Day One – Lighthouse Tour: Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Rounding out the first day of our tour, we thought there was no better way to end the day then seeing the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. We’ve heard of Big Sable Point Lighthouse, seen the pictures but have yet to view the structure with our own eyes. Well, let me tell you, it’s not an easy lighthouse to see. Unfamiliar with the area and the Ludington State Park, we decided to park and walk towards the beach (a common area for lighthouses to be found). Still in our dress clothes from work that morning, I decided to change into a new pair of brown boots I had purchased for the occasion, instead of the boots with a heel I had struggled with trekking in early. Finally making it across the parking lot and to the beach spanning for miles there was no lighthouse to be rewarded with. Luckily a few local fishermen were sitting on the beach fishing from the water’s edge. In asking for directions their response was friendly as they willingly gave us a helping hand. After telling us to head back the way we came, turn a couple times, and look for a campground to our right we found ourselves in the campground driving in circles looking for a trail head to point us in the right direction. With no public parking, and the season winding to the end we were able to find an empty camp spot to park. The trail head was clearly marked with a 1.5 mile hike ahead of us. Not even halfway down the path my heels began to sting and ache with every step. Blisters.
Tip # 142 Don’t ever wear new shoes if the words trail, hike, or miles is involved.
Molly’s optimism kicked in as she continually insisted I could make it and that we were “almost there”. Finally after the winding trail we could see the tip of the lighthouse weaving in and out of sight over the dune grass covered hills. The towering structure encapsulated by the thousands of photos previously seen is just as beautiful as the experience in person. The relief of making it to the structure and the magnitude of its existence were overwhelming and inspiring in relation to the coastline and maritime history of the area. After taking a few photos and exploring the area, we left to make the hike back making it to the car just before sunset.
We definitely recommend taking a trip out to see the lighthouse for yourself when you have the time to explore and fully enjoy what the area has to offer (just remember to pack a pair of tennis shoes or comfortable hiking boots). Lighthouse tours between the months of May-October are available, but we arrived too late to take advantage of the opportunity.
For more information on the lighthouse, visiting hours and the Ludington State Park amenities check out the websites listed below.