Standing tall and proud along the shores of Lake Michigan, Point Betsie marks the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage. Its light has been protecting sailors and ships from maritime dangers since its construction in 1858. Timeless charm and easy accessibility explain why Point Betsie is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the state of Michigan. Parking your car just yards away from this beauty, you'll be welcomed by the sights and sounds of Lake Michigan.
Nestled in a dune just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the tower stands 39 feet tall, but with the height of the dune it towers 52 feet above the water line. Point Betsie was the last lighthouse on the Great Lakes to be manually serviced, and was fully automated in 1983. The light could originally be spotted as far away as 27.5 miles with the Fourth Order Fresnel Lens it came equipped with. Upon automation the Fresnel Lens was replaced with a Vega VRB-25 system, which has a range of 15-22 miles.
Today Point Betsie stands in quiet testimony to the many keepers who maintained the light while their wives maintained the household, tended gardens, and watched their children playfully explore the dunes. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and manned for 106 years, Point Betsie offers a fascinating visit for history buffs and those who just want to relax. Sporting the same paint scheme the lighthouse had in the 1940s, it has been preserved and is cared for by "The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse". If visiting Frankfort, or Sleeping Bear Dunes in Benzie County, make sure to visit this historic lighthouse. Wander the grounds, explore the accompanying fog station stroll the beach, or have a family picnic. Adventure awaits!
Article written by Craig Sterken Photography.
For More Information:
Point Betsie Lighthouse
3701 Point Betsie Rd,
Frankfort, MI 49635
More Benzie County Travel Information...
- Discover M-22 in Northwest Michigan's Benzie County
- Take a Fall Color Tour Through Manistee County
- Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre Brings The Bard to Benzie County
- Explore Benzie County's Festivals and Events
- Visit Peaceful Elberta in Benzie County
- Explore Frankfort's Arts and Crafts Fairs
- Viewing the Northern Lights in Northwest Michigan
- Visit the Friendly Town of Frankfort in Benzie County
- Benzie County Travel Information
- Visit Point Betsie Lighthouse
Northwest Michigan Lighthouse Locations...
Grand Traverse Light Station -- Located on the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan, The Grand Traverse Light was established in 1852.
Point Betsie Light Station -- Nestled in a dune just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the tower stands 39 feet tall, but with the height of the dune it towers 52 feet above Lake Michigan.
Discover More Lake Michigan Lighthouses...
Ludington's North Breakwater Light -- Walk the half-mile long pier to West Michigan's most popular lighthouse.
North Pierhead Lighthouse in Manistee -- At the Manistee beach.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse -- Located at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse -- Located in the Ludington State Park.
Pentwater Pier Head Lights -- At the channel to Pentwater Lake.
Grand Haven Lighthouse -- The Grand Haven lighthouse is at the mouth of the Grand River.
White River Light Station in Whitehall -- Operated by the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers.
Harbor Point Lighthouse -- Located in Harbor Springs in Northern Michigan. McGulpin Point Lighthouse -- This lighthouse is located in the Straits of Mackinac at Mackinaw City. Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse -- Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse is in Mackinaw City.
Manitowoc North Breakwater - Walk out to the end of the pier to this Manitowoc lighthouse, and wave to the carferry S.S. Badger as the ship passes by.
Algoma North Pierhead - This lighthouse can be seen all along the Crescent Beach Boardwalk and is accessible via the pier if you want to venture closer.
Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse - Located in Kewaunee, Wisconsin...halfway between Sturgeon Bay and Manitowoc along Lake Michigan.