The weather was rather blah, again, this weekend. Grey skies. Rain. Melting snow. Cold winds. I have been waiting to visit McGulpin Point, just west of Mackinaw City, for blue skies or a starry night. With free time this weekend, I decided to make the trip regardless of the weather.
I started my trip at the historically significant McGulpin Rock.
Although not as famous as Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts, McGulpin Rock has been utilized as a navigational aid by European explorers since before the Pilgrims landing. First noted by French explorer Etienne Brule in 1615, the stone long served not only as a navigational marker by Native Americans, but also as water level indicator. Once entirely beneath the surface of Lake Michigan, it was fully dry just a few summers ago. Now, with lake levels rising again, its base is below the surface once more.
This massive boulder sits at the very tip of McGulpin Point in the Straits of Mackinac. At nine feet tall and over 54 tons, it is ten times larger than Plymouth Rock.
When I arrived at McGulpin Rock, the wind was picking up and the waves were moderately sized. With temperatures dipping below 30°, ice was forming on the top of the rock. I spent some time capturing photographs and exploring the beach, before heading into the forest.
Throughout the point are beautiful trails that meander through dense pine forest. I was the only person on the point the day of my visit, so the forest was quiet. The trails are wonderfully maintained and the climb gently uphill to the McGulpin Light.
The McGulpin Lighthouse sits back from the water at the top of the hill. Built in 1869, the design of the McGulpin Lighthouse was copied by the federal government in construction of several other Great Lakes lighthouses.
After the light was removed from service in 1906, it served as a private residence until 2008 when it was purchased by Emmet County. It is open for tours in the summer months and during special occasions in the autumn and winter.