McGulpin Rock Has Helped Mariners Since 1615
It is not as famous as the Plymouth Rock but it has been used as a navigational tool since before the Pilgrims landed. This massive boulder is McGulpin Rock, near Mackinaw City in Northern Michigan. In 1615, French explorers noted the huge rock near the Straits of Mackinaw. One of the explorers in the expedition was the man believed to be the first European to cross each of the Great Lakes, Etienne Brule.
Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts was where Pilgrims landed in 1620, five years after Brule made note of McGulpin Rock. Brule's explorers reported that the rock was used by Native American tribes as both a navigational tool and to measure the cyclical changes in the depths of the Great Lakes.
McGulpin Rock is big--more than 10 times bigger than Plymouth Rock. McGulpin Rock is nine feet tall and weighs in at 54 tons compared to the tinier Plymouth Rock's five tons. McGulpin Rock is right on the shore of Lake Michigan with majestic views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinaw.
The huge rock is located down the hillside from McGulpin Point Lighthouse, just outside Mackinaw City. McGulpin Rock can be accessed by walking down the path behind the lighthouse or driving down the road just outside the entrance to the lighthouse. McGulpin Lighthouse is open to the public and can be toured--including a climb to the top of the tower on the spiral staircase.
More to Discover Near Mackinaw City...
More Northern Michigan Great Outdoors...
Discover Lake Michigan Lighthouses...
- Northern Michigan Lighthouses
- Northwest Michigan Lighthouses
- West Michigan Lighthouses
- Wisconsin Lighthouses
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.
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.
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.
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.