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Beacons
Then and Now

Door County’s lighthouses, many of which were built in the 1800s, have saved countless lives as they guided ships to safety. Today, they stir hearts as symbols of strength and protection. Learn more about all 11 lighthouses found on the peninsula and islands. Additional tours are available by NaturalistTrolley, and Scenic Boat Tours. For greatest access to the lighthouses, attend the Door County Maritime Museum Lighthouse Festival, held the second weekend in June.

Baileys Harbor Range Lights

Baileys Harbor Range Lights

These range lights were used for 100 years, between 1869 and 1969, and automated in 1923, to safely navigate boats into Baileys Harbor. When the upper and lower lights were parallel to each other, sailors know they were in safe water. The lights were removed from service in 1969 and replaced with a directional light atop a 31-foot tower on the shore. In 1993, the Ridges Sanctuary restored both range lights. The grounds of the range light structures are open to the public, but the structures themselves are not. For more information, click here.

Cana Island Lighthouse

Cana Island Lighthouse

Located on the north end of Baileys Harbor off narrow and rustic Cana Island Road, this lighthouse is perhaps the most iconic and photographed of all Door County lighthouses. It was established in 1869 and automated in 1944. The island, accessed by walking across a stone causeway, is operated as a museum by the Door County Maritime Museum and Lighthouse Preservation Society. For information on hours and tours, click here.

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pierhead Light

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pierhead Light

This impressive red structure is located at the fully operational U.S. Coast Guard station on the Lake Michigan end of the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. The Pier Head navigation light was built in 1882, and the station was built with a tower light in 1899, renovated in 1903 and automated in 1972. The lower level break wall is the only section of the grounds that are open to the public. For more information, click here.

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Light

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Light

The Canal Station Light Tower, located on the northern bank of the entrance to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, was built in 1899 and automated in 1972. To reach the Ship Canal Light and North Pierhead Light, visitors must park in the lot outside the station's gate and follow the driveway that leads from the front gate to the seawall. Grounds are open to the public during the Lighthouse Walk, held the second weekend in June. Click here for more information.

Chambers Island Lighthouse

Chambers Island Lighthouse

This lighthouse, located on the northwest corner of Chambers Island, is only accessible by boat. It was established in 1858 and automated in 1961. Click here for more information.

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse

Eagle Bluff LIghthouse

This easily accessible lighthouse is located in Peninsula State Park. It was built in 1868, and three keepers manned the light until 1926, when the navigational mechanism was automated. Click here for more information about the lighthouse and museum hours.

Old Baileys Harbor (Bird Cage) Lighthouse

Old Baileys Harbor (Bird Cage) Lighthouse

This lighthouse was built on an island near Baileys Harbor in 1852 and removed from service in 1869 when the Range Lights in Baileys Harbor were built. It's known for its unique bird cage lantern room. The light is now privately owned

Pilot Island Lighthouse

Pilot Island Lighthouse

Built of Cream City brick in 1858 and automated in 1962, this lighthouse was ordered constructed by President Buchanan after ship captains complained the light built on Plum Island in 1848 was too far west. Today, the structure is in need of repair and the light is only visible by water. The property is owned by the Coast Guard; no trespassing is allowed. Click here for more information.

Plum Island Lighthouse

Plum Island Lighthouse

The Plum Island Range Lights are located between the peninsula's tip and Washington Island, guiding safe passage through "Death's Door." Those taking the Washington Island ferry can see the rear range light tower, keepers' dwelling, and fog signal building. The front range light can only be seen from a boat approaching Death's Door from Lake Michigan. Click here for more information.

Pottawatomie Lighthouse

Pottawatomie Lighthouse

Located on the north end of Rock Island State Park, this lighthouse was initially built in 1836, making it the first established in Door County. It was rebuilt in 1858 and automated in 1956, and is no longer active - the active beacon shines from a nearby skeleton tower. The lighthouse is open daily during the summer. The state park is open year-round and is accessible by boat or the Karfi ferry. Click here for more information.

Sherwood Point Lighthouse

Sherwood Point Lighthouse

The last manned lighthouse on the Great Lakes, this lighthouse was established in 1883 and automated in 1983. It is only open to the public during the Lighthouse Walk, held the second weekend in June; the rest of the year, the facility is operated as a rest and recuperation area for active members of the U.S. military on a rental basis. Click here for more information.



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