Looking for a road trip idea? Why not visit all of Michigan’s lighthouses

National Lighthouse Day is August 7

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Associated Press

This Sept. 23, 2012 photo shows the ferry to Mackinac Island, Mich., and the Round Island Lighthouse, which dates to the 1890s but is no longer a functioning lighthouse. The picturesque lighthouse once marked the channel between Round Island and Mackinac. The ferry brings visitors to Mackinac, a vacation destination known for Victorian charm in modern times. (AP Photo/Anick Jesdanun)

Michigan lighthouses have been shining a light on the Great Lakes for centuries.

With more than 3,200 miles of shoreline, lighthouses greatly impact the water community.

Michigan is one of the few states in the nation with so many lighthouses, and they are all unique in different ways. The facilities are so popular that Vernors once launched limited-edition cans featuring our state’s lighthouses.

The oldest standing lighthouse in the Mitten is the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron. It was built in 1829 after the first lighthouse in the state built in 1825 was destroyed by storms. According to St. Clair County, Coast Guard maintained the Fort Gratiot Light Station from the 30s till 2004.

This year two historic lighthouses were awarded $100,00 in grants for preservation, and in 2021, three lighthouses were given money for restoration.

Lovers of the Great Lakes have been raising money and doing a lot of research to preserve history.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society recently discovered a shipwreck that dates back to the 1890s in Lake Superior. According to researchers, an estimated 6,000 vessels are lost in the Great Lakes. Click here to check out some of the discovered structures.

If you are looking for a road trip idea, we challenge you to visit as many lighthouses as you can this summer. Below is a list of those that are on Michigan’s coast.

East Coast

  • Cheboygan Crib, Cheboygan
  • Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, Port Huron
  • Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, Rogers City
  • New Presque Isle Lighthouse
  • Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, Presque Isle
  • Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse and Museum, Port Hope
  • Port Austin Reef Light, Port Austin
  • Port Sanilac Lighthouse, Port Sanilac
  • Saginaw River Lighthouse, Bay City
  • Tawas Point Lighthouse, East Tawas

West Coast

  • Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Ludington
  • Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse, Charlevoix County
  • Grand Haven South Pier & Lighthouse, Grand Haven
  • Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, Northport
  • Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse, Manistee
  • McGulpin Point Lighthouse, Mackinaw City
  • Old Mission Lighthouse, Traverse City
  • Point Betsie Lighthouse, Frankfort
  • South Manitou Island Lighthouse, Leland
  • St. Joseph North Pier Outer Lighthouse, Saint Joseph
  • Whiskey Point Light, Beaver Island
  • White River Light Station Museum, Whitehall

Upper Peninsula

  • DeTour Reef Light, DeTour Village
  • Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, Eagle Habor
  • Fourteen Mile Point Lighthouse, Ontonagon
  • Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse, Munising
  • Manistique East Breakwater Lighthouse, Manistique
  • Munising Range Lighthouses, Munising
  • Rock Harbor Light, Isle Royale
  • Wawatam Lighthouse, Saint Ignace

Click here to download a map with all of Michigan’s lighthouses.

Below is all of the lighthouses that surround Lake Michigan, courtesy of the West Michigan Tourist Association:

Interested in being a lighthouse keeper? Click here.


About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.