Lighthouses opening for the season

May 16, 2013

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The four lighthouses operated by the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association are opening for season.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse, located in the Ludington State Park, opened earlier this month. On May 24, White River Light Station in Whitehall, Little Sable Point Light Station in Mears and the Ludington North Breakwater Light will open.

The Ludington-based nonprofit association runs the four lighthouses with the help of hundreds of volunteers from across the country and many from within the state of Michigan. The operating schedule varies at each SPLKA light, but generally the three northern lights are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and White River will hold the same schedule, but be closed on Mondays.

To visit the lighthouses: go to www.splka.org to obtain directions and see the full season of special events planned for the four lights, from the Lighthouse Festival held over the weekend of June 1 to 2, the Cruise Into Yesteryear on Saturday, June 8 on the Lake Michigan Carferry, and the monthly Nights at the Lights concert series. Tower admissions are $3 for adults and $1 for children and museum entrance at the White River Light Station is $2- $4.

Gift shops carrying local artisan crafts and maritime related souvenirs reside within the two Ludington lighthouses and at the White River Light Station, and all four lighthouses boast towers you can climb, from the shortest at White River and the Breakwater Light to two of the tallest in Michigan, the Little and Big Sable sister lights. At the top of these Sable lights, views include a one hundred foot tall vantage point of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and the Nordhouse Dunes.

Daily volunteer opportunities are made available to local residents, from a weekend shift at White River to daily shifts or even one full week at Little Sable or Ludington North Breakwater Light. One week opportunities are still available in July for couples or individuals to become a part of living history, serving as a Keeper at either Ludington North Breakwater Light or Little Sable.

The residential Keepers serving one week have lodging provided for them nearby within comfortable, modern houses at the state parks. Contact Matt Varnum, SPLKA Operations Manager, to learn more about volunteering by emailing [email protected] or by calling the SPLKA office at 231-845-7417.

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