Many lighthouses are accessible by driving to and parking near a trail, beach or pier that leads to the structure, but there are several lights that take a special effort to reach.
The DeTour Reef Lighthouse stands on a 60’ by 60’ crib a mile offshore at the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, which connects Lakes Huron and Superior. To tour DeTour Reef you must hop a boat for a short ride to the light. Once there you climb from the boat and up a 20-foot vertical ladder to the pier deck…and back down it for the return trip. Hurry! The tour is offered on just two more dates this summer (August 20 and 27), and reservations are required. This year there is a special discount for children accompanied by parents.
For a special evening in the warm weather months take a dinner cruise to Charity Island Lighthouse in Saginaw Bay, located about 10 miles offshore. Check on the dates for B.Y.O. Box lunch cruises to the island and the Lake Huron light.
It’s a mile-and-a-half hike (each way) between the parking lot and the Au Sable Light Station at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Tours are usually offered Wednesdays-Sundays, through September 15, and you can see shipwreck remains at the beach. Those with mobility challenges will appreciate a ride aboard the shuttle bus offered on occasional Saturdays; the remaining dates in 2011 are 11am - 4pm August 20 and September 24 ($5).
Middle Island Lighthouse is on a 300-acre island in Lake Huron, near Presque Isle Harbor. Check on B.Y.O. Box lunch boat trips or spend the night at the Keepers’ Lodge, a renovated former U.S. Coast Guard foghorn building.