See Northern Michigan's Working Lighthouses

Photo by Virginia King
Lighthouses are beacons that direct marine travelers. They also are geographic reference, a piece of history, and places to visit. In Northern Michigan, there are two historic lighthouses that can be toured, McGulpin Point Lighthouse and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.In addition, there are many working lighthouses on Lake Michigan. Unlike the historic ones built with a keeper's quarters attached to a tower, these lighthouses are just towers. Many are located off shore and not accessible accept by boat.

Here's a look at the Up North Lighthouses:

Waugoshance Point is a brick lighthouse with a birdcage-style apparatus around the light that was built in 1851. It is located straight west of Mackinaw City leading into the Straits of Mackinac and west of McGulpin Point Lighthouse. It was deactivated in 1910.

White Shoal Light was built in 1910 and is the only red and white candy striped lighthouse in the Great Lakes. Located 12 miles northwest of Waugoshance Lighthouse, it is owned and operated by the US Coast Guard.

Grays Reef Lighthouse is a US Coast Guard lighthouse built in 1937. It is located six miles offshore off Waugoshance Point and marks the outside edge of the Grays Reef. The original fresnel lens can be seen at the Harsha House, Charlevoix.

Skillagalee (Ile Aux Galets) Lighthouse, nicknamed Skilly, was built in 1851. It was once a large tower with keeper's quarters but only the working tower remains. Located six miles west of Cross Village, it marks the ever growing Skillagalee island--becoming bigger as lake level's drop.

The Charlevoix South Pier was built in 1911 of wood and then replaced with a steel structure in 1948. The Charlevoix Historical Society maintains this still active light.
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Northern Michigan Lighthouse Locations...

Northern Michigan Map

Harbor Point Lighthouse -- Located in Harbor Springs in Northern Michigan. McGulpin Point Lighthouse -- This lighthouse is located in the Straits of Mackinac at Mackinaw City. Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse -- Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse is in Mackinaw City.

Discover More Lake Michigan Lighthouses...

West Michigan Map

Ludington's North Breakwater Light -- Walk the half-mile long pier to West Michigan's most popular lighthouse.
North Pierhead Lighthouse in Manistee -- At the Manistee beach.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse -- Located at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse -- Located in the Ludington State Park.
Pentwater Pier Head Lights -- At the channel to Pentwater Lake.
Grand Haven Lighthouse -- The Grand Haven lighthouse is at the mouth of the Grand River.
White River Light Station in Whitehall -- Operated by the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers.

Northwest Michigan Map

Grand Traverse Light Station -- Located on the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan, The Grand Traverse Light was established in 1852.
Point Betsie Light Station -- Nestled in a dune just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the tower stands 39 feet tall, but with the height of the dune it towers 52 feet above Lake Michigan.

Wisconsin Lighthouse Map

Manitowoc North Breakwater - Walk out to the end of the pier to this Manitowoc lighthouse, and wave to the carferry S.S. Badger as the ship passes by.
Algoma North Pierhead - This lighthouse can be seen all along the Crescent Beach Boardwalk and is accessible via the pier if you want to venture closer.
Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse - Located in Kewaunee, Wisconsin...halfway between Sturgeon Bay and Manitowoc along Lake Michigan.

Last Updated: 12-10-2021 01:02 PM ID: 589