Lighthouses of the Keweenaw Peninsula
This brief tour will take a look at the lighthouses of the Keweenaw Peninsula that can be seen by land. Due to the close proximity, it would not be hard to reach all in a single day – but be mindful that the side trips out to McLain State Park and Jacobsville eat up quite a bit of time. Other lights of the Keweenaw out in Lake Superior include Gull Rock Lighthouse, Manitou Island Light and the four lights around Isle Royale. The 14 Mile Point Lighthouse (ruins) has not been included on this list either as it is private property and only available for viewing from the water.
Definitely a unique light, this white and red fifty foot tower sits just off the rocky breakwater at McLain State Park. It marks the upper entrance to the Portage Canal, which follows the Portage River as it cuts the Keweenaw off from the rest of the U.P. – by now you’ve crossed the Houghton Lift Bridge and have seen the river. Once you are in Hancock, take M-203 out of town, following the brown state park signs for a winding ten-mile drive that feels like a lot more. (Recreation Passport required for entry)
Featuring possibly the most unique lighthouse design in the entire state, the Sand Hills Lighthouse is now a privately run bed and breakfast. Hours for the general public to photograph and respectfully check out the grounds are posted near the entrance drive. The 70 foot yellow tower rises above a three-story dwelling and its beacon once protected travelers from the rocky shoreline here between Ontonagon and Eagle River. From US-41 in Ahmeek, take the first left – signed for Five Mile Point Rd., and follow signs out to the lighthouse.
Not much remains today of the Eagle River Lighthouse, as its lantern room barely juts out above the house, the lone reminder of its glory days. No longer visible from the water, the best views of this light come from taking E Main to the left just after crossing the river, and viewing it from across near the old iron bridge.
One of the most accessible and aesthetically pleasing lighthouses in the north, the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse leaves a lasting impression with its dual color brick tower and red beacon. The facility is open as a museum and the tower can be climbed, see KHS site for prices and times. From M-26 in Eagle Harbor, follow signs to the lighthouse grounds, going straight when the main road takes a sharp right around the harbor. Range lights can be seen along M-26 on the opposite point.
Located within Fort Wilkins State Park, this lighthouse was built at the height of the area’s copper rush to warn mariners of the approach to the harbor. The yellow brick lighthouse can be seen from a viewing area across from the main fort foot traffic entrance off of M-26, and tours from in town take the short boat ride out for a closer view.