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Little Sable Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan

Little Sable Point Lighthouse


More lighthouses dot Michigan’s shores than any other state in the U.S., and Little Sable Point Lighthouse stands tall and proud among them.  The Great Lakes are well known for big drama in bad weather and boaters still count on lighthouses as a beacon to safety.  Little Sable Point Lighthouse is a beautiful and welcome sight.  It sits right on the shore, south of Silver Lake Sand Dunes and is part of Silver Lake State Park.


Photo by: Marcus Reinkensmeyer

Little Sable Point Lighthouse, located on the shores of Lake Michigan south of Silver Lake Sand Dunes can easily be viewed from the beach. But if you can, make time for a tour and a trip to the top. It is open for tours daily from May 27, 2016 through September 25, 2016 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lighthouse Park requires a Michigan Recreation Passport for entry, or one must be purchased.

The majestic Little Sable Point Lighthouse is one of four area lighthouses staffed by volunteers from the Sable Points Light Keepers Association (SPLKA). They will assist you with questions and get you started on your climb of 130 steps to the top (if you’re over 36 inches tall). The trip to the top is well worth it -you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Lake Michigan, Silver Lake Sand Dunes, forests and farmland. Educational tours are also available by appointment by calling 231.845.7417.

Admission: $3 per person; Under 12-$1

Height Requirements: 36 inches

For more information visit the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association website: www.splka.org

$3.00 per person
12 and under $1.00

Height Requirement: 36 inches

Follow US-31 to the Shelby Road Exit. Follow Shelby Road west to B-15. Follow B-15 to Silver Lake Road. Turn Left onto Silver Lake Road (next to Mac Wood’s Dune Rides). Follow the winding, paved road to the Little Sable Point Light Station.

For More Information:
Contact the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association at 231.845.7417.

White River Light Station

Located just fifteen minutes south of the Hart area is the White River Light Station. Constructed of Michigan brick and limestone, the White River station still stands proud. The station was converted into a museum and is now owned and operated by the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association. The museum contains interesting nautical artifacts and stories of its first lighthouse keeper, Captain William Robinson and is open during the summer months Tuesday through Sunday, 10AM-5PM.

Follow US-31 to White Lake Drive Exit. Turn West to South Shore Drive. Turn left and follow the Museum signs to the end of Murray Road.

For More Information:
Contact the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association at 231.845.7417.

North Breakwater Light

At the end of Ludington’s break wall stands the Ludington North Breakwater Light. The original light was placed here in 1871 to help guide vessels through the channel. Although the light was rebuilt in 1924 with the current structure, the light is still actively guiding boats through the channel and along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Directions: Follow US-31 to the US-10 West Exit. Follow US-10 west through downtown Ludington and to the Lake Michigan shore.

For More Information: Contact the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association at 231.845.7417.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Just thirty minutes from the Silver Lake area stands the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. The oldest lighthouse in our tour, the 112-foot lighthouse tower was built in 1867. The lighthouse is very similar in original design to the Little Sable Point Light Station in Silver Lake. However, the original bricks have been covered with steel plates to protect them from further deterioration. Attached to the tower is the light keeper’s home. Open May 24 through September 30, 2014 everyday from 10AM to 5PM. Bus Day is the 2nd Saturday of the monthy in July, August and September for those unable to walk the distance to the lighthouse.

Follow US-10 west through downtown Ludington and to the Lake Michigan shore. The Lighthouse is located 8 miles north of Ludington.

For More Information:
Contact the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association at 213.845.7417
P.O. Box 673, Ludington, Michigan 49431


In the 1700s and 1800s, as settlers flocked to the Midwest, shipping was the major mode of transporting people, lumber, minerals, grains, fruit and produce from port to port.  It was a dangerous business leading to the currently estimated 3,000 shipwrecks at the bottom of Lake Michigan.  Lighthouses served and continue to serve a real purpose in lighting the way around dangerous shoals for ship captains and crew.  The beautiful red brick Little Sable Point Lighthouse, which was completed in 1874, stands over 100 feet tall with a light that could be seen for 19 miles.  A home for light keepers was originally built alongside the lighthouse and was staffed by a variety of light keepers until 1954. By then the lighthouse was under the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard, who converted the light to electricity and made it automatic.  The house and other buildings on the property were demolished soon after.   The original Fresnel lens is still in operation.  For more information contact the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association for an educational tour at 231.845.7417 or visit www.splka.org.

Click Here to see a complete listing of all Little Sable Point Light keepers compiled by Phyllis L. Tag of Great Lakes Lighthouse Research.

Take Silver Lake Road South out of Silver Lake. Near the Lake, the road turns to the West and the road surface changes to gravel. Continue on this gravel road approximately 1/2 mile to the lighthouse parking area. Climb over the dune, and the tower is on the beach on the Lake side of the dune.

Inventory of Historic Light Stations, National Parks Service 1994 .
Little Sable Point, Tomas A. Tag, 1996
Photographs from author’s personal collection.
Personal observation at Little Point Sable. 09/13/1998
Historical image from USCG Historians office, Photographic archives.

Keeper listings for this light appear courtesy of Great Lakes Lighthouse Research
Author: Terry Pepper
Website: terrypepper.com