On my last trip we had a look at the West side of Northern Michigan. Today we will be visiting the East side of the Lower Peninsula. The Black star in the center is where we started and the Red Star on the North East corner is where we set up camp. Here is my adventure.
This weekend we headed to P.H. Hoeft State Park, just north of Rogers City, MI. The park is 300+ acres, has a mile of shoreline on Lake Huron, 5 miles of hiking trails and features 144 modern campsites. They also have rustic cabins and one modern cabin with electric and plumbing. We chose to setup a tent for our quick overnight visit.
Time to setup camp
Another weekend of minimal packing. Tent, cooler and the essentials. So much beautiful nature at this park. Here is our site.
A short walk from this site and we were back on the beach. The majority of the day was rock hunting, swimming and soaking up the sunshine. Just have a look at this beach. Off to the right you can see volleyball courts built into sand pits. No chasing volleyballs across the beach that way. And the water was absolutely perfect.
We decided to take a break from the beach. We jumped in the car and headed north up the coast. Not to far into the drive we came across a sign with an arrow that said “Lighthouse”. That’s all it took and away we went.
As you pull down the long drive it tells you to tune your radio to 107.3 FM. When you do, it starts a story on the history of the buildings, lighthouse and shipwreck. We didn’t listen to the whole thing but for the 10min we did, it was very interesting and informative.
Once we pulled around the corner the water came into view and you could see the lighthouse in the distance.
40 Mile Point Lighthouse
Most of the buildings were closed as it was late in the day, but you could tour the grounds. We walked around the lighthouse and saw another sign that said “Shipwreck”. It took you along a winding sand path, lined with Jack Pine trees. As we made our way down the path, it had some signs explaining what happened to the ship and it’s location.
J.S. Fay Shipwreck 1905
We walked up and down the beach and didn’t see anything resembling a shipwreck. During the daytime they have a free guided tour which would have probably helped us spot it.
A little further down the beach was another path that lead up to some ship memorials. One was the SS Calcite Pilot house and the other was a life boat that had been restored.
SS Calcite Pilot House
The SS Calcite was built in 1912 and was the largest self unloading vessel in the world. It was 436ft long and was able to haul 7000 tons of Limestone from the quarry in Rogers City. The ship was in service for 49yrs until being retired in 1961 for being to small. During her lifetime she hauled 25 million tons of Limestone and 6.5 million tons of coal.
Lifeboat from the T.W. Robinson
This was a cool little piece that was restored and donated to the park by some local people.
End of Part 1
This concludes my camping at Hoeft State Park. In part 2 I’ll show you our campsite from Day 2 and all the places we visited while there. So many great places to visit while in Northern Michigan. Light houses pepper the coast and many are still in use. Keep an eye out for part 2.
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