Here it is, a whole post dedicated to one of my favorite places! Being born and raised in Michigan I’ve been lucky enough to grow up going to wonderful state and metroparks. I’ve seen what other states have to offer and trust me when I say we Michiganders are spoiled! Our state parks are the best I’ve seen and my favorite of all is our very own Tawas Point State Park.
Located about 3.5 miles from downtown East Tawas, the Point is very accessible. You can bike or walk there; it is located at one end of a 13 mile bike trail that begins down near Alabaster, just south of Tawas City. You can take a boat there; the shallow, sandy hook is very popular with boaters. It the summer it is not uncommon to see a pontoon party out at the tip of the point. And of course you can drive there, you will need an annual recreation passport.
Tawas Point is often referred to as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest” because of the sandy beach and winds that are very popular with kiteboarders and windsurfers.
The park offers a beautiful campground with nice size sites, cabins, a yurt, a beach, a dog beach, playground, a field for playing frisbee or tossing around a ball and a paved path that leads directly to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is no longer operational as the point has grown over a mile since it was built and the Coast Guard has a new light out at the current tip of the point. Even though the light it not operational, it is still a very impressive building. You can take seasonal tours and go up to the top and see for miles on a clear day. There are special events at the lighthouse throughout the year as well such as a Halloween party, native plant sale and you can even see it decorated for Christmas with period decorations. I’ve even purchased a few bricks along the pathway. The money goes towards helping fund lighthouse projects and now there is a small part of me connected to that area that we love so much.
Bird watchers from all over the Midwest come to the Point. This year during the annual birding festival in May over 170 species of birds was spotted! There are viewing and feeding stations set up for great photo ops. In addition to the birds there are deer, fox, and a variety of other small woodland creatures. There is a 2 mile nature loop that will take you along the beach, woods and open areas. Lots of opportunities to see some wildlife.
In addition to the campground, lighthouse and nature trail…there is a nice beach area with a bathhouse and seasonal snack shack. They have great food and even live music on occasion. This beach faces the open water so the waves can get pretty big sometimes. You can walk for miles along the beach if you want to venture out to the tip of the point. It’s a natural beach, not a groomed one, so you will have sticks and other things that wash up from the water. The amount of beach changes depending on the lake levels as well so keep that in mind. If you are staying at the campground there is a bayside beach where the water is calmer if you prefer.
A couple of other interesting things about the Point. It is GORGEOUS in the winter! It is my FAVORITE place to go and take pictures of the ice. It looks like shards of glass and is something you don’t want to miss. Also, even though we are known as the “Sunrise Side” if you go out to the Point you can catch a beautiful SUNSET over the bay.
There it is. All of the reasons why I love Tawas Point State Park and why I became actively involved in the Friends of the Lighthouse and State Park group that helps with events and maintenance. The park is a local treasure and I want to help preserve it for future generations to enjoy. ** Please note, this post is entirely about my own experiences at the park and not in any way an official guide**
For more information about the park check out the following links…