Old Mission Point Park
The 120-acre Lighthouse Park preserves the very tip of the peninsula and is home to Mission Point Lighthouse. Built in 1870, the lighthouse lies halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and for 63 years warned mariners of the rocky and dangerous waters at the north end of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. In 1933, it was replaced with an automatic buoy light just offshore and in 2008 re-opened as a museum.
Adjoining Lighthouse Park to the south is the 520-acre Old Mission Point Park. Much of this land were cherry orchards before the state purchased the acreage in the 1980s. Eventually the land was leased to Peninsula Township which developed the current trail system, merging the existing trails in Lighthouse Park with new segments in Old Mission Point Park. Three trailheads serve the interconnecting trails with the most popular one by far being Lighthouse Park within a stone’s throw of the historic lighthouse.
This hike, a 5-mile loop through both parks, is a mix of foot paths and old two-tracks that passes through a variety of terrain and scenery, including both the West Arm and the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay, before returning to Mission Point Lighthouse.
|Difficulty - Easy|