Trip Planner:   USA  /  Michigan  /  Cheboygan County  /  Mackinaw City  /  Historic Sites  /  Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Mackinaw City

(4.6/5 based on 400+ reviews on the web)
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.
Our Mackinaw City vacation trip planner makes visiting Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and other Mackinaw City attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
Source
Create a full Mackinaw City itinerary
map

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 in Mackinaw City by other users

8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Mackinac Island & Mackinaw City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 56 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM DENMARK July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Midwest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Midwest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Mackinaw City, Petoskey & Traverse City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Mackinaw City BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I am making a point of checking out the lighthouse of Michigan, and of course had to see this one!!! Didn't get a chance to go in, but I will be sure to next time I am in the area. I just love history...  more »
  • This is a great example of another "cornerstone" in our American Culture. Think of the many people, who never had a reason or cause, to even think about such important structures and functions. Golly,...  more »
  • The whole Mac City (with a bar, takeaway or two exception) was Closed for the season ! Must be really crowded in season ?? Loved the LH , beautiful & imposing structure and in really good condition. O...  more »
Google
  • Get a taste of the old days in this beautiful well kept Gem of Mackinaw city. Nestled right next to the Mackinaw bridge with a beautiful park and views this lighthouse is sure to tickle your fancy if your as much of a lighthouse nut as I am. Tours are very informative and staff is always smiling and friendly
  • We loved seeing this unique lighthouse at the last part of our trip "Up North" before heading home. It has great views of the lighthouse and Mackinac Bridge, and a lot to see and a beach to explore too.
  • A little cloudy the day we arrived and a little chilly, The Lighthouse is in pristine condition and coupled with its famous counterpart the bridge it creates a scene to be rivaled by few.
  • Great view from the tower and very knowledgeable staff. We learned a lot from the ship wreck museum as well.
  • Fun, fascinating history. Great view of bridge from top of lighthouse. Don't wear flip-flops or a skirt if you plan to climb the ladder to the top! Cool gift shop.