Ever have one of those days that's hard to put into words? Spending a day at the Grand Haven Lighthouse was that day for me.
Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier in the winter!
It struck me right away when I started walking on the beach staring at what looked like icebergs, frozen shorelines, and big clumps of sand that made no sense. Upon closer inspection, I noticed there was mounds of ice underneath the sand as I walked the beach. The view was spectacular!
I found out later that Lake Michigan gets hit with strong storms in the winter that helped create this dramatic landscape. I stared out in amazement then knew I had to go out and see the lighthouse!
There are several signs at the beginning of the pier stating that it is a working pier and not designed for public use. It also states there have been over 50 deaths off this pier and enter at your own risk. I was still drawn out to see the lighthouse! I watched my step as I was walking on ice the entire way. The left side of me appeared completely frozen while the right side was a river feeding into Lake Michigan.
I was awestruck and continued out towards what appeared to be a second lighthouse. I was greeted by a fisherman as I approached the second lighthouse. He was very friendly and talked for several minutes. He did caution me that the right side had swift water moving out and lots of ice. He said the people that fall in there never return so stay alive and stay on the left side. He also reminded me that I was walking on ice that was probably ten feet thick at the end of the pier so watch my footing! I thanked him for the advice and continued on.
I noticed the catwalk that was well above my head as I started walking down the pier was now at eye level and could have easily stepped onto it from the ice! The fisherman was right about how much ice was on the pier! I cautiously walked around the second lighthouse on a narrow path and turned around. My jaw dropped! WOW! The ice-covered front was proof of the storms that came through all winter.
I stared in amazement! I then looked down and could see the edge of the pier well below me. There was nothing but ice surrounding me in every direction. I had to stop and make a 360-degree video to show this incredible view!
I eventually start heading back. I took my time just staring out over the frozen lake and struck up conversations with other visitors walking out to the lighthouse. I found myself in the role of the fisherman warning other visitors of the dangers and to stay safe.
This was a day that well surpassed all expectations! I came out expecting to go out and take a couple of pictures of the lighthouse and visit the town of Grand Haven. Instead, I had an incredible experience at the lighthouse and Grand Haven was very quiet. Turned out it’s very busy in the summer. It did not matter, the day was perfect!
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What a beautiful site, and a thrilling adventure! The sites are so gorgeous I don't know if I would have been nervous from the fisherman's warning and turn around or continue on as you did. Thank you for sharing,
That is by far one of the most beautiful lighthouse settings I've ever seen, all of the ice looks majestic. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos of your trip, I'll definitely be adding this to my travel bucket list. 🙂
Crystal | The Poor Explorer
This looks like an amazing place to explore in Winter. In summer it would literally be any other lighthouse, but with that ice and sand mixed together it looks almost other-worldly. What a great day 😀
Crystal recently posted: Photoblog: Cuba in Colour
Oh how pretty! I love that Red light house it's very beautiful. This looks very tranquil and relaxing. Mother nature is so incredibly beautiful. It's incredible how beautiful that lake is frozen. Thanks for sharing with us.
This place looks stunning! I have never been to a lighthouse on a beach, but I've always wanted to! Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful pictures! They should be framed!
We vacation every summer in Coloma, Michigan and spend time at Grand Haven. It is typically way too cold for us to visit in the winter (and the driving is not so safe between there and Chicago), but I always wondered how it looked during the winter. Thanks for sharing!
That is quite the colour for that lighthouse. Recently, there's been a debate in the Maritimes, here in Canada on what to do with the hundreds of lighthouses - most have become incredibly expensive to maintain and modern shipping no longer relies on that kind of infrastructure. From what I recall, some of the more historic ones have received funding for heritage and cultural preservation, but who knows what will happen to the rest.
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma)
Those photos are simply amazing! WE love to visit Michigan in the summer. We go there every summer! Such great memories! That state is beautiful in the winter and summer! Thank you for sharing those beauties!
Joanne T Ferguson
I love lighthouses and have so many fond memories! Thanks for sharing and made me smile today!
Fi Ní Neachtáin
Amazingly beautiful pictures! What a fantastic to place to visit, no matter what time of the year it is. I actually love visiting the seaside in the winter, there's something so calming about it I find. I wish we had lighthouses here that you could just walk up to, unfortunately they're all gated and closed off.
Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy
What a beautiful site! My husband just loves lighthouses. In fact, our bedroom is decked out in prints from paintings some of his favorite lighthouses. I just love how bright red and stunning it. I can't imagine how cold it was walking along the ice down the pier.