Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse – Lake Huron
There are three islands to the east of St. Ignace in Lake Huron, and while most Michigan travelers are familiar with Mackinac Island it is actually the smallest of the three. The largest island is Bois Blanc Island, a twelve mile long and six mile wide island with 35 square miles of land and a historic lighthouse. While it is possible to get to the island by car ferry out of Cheboygan, the best views of the Bois Blanc Lighthouse come from a plane, private boat, or the Shepler’s Eastbound Lighthouse Cruise that runs each summer.
Bois Blanc Island is home to a small population and is primarily a summer resort community. The island once supported a lucrative lumber industry but today much of it is state forest land full of towering white pine and Norway pine. The lighthouse seen today was the third such structure on the island, constructed in 1867 on a small peninsula on the island’s north side. The tower is 38 feet tall and has a focal height of 53 feet. It is constructed of yellow brick and has an attached two-story dwelling. The lantern room is white and it once held a fourth order Fresnel Lens. The light was active until 1925, and help marked an important shipping stretch through the busy Straits of Mackinac.
A small white cylindrical tower near the lighthouse features a smaller and simpler light on top that serves as a navigational aid now. The lighthouse is privately owned and used as a residence; the old coast guard station, brick outhouse, oilhouse, and boathouse also survive on the south side of the island. You can find out more about Shepler’s Eastbound Lighthouse cruises at http://sheplersferry.com/cruises-information/ and be sure to check out our Photo Gallery Friday: Shepler’s Eastbound Lighthouse Cruise to see the other lighthouse you’ll visit on this trip. Information about transportation to Bois Blanc Island from Cheboygan on the Kristen D. (owned by Plaunt Transportation) can be found at http://www.bbiferry.com/.