McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site
500 Headlands Dr.
Mackinaw City MI 49701
McGulpin Point Lighthouse and historic site is located adjacent to The Headlands recreational park,
both located about two miles west of downtown Mackinaw City
Open for the 2013 season!
Another summer season is upon Northern Michigan, and it's the time of year that Emmet County reopens the McGulpin Point Lighthouse and Historic Site in Mackinaw City. The lighthouse is now open daily, hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no admission charge for the lighthouse or to climb the tower.
This season, an expanded gift shop and improved trail to the Straits of Mackinac will greet visitors, as well as other site enhancements and signage. A self-guided cellphone tour on the grounds gives visitors more background on this important historical property in Northern Emmet County.
McGulpin Point Lighthouse was an Aid to Navigation on the Straits from 1869 to 1906, after which it was privately owned. Emmet County purchased the lighthouse and acreage in 2008 and since that time the county has worked to restore it to period decor. To read more about its history, click here.
Hours of Operation, seasonal information
McGulpin Point is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily beginning in mid-May through the end of September, and weekends in October. The lighthouse closes for the season each year on Nov. 1. A holiday open house typically takes place at McGulpin Point the first weekend in December coinciding with the Mackinaw City holiday festivities.
A self-guided cellphone tour is available on the property which can be used in the off-season when the Lighthouse is closed.
For the hours of operation schedule, click here.
Wellhead reconstruction project August 2012
Boy Scouts from Troop 4 of Ann Arbor have been working with Emmet County's Historical Commission to restore the structures originally on the grounds of McGulpin Point Lighthouse. Scout Tommy Oldani, age 15, recently led a team of scouts to reconstruct the well house as part of his Eagle Scout project. This project has been two years in planning and after four visits by work teams this summer, the construction is nearing completion now at the end of August 2012. To read the complete article and view photos of the project, click here.
CMU Archaeological Dig at McGulpin Point - August 2012
In August of 2012, a crew of students and staff from Central Michigan University set out on an archaeological dig at McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site in Mackinaw City. Click here for the story and photos from the reconnaissance effort.
Big rock, big significance
The Mackinac Bridge is seen on a blue-sky day from the shore of Lake Michigan, near the county’s McGulpin Point Lighthouse west of Mackinaw City. The large rock in the foreground is significant; hundreds of years ago, it was under water in the Straits. Through the centuries, it has been used as a marker to determine the rise and fall of water levels in Lake Michigan.
It was described in a letter sent back to France in 1749 as being at times high and dry and at other times completely submerged. That led the letter-writer to conclude that the Straits of Mackinac rose and fell by as much as 8 feet.
The McGulpin Point rock is approximately 33.8 feet in horizontal circumference and 37 feet in vertical circumference. It is about 9 feet tall. An estimate of its weight puts it around 54 tons.
As a reminder, this shoreline and the hundreds of feet of coastline along the county’s parks at the Headlands and Cecil Bay, as well as the lighthouse property, are open for the public to enjoy, along with hundreds of acres of woods and waters.