Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Port Huron, Michigan and vicinity…

Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia

It has been rather cloudy and rainy during our stay here in St Clair, Michigan. But at least most of the time the rain has come at night or in the early morning hours allowing us to sneak out for a few excursions during the day. One town that is really neat and one we visit quite often is Port Huron. Port Huron is the first town in Michigan we visited as it is just across the Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia, Canada. It is the same bridge that cost us our passenger side mirror but we still enjoy visiting it nonetheless.

Lake Huron fogSt Clair RV Park and vicinity 002

Just north of the bridge is a really cool little lighthouse in the town of Fort Gratiot. It is called the Fort Gratiot Light and it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Michigan as well as the oldest in all the Great Lakes. First built in 1825 and shortly thereafter in 1928 it was destroyed by a storm. Rebuilt in 1829 it reached a height of 65 feet and in 1863 it was increased in height to 86 feet. Finally in 2011 over 35000 bricks were replaced to restore it to what it is in its present state… an exquisite light house along the shores of Lake Huron at the mouth of the St Clair River.

Fort Gratiot Light    Fort Gratiot Light compound

Coast Guard tug  named the Huron

Visiting the lighthouse is free but interior guided tours are available for purchase at the onsite store. The rocky beach below the lighthouse is strewn with rock rounded and shaped by the powerful erosive forces of the great lake and the weather influencing its waters. There are lots of informative historical plaques to read that allow one to immerse in the history of this place.

The fast flowing St Clair River is very navigable so it is a great place to sit and watch the tankers as well as other large ships pass through the narrow mouth of Blue Water Bridgethe river from Lake Huron. The ships pass under the Blue Water Bridge and most will bellow their deep baritone horns as they pass through. Sailboats, jet skis and power boats often pass by adding to the river view.. All along the river is a nice boardwalk with benches to sit upon to view the water, watch people walking their dogs or to see guys and girls trying their luck fishing the blue waters of the river.  In the grassy park alongside the boardwalk people can be seen lounging on blankets or folding chairs picnicking or simply enjoying the sights. On our visit we saw lots of teens just out of school for the summer jumping off the docks into the surely chilly waters below and enjoying a swim..We found the park and boardwalk to be a really great place to spend some time soaking in these sights.

Sharon and her hot vetteThere are also lots of nice little restaurants with outside seating lining the shore as well as art, hanging flower baskets and flower beds along the river edge. A small historical museum is housed in a retired Coast Guard tug appropriately named the Huron. For a small fee of $7 we could have learned more but the blue water and clear skies kept us outside. As we drove around the town we even stumbled into a vintage car show that was not only free but provided some great live music where a band playing some 60’s and 70’s tunes piqued our interest. We saw lots of cool cars and even one Sharon coveted….

Well we are in our last day here and tomorrow we will move southwest to the Wayne County Fairgrounds so that we can visit with Sharon’s cousin who lives in nearby Novi, Michigan. From there we have pretty much decided that we will head north and move on up to the “Uper” and visit the highly acclaimed Mackinaw Island.


  1. Looks like an interesting place. Michigan is a great state to visit.

  2. Port Huron is DH's hometown so we have been there quite frequently. I love the boardwalk and watching the ships pass through. My DD was a pilot for the foreign ships coming through the great lakes so I had many a ride on the pilot boat if you happened to see that head out.

  3. It is a nice area to visit there and Frankemuth is an interesting town with the famous Bonners Christmas store nearby.
    Enjoy Mackinaw Island too.

  4. We're traveling the UP of Michigan on our way to Copper Harbor and then will take the southern route back and then to Sault Ste. Marie (for a second) time before crossing into Canada. If you come into the UP, we'd love to rendevzous if possible.

  5. Beautiful lighthouse. David would love to stumble on a vintage car show. He says lucky find!! We loved the UP, I think you will too. Thanks for the tip on Camden Hills State Park in Maine. We're there now but it will probably be a week before I post about it. I just don't seem to be able to keep my blog current. Blabberfingers I guess.

    1. we loved our stay in Camden... I am always a few days behind but unlike you I only blog every other day...

  6. A little trivia...Michigan has the most lighthouses than any state in the U.S. Never have been to Mackinaw Island but always wanted to...someday though.

  7. yep, Michigan is lighthouse central, enjoy them. You are in an area we still need to get too. We have done part of the UP but want to see more of it.