Michigan Lighthouse Guide and Map: Mackinac County Lighthouses

Michigan Lighthouse Guide and Map: Mackinac County Lighthouses

2018 Michigan Best Photos Sheplers Ferry Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac County covers more than 2,000 square miles of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as well as a trio of islands. St. Ignace and Mackinac Island are part of Mackinac County, and are home to some of the oldest buildings in the state. Eight lighthouses are found here, and all but two of them can at least be seen from land. Only two of these lights are easy to visit on land, making this a tough county to visit lighthouses in without a boat. A Shepler’s lighthouse cruise is the best way to see many of these lights up close, and today we will take a look at the Mackinac County lighthouses and how you can visit all of them.

Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse Michigan

Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse – Best seen from a Shepler’s Eastbound Lighthouse Cruise, the Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse dates back to the 1860s. 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. Plaunt Transportation runs a ferry service (including vehicles) from Cheboygan, but this lighthouse is privately owned so the best views come from the water.

Mackinac Island Crib Light

Round Island Passage Light - These next two lights can be seen from the Mackinaw City shoreline, and are seen from all ferries heading to Mackinac Island. The Round Island Passage Light was constructed in the late 1940s, after earlier plans for its construction were delayed by World War II. The Round Island Lighthouse had already been in service for more than 50 years. When first put into service the Round Island Passage Light was operated from a control house on Mackinac Island and a series of electrical cables ran underwater out to the light. The light features a timber crib foundation, a 41 foot square concrete substructure, and a 20 foot square steel plate enclosure painted red. From that point the octagonal white steel tower rises another 41.5 feet, giving this beacon a focal height of 71 feet. There used to be a steel antenna on top of the tower, but it was removed several years ago. This light became automated in 1973, and now operates as a private aid to navigation after being sold at auction by the Coast Guard in 2014.

Round Island Lighthouse Michigan Mackinac

Round Island Lighthouse – This beautiful lighthouse that predates its neighbor by nearly 50 years and was featured in the 1980 Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour film Somewhere in Time. Its distinctive red and white painted brick structure is capped by a tower that is 56 feet tall. There are a few great spots on Mackinac Island for viewing this lighthouse, including Fort Mackinac and Windermere Point. Great Turtle Kayak Tours offers excursions over to the island for close up views of the lighthouse.

Michigan Photos 2020 Wawatam Lighthouse Sunrise COVER

Wawatam Lighthouse – Easy to visit in downtown St. Ignace, the Wawatam Lighthouse is a restored former rest area lighthouse that has been converted to function as an aid to navigation. Located at the dock where car ferries arrived before the days of the Mackinac Bridge, this steel white tower stands 52 feet tall. This is one of our favorite spots to catch the sunrise when we are in the area, and the red trim on the white tower makes this light especially photogenic.

Martin Reef Light – This 1927 offshore light is 52 feet tall and marks a dangerous reef in Lake Huron. It shares many construction similarities with the Poe Reef Light near Cheboygan. The Martin Reef Light Historical Preservation Society has been the owners since 2020 and post regularly on Facebook. Distant views from the M-134 shoreline are possible, but the best views come from a Shepler’s Les Cheneaux Lighthouse Experience Cruise.

Six Mile Point Rear Range Light Cedarville Michigan

Six Mile Point Rear Range Light – The Six Mile Point Rear Range stands in front of the Les Cheneaux Historical Association Maritime Museum at 602 M-134 in Cedarville. This tall and skinny white metal tower stands close to 50 feet tall. Inside the museum you will find “displays of vintage boats, marine artifacts, antique outboard motors, historic photos of area boating, a boat building workshop, and a gift shop.”

St Helena Island Lighthouse 2021 Michigan

St. Helena Island Lighthouse – A true testament to what lighthouse preservation can do, St. Helena Island Lighthouse is still standing in thanks largely to the efforts of the Great Lakes Lightkeepers Association. Built in the 1870s, it has a white tower with a red lantern room attached to a two-story keepers dwelling. The 63 foot tall tower warn ships of shallow water near the island near the Mackinac Bridge. It is possible to tour the lighthouse or volunteer with GLLKA here; other views are possible from any Shepler’s Westbound Lighthouse Cruise. From land, you can view it from several spots on U.S. 2, especially the Gros Cap rest area.

2021 Favorite Michigan Photos Lansing Shoal Lighthouse June

Lansing Shoal Lighthouse – One of the more unique offshore lights in Lake Michigan, the Lansing Shoal Lighthouse isn’t very aesthetically pleasing but serves an important function. We finally got to see this remote light on a Shepler’s Extended Westbound Lighthouse Cruise a few years ago which is one of the best ways to visit. the light is 59 feet tall and there is a lot of dull colored concrete used in its construction. This lighthouse replaced a lightship and is an important aid to navigation as the shoals are in a shipping route on Lake Michigan.