McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site

McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site

McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site
4.5
About
Emmet County owns the historic McGulpin Point Lighthouse, which protected shipping on the Straits of Mackinac against storms, fog and rocks between 1869 and 1906. It was purchased by the county in 2008, which reopened McGulpin to the public with a gala celebration on May 30, 2009. The site is approximately 10 acres and is a half mile north of the Headlands. It includes 336 feet of shoreline on the Straits with a commanding view of the Mackinac Bridge. Trail to the Straits includes new interpretive signage coming in Summer 2015! Beautifully maintained grounds and interior. There is always something new at McGulpin Point!
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  • 99erikl
    Flint, Michigan74 contributions
    an overlooked but must-see visit
    We had been to Mackinaw many times, but we had never been to McGulpin before. My wife really wanted to see this lighthouse, and I am glad we went. If you have ever been to a lighthouse before, this one will be similar. However, there were a couple of features that made this visit different. The house part of this lighthouse is in very good repair because it was used as an actual house up until about 15 years ago. You can go upstairs and see their bedrooms. There is a lot of good information about the lighthouse keeper and his family and how they lived. You can go all the way up into the lighthouse (44 steps) and out onto the catwalk. You must be fairly agile to fit though the holes to get into the the top and out onto the catwalk. (They do not want you to carry packages or children (!) out on the catwalk.) Also, there is a path that leads through a bit of forest and then comes out right on Lake Michigan. If you go down to the beach, you can see Colonial Fort Michilimackinac. An important feature about the lighthouse is that it is on the Lake Michigan side. The lighthouse at the Straits is on Lake Huron. McGulpin gives a view from the west, a different perspective. The visit is not included in the Mackinac State Historic Parks membership. It will cost $3 per person to get in. We thought it was well worth it.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 22, 2023
  • suespagnuolo
    Lansing, Michigan1,373 contributions
    Great bridge view.
    We visited here after dark because the motel we stayed at recommended it. It was much darker than Headlands International Dark Sky Park, so we were hoping to see the northern lights. We didn't, but the view of the bridge is magnificent.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 7, 2023
  • Barb J
    Grand Rapids, Michigan234 contributions
    A Lot More Here Than it Looks Like!
    We visited the lighthouse, trail and beach area in October. It is a nice walk thru the woods to the beach to McGulpin's Rock and beach. The lighthouse is beautiful and we have been coming here for over 40 years and love seeing how it has been restored and kept up. There is a nice gift shop inside and you can go up to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee. The grounds / area are very pretty. This is a great place to come back to at night to get bridge pix and watch the sunset.
    Visited October 2023
    Written October 11, 2023
  • Gina L
    Thibodaux, Louisiana212 contributions
    Historic Lighthouse
    Our bus tour (approx. 47 people) (Louisiana to Michigan) toured this beautiful area lighthouse. Went up to the top of the lighthouse. Tour guides were great. Very knowledgeable. Beautiful view of the Mighty Mac.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 13, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
611 reviews
Excellent
442
Very good
136
Average
27
Poor
5
Terrible
1

Hartmanra
15 contributions
Oct 2022 • Family
We took our 18, 14, 11 and 10 year olds here and they enjoyed it. The woman working gave us a wonderful background/history of the lighthouse and answered all of our questions. We paid to go up in the lighthouse ($3/person). You can walk around in the original house attached to the lighthouse and read the history of the family as well as other community history. There is a 15 minute film about shipwrecks in the area on the second floor. The top of the lighthouse is many narrow and steep steps up but not that bad. All 6 of us fit in the lighthouse. The kids went out on the deck but didn’t stay long as it was raining, windy and only about 38 degrees outside. There is a shop onsite as well as a barn you can walk through. There is also a trail with information about the history that leads you down to the shoreline. We spent some time here finding really cool rocks.
Written October 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott S
68 contributions
Jul 2020
We stumbled on this place while on our way to cross the bridge. We saw the sign, and thought, "Why not." We were glad we did. I love history, especially the French and Indian War, so the displays were very interesting to me. The path to the water was wonderful, with the cut out figures and information there very informative. The view of the bridge from the shore is magnificent, a perspective we didn't have on our other trip up to that area. We did not have time to pay to go up the lighthouse so our time was spent mostly walking the grounds and going in the other building. Well worth a few minutes of time to take the stroll to the water and wander around the grounds.
Written September 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MevieM
9 contributions
Jul 2022
This was a highlight of our time in the Mackinac area. The lighthouse near the fort in Mackinac city was bustling and busy and they wouldn't let our youngest kids go up the tower. They seem a bit more up tight at that lighthouse than at McGulpin Point. The attendant gladly let our whole family go to the top (5 kids ages 1-11). It's cool that this lighthouse has a working light. Once you climb the spiral staircase, it's a rather tight squeeze to get out to the balcony, but what a gorgeous view! When we were on balcony on the outside of the tower, God put a gorgeous rainbow in the sky that touched down right by the bridge. Gorgeous!

The setup inside the keeper's quarters is very tasteful as well. Highly recommend! Definitely worth driving a bit out of your way to visit.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jpete02
Lansing, MI857 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
Hidden gem in area. Located about a 5 minute drive west of Mackinaw City. Only $3/person and you can tour at your own pace, climb the tower without any restrictions, and go outside on the tower balcony.

This lighthouse is older than the one in Mackinaw City and was closed after they built the one in Mackinaw City. Used as a private residence for many years, it was purchased by the county in 2009, restored, and reopened to the public.
Written June 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel O
11 contributions
Aug 2020
This site can take as little as 10 minutes to see, or you could spend a few hours. The lighthouse is well maintained. There is a gift shop. There is ample close parking. You can climb to the top of the light and take in some fantastic views. You tour is self guided, so see what you want and take as long as you want! This is truly a peaceful place to spend part of you day.
Written September 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

romanpiekosz
Chicago, IL8,697 contributions
Oct 2021
Not as popular as the lighthouse in the city, but also very nice.
It’s surrounded by trees a little bit off the public eye.
It’s not in service anymore, but brings tourists as well.
There is a museum. You can climb to the top too. Even you can go outside if you are able to go through the “doggie-door”.
Inside you can see how the family of the lighthouse worker used to live.
There is one room with looping video about ship wrecks. The video has beautiful music background.
There is another building with displays regarding the native people and their interaction with pilgrims.
Outside of the lighthouse there are displays with info of major ships sunken in the area.
You can go down to the beach, passing boards with pictures and stories of the owner of the land and his family.
I recommend this place.

RomanP
Written October 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jane G
111 contributions
Sep 2022
Emmet County did a really nice job of restoring the lighthouse. Short trail that highlights the occupants and history of the lighthouse and even takes you down to the shore of Lake Michigan. The trail highlights also include narratives of several shipwrecks in the area. A short hour tour that requests donations to help with the exhibit maintenance. Very well done.
Written September 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barb J
Grand Rapids, MI234 contributions
Oct 2023
We visited the lighthouse, trail and beach area in October. It is a nice walk thru the woods to the beach to McGulpin's Rock and beach. The lighthouse is beautiful and we have been coming here for over 40 years and love seeing how it has been restored and kept up. There is a nice gift shop inside and you can go up to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee. The grounds / area are very pretty. This is a great place to come back to at night to get bridge pix and watch the sunset.
Written October 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

99erikl
Flint, MI74 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
We had been to Mackinaw many times, but we had never been to McGulpin before. My wife really wanted to see this lighthouse, and I am glad we went. If you have ever been to a lighthouse before, this one will be similar. However, there were a couple of features that made this visit different.

The house part of this lighthouse is in very good repair because it was used as an actual house up until about 15 years ago. You can go upstairs and see their bedrooms. There is a lot of good information about the lighthouse keeper and his family and how they lived.

You can go all the way up into the lighthouse (44 steps) and out onto the catwalk. You must be fairly agile to fit though the holes to get into the the top and out onto the catwalk. (They do not want you to carry packages or children (!) out on the catwalk.)

Also, there is a path that leads through a bit of forest and then comes out right on Lake Michigan. If you go down to the beach, you can see Colonial Fort Michilimackinac.

An important feature about the lighthouse is that it is on the Lake Michigan side. The lighthouse at the Straits is on Lake Huron. McGulpin gives a view from the west, a different perspective.

The visit is not included in the Mackinac State Historic Parks membership. It will cost $3 per person to get in. We thought it was well worth it.
Written July 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robinsonjul
11 contributions
Jul 2021
While waiting for a dinner reservation time, we drove around Mackinaw City and noticed a sign for this lighthouse. We enjoyed the history we received before climbing the spiral stairs to the top of the lighthouse. So interesting to walk back in time at these sites. Well worth the stop. So glad we did.
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)