Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Mackinaw City

4.6
#1 of 6 in Museums in Cheboygan County
Mackinaw Point marks the junction of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Founded in 1889, the Old Mackinac Point Light Station was in operation from 1890 until 1957.HistoryPreparationsEven before the advent of European explorers, the Straits of Mackinac were a significant hazard to water borne travelers. Consequently, before lighthouses, the Ojibwa lit the shore with fires.In the early 19th century, with large vessel traffic increasing from Lake Huron into the Straits, the first step in guarding the Straits was taken in 1829, through the construction of Bois Blanc Lighthouse to both guide mariners in making the westerly turn into the Straits, and to warn them of the shoals and shallows surrounding the island.Three years later in 1832, Congress acted on Stephen Pleasonton’s recommendation that a lightship be placed on Waugoshance Shoal as the first attempt to mark the western entrance to the Straits. In 1838, Lieutenant James T. Homans reported that the lightship was wholly inadequate. He recommended a better solution for Waugoshance and also that a light be built on the point to the west of Mackinaw Harbor. Nothing came of Homans' recommendations. In 1854, the new Lighthouse Administration decided (against the recommendation of local residents) to put a light at McGulpin Point, approximately 3mi to the west of Old Point Mackinaw.ConstructionIn 1889, the United States Lighthouse Board realized that Mackinaw Point was a better location. Their first inclination was to put a fog signal there, but when asking Congress for funding, they requested funding for both a fog signal and a first class lighthouse. Congress chose to accept their recommendation, but only voted the funding for a steam-powered fog-signal. The fog signal was built in 1890. The signal proved to be exceptionally necessary for navigation in the often fog-choked Straits of Mackinac; during one exceptionally humid fortnight, the Old Mackinac Point signal personnel reported burning 52 cords of stove wood in order to keep steam up for the foghorn.
Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse by using our Mackinaw City trip builder app .
Source
Create an itinerary including Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
map
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse Tours
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
515 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Our visit was in January and the snow and ice covered most of the Great Lakes but everything we saw was still gorgeous!  more »
  • Mackinaw city is truly beautiful. The lighthouse has so much history. It sits close to the bridge. Nice place to spend the day. Great pictures.  more »
  • The quaint lighthouses is on a beautiful setting looking at Lake Huron and the Mackinaw Bridge. We walk through the park along the beach.  more »
Google
  • It was such a pleasure to see a structure which helped save lives, and imagine someone who loves to do this. Unlike nurses or doctors, this is a very isolated life. Fantastic seeing the structure which made this possible
  • Standing proud over the shores of the great lake at the tip of Mackinaw, the lighthouse acts as a landmark for the lakeside town. Perched at the tip of the hand of Michigan’s lower peninsula, from here you can see up to the Upper Peninsula and have great views of the massive Mighty Mac bridge that spans both. From the point here, you can also visit the historic fort under the bridge. Don’t miss the walk around the point here for great views over the lake.
  • Great place. I want to come back and visit when i am older.
  • Totally enjoyed visiting here even thought it was a blustery October day. Nice walk around the property and the view of the bridge was great. You can't get into the l ighthouse all hours, but property seems accessible all the time
  • Very interesting, however was turned away for top of lighthouse tour stating we missed the last tour. An announcement would have been nice. Looks like this has happened before. Was of money for tickets and front desk lady was not sympathic either. Suggested announcements but no comment. Nice when taking your money though. Denise and Wayne Sandwich ll
Places to stay near Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Plan your trip to Mackinaw City

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse by other users

4 days in Saint Ignace BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Sault Ste. Marie BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Sault Ste. Marie BY A USER FROM CANADA June, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Grand Marais, Mackinaw City & Saint Ignace BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Traverse City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Charlevoix BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Traverse City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Traverse City SEE PLAN June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans