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Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pierhead Light, Sturgeon Bay

4.6
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal is a shipping canal connecting Sturgeon Bay on Green Bay with Lake Michigan, across the Door Peninsula, at the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, United States.
The canal is approximately seven miles in length, and consists of two parts: a dredged portion of Sturgeon Bay, and a 1.3-mile canal dug through the eastern side of the Door Peninsula. This shorter portion was dug by a private group headed by then-president of Chicago and North Western Railway, William B. Ogden, between July 8, 1872 and the late fall of 1881. Although smaller craft began using the canal in 1880, it was not open for large-scale watercraft until 1890.
The cost of making the 1.3 mile cut up to 1881 was $291,461.69.
In 1893, the Ogden private investors group sold all interest in the canal to the United States government. Since that time, the canal has been maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The original canal was 7,400ft long, 100ft wide, and 6ft deep. As of June 1997 the canal was 7mi long, 125ft wide, and 16+1/2to deep. A jetty extends into Lake Michigan 1,350ft and 800ft wide at the mouth.
Several famous lighthouses mark the course of the canal, including the Sturgeon Bay Canal Lighthouse at the eastern entrance on the northern side of the canal (approximately 230 feet from Lake Michigan) next to the Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay; the Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light on the Lake Michigan coastline; and the Sherwood Point Lighthouse in Idlewild, on the far western end, on the southern shore of the outer edge of Sturgeon Bay.
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Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pierhead Light reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
35 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • A nice walk out to the lighthouse. A great place to enjoy watching the water, and the waterbirds near by. Very peaceful. 
    A nice walk out to the lighthouse. A great place to enjoy watching the water, and the waterbirds near by. Very peaceful.  more »
  • Really nice to see up close And the walk out to the lighthouse (you can not enter to my knowledge) surrounded by very clear water 
    Really nice to see up close And the walk out to the lighthouse (you can not enter to my knowledge) surrounded by very clear water  more »
  • It doesn’t take long to get to or see if your in the area. Thewalk there isn’t long and on flat surface. Don’t let the Coast Guard sign throw you off. Just follow the public walking area. Lovely... 
    It doesn’t take long to get to or see if your in the area. Thewalk there isn’t long and on flat surface. Don’t let the Coast Guard sign throw you off. Just follow the public walking area. Lovely...  more »
Google
  • What a great experience. The walk out to the light house with the waves rolling will take your breath away. If your lucky you may see a large ship come in. Bring a warmer clothes, sometimes the temps can drop from the lake. Enjoy!
  • Small parking area outside the Coast Guard facility, with slightly confusing signage. Lots of warnings about not trespassing, but that is just the Coast Guard area. They give the public a two foot wide section of road between the Coast Guard and the private residence to walk to the light house. Then you can walk out to get pictures and watch the boats. We had one boater think he was funny as he flew by closely to splash us, but he missed and we didn't get wet. Nice views along the walk.
  • Loved this little scenic spot. You can walk down to the end of the pier to see the red lighthouse. However, you must stay on the public labeled walkway to get down to the pier. Loved taking pictures and getting to see the views of the crystal clear water. Beware the area was a little buggy on the way back to the car. We also drove around and over the bridge to get to the other side of the coast guard facility to visit the beach and other pier. We didn’t walk all the way down because there was a lot of bird poop but it still was an enjoyable experience.
  • I have always enjoyed visiting here every summer. Parking is easy and the walk up to the pier is interesting considering the private/public painted line. Great place to go boat watching if timed correctly.
  • This was a really cool little walk from our cabin. It took about half an hour to get to. I'm so glad my wife and I were able to get down this far. Super cool photo opportunity. A must see if you're in the Sturgeon Bay area.

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