Michigan’s lighthouses helped guide our state’s history and growth. Today, they stand as beacons of our rich maritime heritage.
Our state is home to abundant parks and yearlong recreational opportunities, yet few people know that Michigan is home to the most lighthouses in the nation.
These coastal icons offer residents and visitors a rare chance to experience history firsthand, have fun with the family and enjoy amazing wildlife and coastal habitats – all at the same time.
Michigan’s history of lighthouses began prior to statehood, when the Fort Gratiot Light was built in 1825. The first lighthouse in this area was located approximately where the first Blue Water Bridge stands today. However, due to poor design and location choice, it collapsed into the river during a bad storm only three years later. In 1829, a new lighthouse was built north of the military fort.
After renovations in 2012, visitors can now see this oldest operating lighthouse in the state and take in a view of Lake Huron from its balcony.
Many Michigan lighthouses are now hotels, bed and breakfasts and museums. Visitors can enjoy bed and breakfast services at six different lighthouses, and 12 lighthouses offer programs that allow you to assume the role of a keeper for a night.
Sunday is National Lighthouse Day, and we encourage you to check out one of the 120 lighthouses along our state’s spectacular coastline. You can climb the 130 stairs of the tallest lighthouse in the Great Lakes by visiting the New Presque Isle lighthouse, which was built in 1870, or take your time trekking 112 feet into the sky at the Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington.
While the advent of advanced navigational systems have greatly reduced the working role of our lighthouses, they stand strong today as reminders of the heights we reached to help ships avoid crashing in the darkness.
For more information our spectacular lighthouses, visit www.Michigan.org/lighthouses.