources jointly purchased 4.5 acres on the shores of Little Sturgeon Bay for the purposes of constructing a boat launch. It was the first jointly owned park between the two departments in Door County. (The Ahnapee State Trail and George K. Pinney are two county parks that are owned by the DNR and maintained by the county with no lease fee.). The land was purchased from Dean Carmody and named after his father, Robert, who had owned the land for many years.
Archeological studies were completed and harbor dredging began in the fall. The majority of the funding for the park came from state and federal funds. The park opened in June of 2005. The waters near the park are popular place to fish for small mouth bass, northern pike, walleye and perch. In winter, the boat launch provides access to Little Sturgeon to ice fishermen.
Archeological exploration determined that Indians camped on this site.