Point Betsie is a dynamic mosaic of shifting sand dunes, interdunal wetlands, boreal forest and sandy Lake Michigan beaches continuously impacted by natural stresses such as wind and wave action, ice scouring, and currents moving along the shore of the lake. This globally-imperiled open dune habitat provides a place where threatened species such as Pitcher’s thistle, fascicled broomrape and the Lake Huron locust can thrive. Dune vegetation includes marram grass, beach pea and hoary puccoon with forested islands of balsam fir, paper birch, red oak and creeping juniper. The Pointe has also been identified as a potential nesting site for piping plover as the population of this endangered species recovers.
Point Betsie has the most photographed lighthouse on the Great Lakes and the lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also an ideal spot for seeing waterfowl. Up to 350 Common Loons per hour have been seen passing Point Betsie, as well as many Long-tailed Ducks and Black, White-winged, and Surf Scoters. Red-throated Loons have been sighted in 2011 and 2012 as well. In the winter look for Bald Eagles and possibly Snowy Owls.
Directions: From Frankfort, MI, take M-22 north for approximately 4 miles. Take a left on Pt. Betsie Road and travel 0.7 miles to the Lighthouse parking lot.