Michigan’s Finest: Point Betsie Lighthouse

With 3,200 miles of shoreline, it’s no wonder why Michigan claims more lighthouses than any other state in the country. Point Betsie is one of the most unique and arguably the most beautiful of them all.

Built in 1858, Point Bestie is one of the oldest lighthouses in Michigan and the oldest standing structure in Benzie County. At the time, it marked the entrance to a vital shipping channel. The shipping channel, Manitou Passage, is no longer used by commercial vessels, but the light signal remains active, providing aid to the US Coast Guard.

Upon approach, visitors perceive the lighthouse to be rather ordinary. However, upon closer inspection, one will notice the large concrete slab between the waters of Lake Michigan and the lighthouse itself. After a year of service, it was made clear that the rough waters of Lake Michigan were taking a huge toll on Point Bestie. This and other various measures were taken to protect it.

Another issue Point Bestie has encountered is erosion. The sand beneath the lighthouse has been displaced over the years and has required the foundation to be repaired.

Parking is limited so plan accordingly. Tours of the lighthouse and it’s 36-foot tall tower are available most weekends, Fridays, and holidays through mid-October. Call 231-352-7644 for hours.

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