Michigan Lighthouse Guide and Map: Mason County Lighthouses

Michigan Lighthouse Guide and Map: Mason County Lighthouses

Big Sable Point Lighthouse Feature Photo

Mason County is a four seasons paradise in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula with more than 25 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan. The county is home to two lighthouses, both located in Ludington. As the county seat and most populated city in the county, Ludington is home to many of Mason County’s historical sites, and it is the starting point for a quilt barn trail, a sculpture trail, a maritime heritage trail, and more. Today we will show you how to visit both Mason County lighthouses and provide some of their history. You are able to enter both of these lighthouses during summer months thanks to the work of the┬áSable Points Lightkeepers Association, so be sure and keep Mason County in mind when you head out on your next lighthouse adventure! A special note is that Ludington State Park will be closing for an extended amount of time after Labor Day 2024, so this summer is your last chance to see Big Sable Point Lighthouse until at least July of 2025!

Ludington North Breakwater Light

Ludington North Breakwater Light – We start the Mason County lighthouse journey in Stearns Park, at the West end of Ludington Ave. From here you can see the uniquely-designed 1924 Ludington North Breakwater Light. This steel-plated 57 foot tall light is a white square pyramidal tower capped with a black lantern room. There is a prow-like structure under the light’s foundation, designed to help break up waves. On days when weather permits you can walk the breakwater out to the light, and during the summer months it is open for tours through the Sable Points Lightkeepers Association.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse Trail

Big Sable Point Lighthouse – From Stearns Park we head north on M-116 for about seven miles to Ludington State Park. Those wishing to hike to the lighthouse will need to park in the main parking area or beach parking area and follow signs for the Lighthouse Trail. You can follow the beach the entire way, or use the wide gravel path that runs 1.5 miles each way to the lighthouse. Once there, you can enter and climb the tower of this 1860s lighthouse and enjoy the marvelous views from more than 110 feet up in the air. The lighthouse complex features a two-story keepers dwelling, the iconic lighthouse tower that is encased in black and white boiler plate, and several outbuildings. The journey is well worth the reward when you reach this beautiful destination.

Ludington Michigan Maritime Museum

Bonus: Port of Ludington Maritime Museum – Located at 217 S. Lakeshore Drive, within walking distance of Stearns Park, is the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. Opened in 2017, this museum offers a variety of hands-on experiences for visitors of all ages as it details the area’s history with the Coast Guard, carferries, shipping, lighthouses, and more.