Lighthouse Beach and Park in Port Huron: History and Family Fun

Lighthouse Beach and Park in Port Huron: History and Family Fun

Port Huron Lighthouse Beach and Park Entrance

Port Huron is home to many great parks and outdoor areas, but the one we find ourselves coming back to the most is Lighthouse Beach and Park. Here you can visit the historic Fort Gratiot Lighthouse (Michigan’s oldest lighthouse), enjoy a sandy and accessible beach on Lake Huron, look for rocks in the water and along the beach, watch freighters go by, let the kids check out the playground, or spend some time enjoying a picnic. We recently picked this as our spot to watch the 2024 solar eclipse from and it proved to be a scenic and perfect spot – it was cool to see the light in the lighthouse tower come on briefly during the darkness created during the event. Today we will take a look at this great park and give you all the information you need to make a visit of your own.

Port Huron Lighthouse Beach and Park Lake Huron

Lighthouse Beach has sandy beachfront on Lake Huron, and facilities that are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each summer. There are no lifeguards, pets are not allowed on the beach, and smoking is not allowed in the park. This is a great spot for sunbathing, swimming and wading, rockhounding, and watching for passing freighters. From here you get great views of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, the Blue Water Bridge, and the Sarnia waterfront. More information about parking fees can be found at the bottom of this post.

Port Huron. Lighthouse Beach and Park Ralph Wilson Plaque

A rock near the entrance has a plaque on it honoring the legacy of Ralph C. Wilson: “As a Michigander and Buffalo Bills founder, he enjoyed a lifetime of sport and recreation and their ability to bring people close together. We honor that legacy in the public spaces that connect people and communities.”

Port Huron Lighthouse Beach and Park Playground

Lighthouse Park has numerous picnic tables and grills, and a playground that the kids will enjoy. There is also a bike pump and tool station for those that have made this part of a cycling outing.

Port Huron Lighthouse Beach and Park Side View Fort Gratiot

The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was built in 1825, more than a decade before Michigan became a state. The opening of the Erie Canal had increased shipping in the region by a great deal, and it was determined a light was needed to mark the meeting point of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River. The lighthouse tower stand is brick and painted white, standing 82 feet tall. Several other dwellings, including a brick two-story keepers dwelling, can be found on the property. You can get great views of the lighthouse from the beach, or step inside the fence and onto the grounds where there are many display panels that tell more about the lighthouse.

Port Huron Lighthouse Beach and Park Fort Gratiot Lighthouse 1

The lighthouse is open as a museum complex through the Port Huron Museums (who also operate the Lightship HURON in Pine Grove Park). The Spring hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and from May 27 to September 15 the hours are the same but it is open daily. Fall hours are the same as Spring hours. There is a cost of $10 to do a guided tour with the tower climb, and we definitely think the views from the tower are worth it!

Port Huron Lighthouse Beach Sign

Parking for Lighthouse Beach and Park is located off of Omar St. between Garfield St. and Lakeview Ave. There is a decent size parking lot, but please note that the following fees apply: for Port huron residents and residents of Port Huron Township or Fort Gratiot Township are free, all other residents of St. Clair County pay $5, and visitors from outside of St. Clair County pay the steep price of $20 for a day pass. Seasonal passes are available for St. Clair County residents as well.