Presque Isle to Thompson Harbor

Alpena, Michigan

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Presque Isle is a beautiful peninsula with two historic lighthouses. The old lighthouse was built in 1840 near the base of the peninsula, but trees grew tall and began to obstruct the light. The new light was built near the end of the peninsula in 1870. With a tower 113 feet high, it was one of the tallest lights on the Great Lakes. The light was automated in 1970 and is still in operation today. Tours of the lighthouses are available, and there is a museum at the old lighthouse with a $2.00 admission. To the west is Thompson Harbor, an undeveloped coast within the Mackinaw State Forest that includes coastal sand dunes. In an area where much of the coast is privately owned, the state forest land in Thompson Harbor is a welcome oasis of wilderness. There is a short but beautiful stretch of coastal sand dunes and a great sand beach. This is also a great place to find rare wildflowers, including several species of pitcher plants and dwarf lake iris. In the shallow water a short distance offshore, you can view the wreck of the American Union, a 500-ton vessel that ran aground in 1894.
Guide to Sea Kayaking on Lakes Huron, Erie & Ontario

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Sea Kayaking on Lakes Huron, Erie & Ontario

by Sarah Ohmann & Bill Newman (The Globe Pequot Press)

Presque Isle is a beautiful peninsula with two historic lighthouses. The old lighthouse was built in 1840 near the base of the peninsula, but trees grew tall and began to obstruct the light. The new light was built near the end of the peninsula in 1870. With a tower 113 feet high, it was one of the tallest lights on the Great Lakes. The light was automated in 1970 and is still in operation today. Tours of the lighthouses are available, and there is a museum at the old lighthouse with a $2.00 admission.

To the west is Thompson Harbor, an undeveloped coast within the Mackinaw State Forest that includes coastal sand dunes. In an area where much of the coast is privately owned, the state forest land in Thompson Harbor is a welcome oasis of wilderness. There is a short but beautiful stretch of coastal sand dunes and a great sand beach. This is also a great place to find rare wildflowers, including several species of pitcher plants and dwarf lake iris. In the shallow water a short distance offshore, you can view the wreck of the American Union, a 500-ton vessel that ran aground in 1894.

©  Sarah Ohmann & Bill Newman/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Alpena
Distance: 11
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: Day trip or overnight
Season: Spring to fall, weather permitting
Local Maps: NOAA 14864, USGS: Alpena County at 1:100,000
Driving Directions: Directions to Presque Isle to Thompson Harbor

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Apr 2018