Best Collection of Lighthouses on the Great Lakes
Northeast Michigan is home to seven spectacular lighthouses that helped guide ships to safe harbor. Most lighthouses are open mid-May through mid-October. This unique collection of lighthouses features a haunted lighthouse, a lighthouse station where you can spend the night, the Great Lake’s oldest accessible lighthouse and the tallest accessible lighthouse. View one or all of them at your own pace or enjoy a self-guided driving tour of key northern Lake Huron lighthouse coastline destinations. Information is available at the Community Development Building at 235 W. Chisholm St. in Alpena. The tour follows the journey of the Durston during the Great Storm of 1913. For more information, call (989) 354-4181.
“The Alpena Light”, aka Alpena’s “Little Red” Beacon
While the Alpena Light may not be a typical lighthouse, it does meet the criteria to be called one. Located at the mouth of the Thunder Bay River, the 80-foot skeletal tower is viewable from Alpena’s marina and breakwall. Called “Sputnik” (resembles the Russian space satellite) and “Little Red” by locals, it is said this often dismissed light is “Long on duty, short on beauty.”
Little Red is the only lighthouse within the City of Alpena, and believed to be the only lighthouse of this type in the U.S. The station was built of wood in 1877, rebuilt of wood in 1888 and finally constructed of steel in 1914. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. An automated active aid to navigation, the Alpena Light originally housed a Fourth Order Fresnel lens.
4500 E. Grand Lake Rd., Presque Isle, (989) 595-9917
The Presque Isle Light Station includes three historic buildings. The light tower, which connects to a keeper’s dwelling, was built in 1870 and is the tallest lighthouse tower accessible by the public on the Great Lakes. An unattached keeper’s residence, constructed in 1905, has been painstakingly restored and now serves as a museum. The buildings are situated on a 99-acre township park featuring a playground, picnic area, pavilion and nature trails. A gift shop is located in the original keeper’s quarters. Visitors, for a nominal fee, may also climb the 130 steps to the top of the tower for a breathtaking view. The buildings and grounds are open mid-May through mid-October, from 10a.m. until 7 p.m., daily. The 1905 House is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11am to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday; 1pm to 5pm Sunday; closed Mondays.
5295 E. Grand Lake Rd., Presque Isle, (989) 595-6979
The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is one of the oldest surviving accessible lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Built in 1840 by Jeremiah Moors of Detroit, the harbor light operated until 1871 when the keeper transferred to a new, taller, coastal lighthouse a mile to the north (the New Presque Isle Lighthouse). Visitors can climb the hand-hewn stone steps of the 30 feet tall tower for a panoramic view of the Lake Huron shoreline and Presque Isle Harbor. The keeper’s dwelling serves as a hands-on museum. Here, visitors can blow foghorns and examine other interesting artifacts. They can also ring the bell from the Lansing City Hall clock tower and pose for the perfect photo opportunity with head and hands in an old set of stocks. The buildings and park grounds are open to the public daily, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., mid-May through mid-October. A nominal fee is charged for tower climbs.
County Park Road, Rogers City
Unlike many Great Lakes lighthouses, Forty Mile Point Light does not mark a significant port, but was built so ships would never be out of viewing range of a lighthouse. The light is 40 miles sailing distance from Mackinaw Point, or just north of Rogers City. The lighthouse was built in 1896 to assist ships through the dangerous shoreline where open water, hidden shoals and false bays had claimed a number of vessels. Follow “Shipwreck Trail” to see what’s left of the Joseph S. Fay, one of 27 wooden ships that sank during a fierce storm in 1905. You can see about 150′ of her side wall resting on the beach near the lighthouse. Other features include the steamer Calcite pilot house, a picnic area, swimming beach and hiking trails.
Point Road, Harrisville
Until the early 20th Century, northern Michigan was almost completely dependent on waterborne commerce for all of its needs. Thousands of sailing vessels and early steamers plied the Great Lakes at a time when there were almost no aids to navigation to guide them along the dangerous coastline with its treacherous rocks, shoals and reefs. One such reef extends 1-12/ miles out into Lake Huron at Sturgeon Point, just north of Harrisville, Michigan. In 1869, the Lighthouse Service began construction of the lighthouse at Sturgeon Point to mark this hazard. Sturgeon Point Lighthouse became operational in the spring of 1870 and has been in continuous service for 137 years. It is still an operational lighthouse.
In 1876 the U.S. Life Saving Service established a Life Saving Station just south of Sturgeon Point Lighthouse. This station provided around-the-clock rescue capability for vessels in distress. With the formation of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, Sturgeon Point became a Coast Guard station. The lighthouse was electrified and automated in 1939 and the last personnel left in 1941. The Coast Guard buildings were subsequently destroyed, however, the lighthouse itself survived but was severely vandalized. In 1982 the Alcona Historical Society leased the lighthouse and began a three year restoration project. The interior of the keeper’s house was completely restored, and the buildings were painted. Almost all of the work was done by volunteers. The lighthouse and keeper’s house are of masonry construction on a limestone block foundation. The tower is 70 feet, 9 inches tall and is 16 feet in diameter at its base. The light is a 3.5 order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France. The light apparatus is still maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The keeper’s house is now a maritime museum which is open to the public seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend. The lighthouse tower is open to the public. The grounds are open all year.
Open Memorial Day through September
12 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Monday – Thursday
11 a.m – 4 p.m. – Saturday & Sunday
Lighthouse Tower Open 12 p.m – 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday & Sunday
One of the oldest light stations on Lake Huron is located on Thunder Bay Island, situated in the center of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Thunder Bay is the outermost island in a group of islands connected to the north point of Thunder Bay by a shallow bank of numerous rocks, most of which are submerged. The light tower was first constructed in 1832 and was built to warn mariners of the dangerous reefs extending from the island. Squatters were attracted to the federally-owned island, and by 1845 a large fishing community thrived there. One hundred and sixty people lived on the island with 31 fishing boats harvesting twelve thousand barrels of fish each year. Faced with government action to remove them from the island, the trespassers picked up their belongings and relocated to nearby Sugar Island, where they stayed for years. Access to the island is limited to the U S Coast Guard, U S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and members of the Thunder Bay Island Preservation Society. Contact the preservation society at (989) 356-6743. The station was placed on the National Historic Register in 1984. The lighthouse is not open to the public but can be viewed via boat from the water.
Middle Island Light Station is located in Lake Huron, halfway between Thunder Bay Island and Presque Isle. There are 7 buildings on the island, including a light tower, Keepers Quarters, an Oil House, Tool Garage, a Fog Horn building and two brick privies. The light is 78 feet above low water and can be seen for 17 miles. Visitors can take a day tour of the island, or even spend a private night on the island in a rustic lodge.
AJ’s is a small, first generation family farm that provides quality produce in a friendly atmosphere. They strive to be a family-friendly destination and because they are a U-Pick farm, customers get a personal taste of a working farm. AJ’s carries a variety of unique Michigan products along with seasonal produce in their store. Buy pumpkins, take a hayride and watch pumpkin launching on select October weekends.
YOUR CUSTOM ADVENTURE SPECIALISTS
Being in the adventure business for 30 years give us an edge to create a personalized adventure just for you and your group. We use all that Northeast Michigan has to offer from its lakes, rivers, streams, and trails. We offer kayak rentals, overnight kayak/camping adventure, family shipwreck snorkeling adventure, shipwreck diving, sinkhole hiking adventures and lighthouse tours. We have a customized adventure for all ages. We are a 100% customer service first company. kayak rentals
Your Captain, Your Guide
Capt, Paul LaBrecque is a 25 year USCG certified 100 ton Master of the Great Lakes and Oceans. He is a commercial diver, dive charter operator, and rescue salvage operator. He is also certified CPR, first aid, AED, and oxygen administrator.
Indoor heated pool, hot tub, Jacuzzi rooms, cable TV, HBO, coffee, microwave, refrigerator, ironing board, blow dryer, shampoo-all rooms. Free breakfast bar featuring Belgium Waffles, sausage gravy/biscuits. Direct access to snowmobile trail and parking. Restaurant adjacent. Free internet.
- Restaurant Adj.
- Breakfast available
- Cable TV
- In Room Spa
- Indoor Pool
- Open Year Round
Payment Types Accepted
- Master Card
- American Express
Approximately 18.5 miles long, this urban jewel paved path travels in a main loop around the City of Alpena. Several of Alpena’s scenic city parks and beaches along the Thunder Bay River and Lake Huron can be accessed via connector spurs and streets from the main trail. Parking, dining, shopping, and sightseeing is available at several sites along the path. With almost no elevation changes, this is an excellent trail for all users for a beautiful tour of the city by foot, rollerblade, or bike.
Special collections: Genealogy, Best-Sellers, Large-Print, Audios, Videos, CD-Roms, Internet, Word Processors, 12 Newspapers/ 242 Magazines. Largest collection of 19th century Great Lakes ship photographs and records in the entire world! Authors in the Fall and Children’s Book Club.
Free High Speed WiFi Internet, Indoor Pool, Sauna, Whirlpool, Fitness Room, Deluxe Spa Rooms, Deluxe Complimentary Continental Breakfast, Meeting/Banquet Space Up To 60 People. Coffee, Irons, Refrigerators, Hair Dryers In All Rooms.
- Restaurant Nearby
- Exercise Room
- Meeting Facilities
- Indoor Pool
- Open Year Round
Payment Types Accepted
- Master Card
- American Express
The APlex (Alpena Events Complex) is an amazing facility with lots to offer. The APlex is host to gymnastics, karate, yoga, volleyball,table tennis, and the APlex Fitness Center. Connected to the APlex is the APlex Tennis Center. The APlex Tennis Center offers pickleball, tennis lessons, leagues, mixers and much more.
The APlex, is also community-minded! Their goal as Alpena’s community center is to engage people from our region. They do this by offering activities, events or opportunities that appeal to a cross-section of the residents of northeast Michigan.
The APlex (Alpena Events Complex) is a beautiful facility that can accommodate up to 650 people for the grandest of banquet functions. The APlex boasts a total of five meeting rooms – large and small – for break-out sessions, executive conferences, conventional business meetings and more. They feature The Interlude on Woodward Ballroom as the perfect fit, complete with the most advanced audio/visual equipment.
Call for more information.
Selling locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, grass fed beef, eggs, poultry, fresh herbs, mushrooms, plants, artisan breads, cut flowers, perennials, maple syrup, honey, and arts and crafts from Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, Presque Isle, and Oscoda counties.
Open Year Round
Summer Market (May-October)
Mich-e-ke-wis Park, 1302 State Street 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Open every Saturday Starting June 2nd and Wednesday and Saturday Starting July 4th-October 17th
Winter Market (October-May)
Located at the Alpena Mall Saturdays 10:00am-2:00
Starting October 20th
With over 40 vendors selling everything under the sun from baked goods to Avon to antiques to farm fresh eggs. The flea market is open every weekend: Friday, Noon-5p.m.; Saturday, 9a.m.-5p.m. and Sunday, Noon-5p.m. Whether it's raining, snowing or 110 degrees out come on in, we have something for everyone.