Who knew in 1867 when the Big Sable Point Lighthouse was built that it would become a destination for one of the most picture-perfect summer days in all the Great Lakes? Back then, the 112-foot tower with its signature black and white stripes guided schooners and steamers past the treacherous Big Sable Point. Nowadays, the lighthouse, which is the second tallest lighthouse on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, is a part of the 5,300-acre Ludington State Park. A true Michigan gem, the park is set between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake and offers a slew of activities including camping, paddling (kayaks, canoes, paddleboards), tubing and biking.
Happy birthday! Big Sable is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year!
To get to Big Sable Point Lighthouse, you’ll need to navigate a two-mile, sandy road where motor vehicles are prohibited. The walk is beautiful, or rent a beach cruiser bike from Dune Grass Concessions located in the park’s beautiful Lake Michigan Beach House. You can also pick up most anything you need including water, sunscreen and snacks at this well-stocked concession.
The trek out to the lighthouse parallels some of the most beautiful beaches on Lake Michigan, so take your time. Once you arrive, you’ll want your camera handy because the Big Sable Point Lighthouse and surrounding setting are breathtaking. Inside, you can browse the gift shop and interpretive displays and enjoy a short video on the light’s fascinating history. You’ll also want to climb the 130 wrought iron steps to the top and take in the view that is worth the work it takes to get up.
To find out how to become a volunteer lighthouse keeper (and spend the night in the keeper’s quarters!) contact the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association: 231-845-7417, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Michigan State Park Recreation Passport is required to enter the park. They can be purchased at the park entrance; admission to the lighthouse is $5 adults; $2 children 12 and under. Children must be 40-inches tall to climb the lighthouse steps.
Explore Ludington State Park in this MyNorth video!
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