One of the things that I have missed the most about living in the Midwest is visiting the lighthouses on the Great Lakes. One of my favorite lighthouses to visit was the Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine, Wisconsin. It is located on the north side of Racine Harbor and is on Lake Michigan.
I have visited the Whitefish Point Lighthouse in Upper Michigan several times and it is always breathtaking. It is on Whitefish Bay and Lake Superior and is the oldest operating lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula. It is always windy out on Whitefish Point. In this photograph, it was a frosty winter day, and the outside temperatures were in the 20s (Fahrenheit).
A couple of years ago, I was happy to be able to visit the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the winter. It, too, is located on Lake Superior. Many ships travel Lake Superior hauling the iron ore that is mined in the Upper Peninsula. Its bright red color makes it one of the most recognizable lighthouses in Michigan. In the summer, there are tours of the lighthouse and visitors can walk the catwalk out in front.
The Grand Haven Lighthouse is on Lake Michigan in Lower Michigan. I went out just before sunset to see this lighthouse for the first time. There were many people on both piers and a lot of boat activity. I went back the next morning before sunrise and found just as many people out there, though none on the beach or wading in the water! There is a pier that runs parallel to where the lighthouse is and there were several fishers hard at work both times that I visited. The sun came up behind us and lit the red lighthouse up!
We were traveling through Upper Michigan on our way back to Wisconsin and we stopped at the Manistique East Breakwater Light. Manistique is on Lake Michigan on the southern shore of the Upper Peninsula (U.P.). We knew from weather reports that we would be running in to rain by the time we reached the Michigan and Wisconsin border. The clouds were already coming in and were very dramatic over the breakwater light!
The Cana Island Lighthouse was unique in that you had to walk a bit through the woods before you could even see it. After a rain, you typically have to hop on a wagon to get across to the island. On the day of my visit, I was able to walk across. The clouds and reflections were magnificent! I could have spent much more time photographing this area, but I wasn’t sure when the rain would arrive and I didn’t want to miss seeing the lighthouse itself.
There were a few people wandering around the lighthouse grounds, but many headed back to their cars before I did. I was lucky to get back to my vehicle before the rain fell.
If you ever can visit a Great Lakes lighthouse, do not pass it up. There are so many unique and beautiful lighthouses and many of them offer tours. After the tour, you can find an empty bench to sit and experience the beauty of the Great Lake. This bench is at the Wind Point Lighthouse and offers a beautiful view of Lake Michigan.
Deb is a landscape photographer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains.