New Presque Isle Lighthouse
130. That’s how many steps there are to reach the top of the New Presque Isle Lighthouse.
Built in 1870 on the Presque Isle Peninsula in lower Michigan, this lighthouse soars 113 feet high. It is one of the tallest lighthouses on the Great Lakes and is the tallest on Lake Huron.
The views from the top are some of the best. North Bay, Lake Huron, and even the Duck Islands of Canada can be seen. The people and vehicle below look like little ants, and the buildings look nearly flat.
In addition to the lighthouse, there is also a keeper’s house that was built in 1905. The keeper’s family out grew the original living quarters and had to move into a more spacious house. The house has been turned into a Museum and is open, free of charge, to the public.
Old Presque Isle Lighthouse
Located a mile up the road stands the original Presque Isle Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1840 and is significantly shorter than the new lighthouse, reaching only 38 feet in height. It’s height is the reason why in 1871 it was decommissioned. It was too short for ships to see it. And so the New Presque Isle Lighthouse was built.
There is a bronze bell located just beyond the lighthouse. The bell was taken from the Old Lansing City Hall clock tower when the building was torn down in 1959. It was 3,425 pounds, 60% more than the Liberty Bell and was cast in 1896.
Supposedly this lighthouse is haunted, but the only “uninvited guests” we encountered were black flies. Not nearly as bad as Lake Superior, but still be aware. If you’re visiting the lighthouse during black fly season, make sure you dress appropriately.
Both towers are open every day except for Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It costs $3 to climb one tower or $5 to climb both towers. The spectacular views from the New Presque Isle lighthouse alone are worth it.