Poe Reef Light, Lake Huron
The Poe Reef Light in Lake Huron is a Michigan lighthouse that is best seen from a private boat or on a lighthouse cruise. It marks a dangerous reef in the channel between Bois Blanc Island and Cheboygan. This lighthouse can also be viewed from land, either at the park near the Cheboygan Crib Light or near the old lighthouse ruins at Cheboygan State Park. Our dad was able to visit this light up close on a Shepler’s Lighthouse Cruise in 2015 and today we share his photos as well as some of the background information he learned about the Poe Reef Light.
The lighthouse is stationed in a busy shipping lane for Great Lakes freighters. It went into service in 1929 and it is named for Orlando M. Poe, the designer of many Great Lakes lighthouses (Seul Choix Point Lighthouse (MI), Spectacle Reef Lighthouse (MI), Grosse Pointe Lighthouse (IL), Little Sable Light (MI)) and the engineer of the Poe Lock at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. He served as the engineer for the Eleventh Lighthouse District for 10 years.
The Poe Reef Light stands 56 feet tall, with a focal height of 71 feet thanks to its large base. It is painted black and white with a red-capped lantern room and it is a square tower. The light was automated in the 1970s. Fourteen Foot Shoal Light (pictured below) marks the south end of the channel near here while the Poe Reef Light marks the north end (both lights can be seen from shore in Cheboygan).
The Shepler’s Ferry Lighthouse Cruise that runs to the Poe Reef Light also includes a trip under the Mackinac Bridge and stops at the Round Island Lighthouse, Round Island Passage/Mackinac Crib Light, Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse, Fourteen Foot Shoal Light and Cheboygan Crib Light. An extended version of this cruise also includes a trip to the Spectacle Reef Lighthouse. Find out more at http://sheplersferry.com/cruises/.