Michigan Lighthouse Guide and Map: Muskegon County Lighthouses
It’s been a little while since we posted a lighthouse county guide and map, but today we return with part nine of what will eventually be a 35 part series. Today the focus in on Muskegon County lighthouses, and we’ll help you get to three different sites on the Lake Michigan shoreline. All three of these historic beacons are easy to get to, and two of them are open for tours.
Muskegon South Breakwater Light (Pere Marquette Park, 3510 Channel Dr., Muskegon) – We last visited the Muskegon South Breakwater lighthouse in April, enjoying the recently (2020) resurfaced breakwater and a nice walk out to the light. this beacon is in need of some repairs and new paint, but still stands tall after more than 90 years. It stands around 50 feet tall and is painted red. You can get to the breakwater to walk out to the lighthouse from Pere Marquette Park, the path begins next to The Deck restaurant. There is plenty of parking available (meter fee), and you will be able to reach the second lighthouse on this list from the same parking area.
Muskegon South Pierhead Light (Pere Marquette Park, 3510 Channel Dr., Muskegon) – The more aesthetically pleasing of the two lights that mark the channel into Muskegon Lake from Lake Michigan, the Muskegon South Pierhead Light is a 48 foot tall cylindrical steel tower that is also painted bright red. This lighthouse dates back to the early 1900s and it is in much better shape than the south breakwater light. A sidewalk between Maragaret Drake Elliott Park and Pere Marquette Beach leads past an active Coast Guard station and out to the pier that the light sits at the end of. Tower tours are offered on select dates in the summer and early fall (typically Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays) and the schedule is occasionally updated on the Muskegon Lights website. Look for a “lighthouse tours” sign by the sidewalk leading to the pier.
White River Lighthouse (6199 Murray Rd., Whitehall) – It is a drive of about a half hour to get to the third and final lighthouse in Muskegon County. The White River Lighthouse dates back to 1875 and a busy time for lumbering on White Lake. This beautiful brick building sits above the Lake Michigan beach next to the channel that connects White Lake to Lake Michigan. Since the 1970s it has been open as a museum and it is currently managed by the Sable Points Light Keepers Association. It is open for tours and tower climbs Tuesday through Sunday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. through the end of September, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. October 1-25). This was the first lighthouse we went inside (back in 1995) and a big part of why we remain interested in lighthouse history and museums to this day.
Other great sites to check out while on a Muskegon County lighthouse tour include the USS Silversides Submarine Museum, Muskegon State Park, the Hackley and Hume historic homes, and all of Muskegon’s public art.