Proposed Changes for Au Sable Light Station Would Enhance Visitor Experience at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Proposed Changes for Au Sable Light Station Would Enhance Visitor Experience at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Kayak Au Sable Lighthouse Pictured Rocks

There have been a few interesting developments for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore this month, with the National Park Service announcing it is looking for feedback on two proposals. One proposal would see the parks’ first backcountry cabin constructed and added to the Twelvemile Beach Campground, while a second proposal would increase fees for tours of the Au Sable Light Station and improve access for all visitors. Today we will take a look at the Au Sable Light Station proposal, and why we think the proposed changes would be a benefit for all visitors to the park.

Au Sable Lighthouse Pictured Rocks Day Hikes

The proposal includes “an increase in fees for the Au Sable Light Station and Grounds Tour. Currently, the guided tours of these facilities cost $5 cash per person. We are proposing that this tour be moved to and that tour prices be increased to $10 per person to support increased costs of operation. This fee directly supports facilities and rangers needed to make these tours possible. We anticipate the payment process to be easier as exact cash will not be required, and individuals will be able to make reservations digitally. The museum and light station grounds will still be open to the public without a fee; as previously, individuals will not be able to access the light station itself without joining a tour.”

Au Sable Light Station Buildings

While an increase from five to ten dollars for a tour is quite a jump it’s one lighthouse enthusiasts would gladly pay. We’ve made the 3-mile round-trip hike out here many times, often without knowing if the tower would be open for tours when we got there. Being able to reserve a tour spot online ahead of time eliminates the disappointment of reaching the light station and finding no one there. Lighthouse preservation continues to be an expensive endeavor, and we support any increase needed to ensure that our state’s historic beacons remain intact and open to the public for many years to come.

Au Sable Light Station

The Au Sable Light Station was built in the 1870s and its tower stands 86 feet tall. It warns ships of the shallow sandstone ridge in Lake Superior, and there are several old shipwrecks that can be viewed on the beach when hiking to the lighthouse. To visit the lighthouse, park at the Hurricane River day use area and follow the flat, well-maintained trail for 1.5 miles. We are excited to see the museum open to more visitors and an enhanced tour experience provided for those that don’t mind a small increase in fees.

Au Sable Light Station 2023 Michigan

Public comments are being solicited through the end of the year before nay changes are announced. Stay tuned for our look at why we also think the backcountry cabin would be a great addition to one of our favorite parks in Michigan.