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Lake Huron Lighthouses

Updated on August 11, 2014

Photographing Lighthouses

My interest in lighthouses and photography has turned into a real passion for photographing lighthouses. My husband might even call it an obsession. You see, when I retired at the end of 2006, I decided I would like to try my hand at photographing lighthouses. We started by photographing some in Florida when we were there for a winter vacation, but I wasn't satisfied to stop there. The more lighthouses I photographed the more I want to photograph. As of September of 2013 I have photographed over 90 lighthouses.

I love the way each lighthouse is just a bit different from the one before and I embrace the challenge of capturing each lighthouse from the best angle with the best light.

I have found the Great Lakes to be an area where we can visit for a week and I am able to photograph 10 or more lighthouses in one trip. In the past we had photographed lighthouses on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. On our latest trip we started our venture to photograph the lighthouses of Lake Huron. We started up at the top with the lighthouse at Mackinac Point and then went south down the coast to photograph other lighthouses on the coast. On our first trip we made it as far south as Presque Isle. On this page I will show you my photos from these lighthouses and share a bit of information that I have learned about these beautiful beacons on Lake Huron.

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

A Tour of the Lighthouse

If you have never visited the lighthouse, you may want to watch this video. It gives you a short overview of what there is to see at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.

On the day we visited the lighthouse was not open so I was unable to climb the tower. I did however walk all around the outside and photograph this historic lighthouse from many angles.

Take a Tour of Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Historic Lighthouse - guards the Straits of Mackinac

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and Bridge
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and Bridge

I love the look of old historic lighthouses and the one at Old Mackinac Point is certainly one of the most interesting lighthouses I have photographed. I love the cream color brick against the bright red roof. In the introduction photo you will note the interesting way the windows are set into the tower. In this photo you will see the Mackinac Bridge in the background.

The Old Mackinac Point lighthouse was put into operation in 1892 and served for many years to guide ships through the treacherous waters of the Straits of Mackinac. In 1957 the Mackinac Bridge went into service and the lights on the bridge served to guide the ships. At this point the lighthouse was decommissioned. Today it stands as a museum and historical building that gives visitors a glimpse into what life was like during the days the lighthouse was in operation.

Lighthouses for Collectors - replica of Old Mackinac Point

LIghthouse replicas are great as a reminder of your visit to a lighthouse or perhaps a symbol of someplace you'd like to visit. I love to collect lighthouse replicas and have several in my house. All of mine are from lighthouses I have visited and photographed.

Spoontiques Lighthouse Old Mackinac Point Limited Ed.
Spoontiques Lighthouse Old Mackinac Point Limited Ed.

Here is a beautiful replica of this historic old lighthouse.


Cheboygan Lights

River Front Range Lighthouse

As we followed the coast south from Mackinaw City I began to look for signs of more lighthouses. I had read about several in the Cheboygan area near the river but did not have exact directions. As we often do on our quest to find the lighthouses, my husband drove near the water area where the Cheboygan river meets Lake Huron. About a 1/2 mile up a side street along the side of the river we found this lighthouse which was under construction. At first it just looked like a white house, but as we pulled up closer I got out and found out this was the Cheboygan River Front Range light.

It is currently under renovation and over the next four years it will be brought back to the way in looked in the 1920's. During the summer months it is open to visitors for tours and a view of the construction taking place.

The lighthouse was originally constructed in 1880 to help guide the ships to and from the river into Lake Huron. There were many lumber mills located in the area and traffic had become quite busy at the Cheboygan port.

It was September when we were visiting and the lighthouse was closed but I was able to walk around and get this photo.

Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse

After we left the River Front Range lighthouse we traveled up the side street and came to a park where the river meets Lake Huron. I walked out a short boardwalk and came to the Cheboygan Crib Light. This lighthouse is called a light rather than a lighthouse because it does not have a keepers house attached.

I think this light is an interesting looking light and I took several photos of it from various angles. In checking it out online when I got back to our hotel, I found that it was first built in 1894 and was automated in 1920.

Looking out to Lake Huron

This is the view from the Cheboygan Crib light looking down the boardwalk towards Lake Huron.
This is the view from the Cheboygan Crib light looking down the boardwalk towards Lake Huron.

Memento from a Lighthouse

I love having lighthouses throughout my home. This suncatcher will make a great memento from the Cheboygan lighthouse.

Michigan Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse Painted Glass Suncatcher O-1091
Michigan Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse Painted Glass Suncatcher O-1091

Beautiful stained glass suncatcher of the lighthouse


Forty Mile Point Lighthouse

Forty Mile Point

We continued our drive south along the western shore of Lake Huron and next came to the signs for Forty Mile Point lighthouse. It is located in a Lighthouse park, a county park on Hammond Bay. The lighthouse and the park have many points of interest for the tourist to view. Along with the lighthouse there is a keepers quarters, foghorn signal building, oil house, brickout house and a gift shop. The lighthouse itself now contains a museum.

I was able to walk all around the grounds photographing the buildings and the view from Lake Huron. I was also able to talk to the volunteers and gain some information about the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was built in 1897 to fill the need for a light between the dark area of the Cheboygan Crib light and the New Presque Isle Light. Because it was not by a river or other port it was given the name Forty Mile point, which was the sailing distance between the it and Mackinac Point. The lighthouse has a fourth order Fresnel lens which is still operating today.

The lighthouse is currently open for tours between Memorial Day and mid October.

Presque Isle Lighthouses

Presque Isle Lighthouses

As we traveled south from the Forty Mile Point lighthouse we came to the turnoff for Presque Isle. The isle juts out into Lake Huron and has two historic lighthouses.

The Old Presque lighthouse was the first one that we visited. It is pictured above. At only 30 feet It is shorter than many of the lighthouses I have visited. This lighthouse is said to be among the oldest surviving lighthouses in North America. It was in operation from 1840 until 1871. Visitors can climb this old tower for a wonderful view of Lake Huron.

In 1870 a new taller tower was built and the lighthouse keeper moved from the old Presque lighthouse to the new lighthouse pictured below. President Abraham Lincoln ordered the new lighthouse to be built.

The new lighthouse is located just a short distance ( about a mile) from the old lighthouse. It is in Presque Isle park and the lighthouse and buildings are open to visitors. I found the looks of the lighthouse to be very similar to one I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michign ( Seul Choix) and was told it was built by the same architect.

New Presque Isle Lighthouse

Have you ever visited a lighthouse? - stop by and leave a note

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    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      4 years ago from Colorado

      I can understand your passion. I have visited these lighthouses for the purpose of photographing them. When I lived in Michigan, I had many more opportunities to enjoy lighthouses than I do now. I hope to get back to my lighthouse quest. Always enjoy seeing your photography and reading about your trips to these historic and beautiful places.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      Your photos are always so beautiful Mary Beth! I feel like I have visited many lighthouses over the last few years thanks to you :)

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I enjoy visiting them so much. I've been to one at Lake Erie, and up and down the Atlantic coast, but never around Lake Huron. Great photos as always.

    • amandascloset0 profile image


      4 years ago

      I love lighthouses! Your photo's are beautiful! I've never actually been to a lighthouse but am so fascinated by them I hope to visit one someday.

    • vsajewel profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes, and I love them too. Your photography is wonderful! I'm just starting out with photography and this was really inspiring...thank you.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love lighthouses! These are beautiful. It has been a long time since I've seen one.

    • MarathonRunning profile image


      5 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      I newer visited a lighthouse, but I wish to do it. Your story is very interesting and the pictures are great.

      It was a very pleasant reading.

      Thank you!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      No I have never visited a lighthouse before, it would be a very interesting place, as i can see by your photos.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I've never visited one but yes your lens is amazing, so many beautiful photos here. Thanks a lot for sharing...:)

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      @notsuperstitious1: I hope you get to visit one someday. I find lighthouses fascinating.

    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I wanted to visit Ontario lighthouses this summer but didn't get out for even one of them. So much for plans. :) I set up a group for it on Flickr -

      I'm adding a link to your Lighthouse post to my curated feed for Rural Exploration on -

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 

      5 years ago from Canada

      I love lighthouses, although I have never visited one. I hope to do so on the East Coast Of Canada.

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      @Susan Zutautas: I know what you mean about wanting to see all the lighthouses. There are

      so many it is a big task...but it sure fun trying.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've always want to visit the east coast of Canada, and hopefully will one of these days soon. I hear that there are so many lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador that it's impossible to see them all. I'd like to try :)

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      @SusanDeppner: Susan I know you'll enjoy seeing a lighthouse on your trip. I'm looking

      forward to seeing your photo!

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      @Brite-Ideas: Thank you.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      these photos are just beautiful

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I think your obsession, I mean hobby, is fabulous! I have visited a few lighthouses, but would love to see more. In fact, this weekend we were reading about where we're going on vacation soon and one tour included a lighthouse. I thought of you immediately! If we see it, I'll take a picture and send it to you. :)


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