Walk the Beach at Whitefish Point

Whitefish Point is one of those “end-of-the-earth” type places. Look at a map of the U.P. and to the north of Tahquamenon Falls State Park, you’ll see a shark fin-shaped point stretching toward Canada.

That’s Whitefish Point.

In fact, this is one of the few spots along the shore of Lake Superior where (on a clear day) you can actually see Canada. Ontario, in this case, and it’s about twenty miles away.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is the main attraction here, but if you walk past the museum and toward the lake, a nice little boardwalk will lead your feet straight to the sand. It’s a pretty rocky beach overall with a few sandy spots, one of those being near the boardwalk, so most people seem to congregate there.

If you really do want that “end of the earth” feeling of solitude, just take your shoes off, let your bare feet greet Lake Superior, and keep walking toward the tip of the point where you’ll find far fewer people, if anyone at all.

My wife and I did just that after our Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum tour. I’d climbed the lighthouse tower, seen the tip of the point, and wanted to check it out. So we did. It’s was a slow fifteen or twenty-minute walk, past kite fliers, and agate hunters, until we reached the tip of the tip. We waded in the shallows of Lake Superior while admiring the thousands of gorgeous stones that blanket the beach.

A large freighter passed by as we walked, which was something to see. (The size of those things never ceases to amaze me). And as you may have guessed by the placement of the Shipwreck Museum, the open water beyond Whitefish Point is one of the most treacherous shipping routes in Lake Superior. Many ships have met their match here, most notably The Edmund Fitzgerald.

We really enjoyed our time in this area. After checking out Lower Tahquamenon Falls in the morning, we had lunch at Brown’s Fish House and then drove up to the Shipwreck Museum, which is only about ten minutes north of Paradise, MI. After our walk on the beach, we drove south to check out Upper Tahquamenon Falls and the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery, which made for a pretty full day!

Bottom Line: Whitefish Point is a gorgeous stretch of shoreline, perfect for that oh so cliché (but still fun) “long walk on the beach.”

Time required: A half-hour to several hours, depending on how long you want to hang out. Some people pack a cooler and make a day of it.

Other things to note: Because this is the Lake Superior shore, it can be (and often is) cool here. Hope for warm weather but come prepared for a chilly breeze. This is also a major bird-watching area if you’re into that sort of thing.

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