Tawas Point State Park of Iosco County, Michigan
1.5 miles long.
Take US-23 N. through East Tawas and go E. on Tawas Beach Rd. 2.5 miles. From North: US-23 to Baldwin Resort Rd., left at stop sign on Tawas Beach Rd.
686 Tawas Beach Road East
Tawas MI 48730
Phone Number: (989) 362-5041
TTY/TDD711 (Michigan Relay Center)
Motor Vehicle Permit Required: Yes
Approximate Size: 183 (Acres)
Tawas Point is located off US-23, 2.5 miles southeast of East Tawas on Tawas Beach Road. It is just over an hour drive from the Tri-Cities and only three hours from the Detroit area. The park contains 183 acres situated on the end of a sand spit that forms Tawas Bay. It has been referred to as the "Cape Cod of the Midwest." The campground is located on Tawas Bay where the water is shallow and warm for swimming. Located within the park is the Tawas Point Lighthouse. Although it has been remodeled several times, the station serves as the sole representative of a true Victorian-era style station built on the Great Lakes.
Tawas Point Celebration Days is a family-oriented celebration of our American heritage held the second weekend of June each year. There are many activities offered for the entire family. Some of the activities include historical and educational displays, lighthouse tours, demonstrations of traditional crafts such as spinning, weaving, black-smithing, wood carving, children's activities, fishing derby, guided hikes, traditional music, period encampments with period dress. The weekend is sponsored by the Friends of Tawas Point State Park.
Tawas Bay itself has long been considered one of the finest sailing areas in the country due to the winds and protected waters. If you would prefer to fish, several nearby launches are available. Boats can be moored in the bay off the campground. A DNR-owned ramp is located on U.S. 23 behind the state police post. Many charter boats in the area are available as well. Ice fishing is also a very popular sport on Tawas Bay. In 1987 a limestone reef was constructed in Tawas Bay, and it has helped to make the Bay one of the best fishing areas around. The reef is 800 feet long and 25 feet wide. It is located along the northern side of the bay and provides a natural habitat for smaller bait fish, which in turn attracts larger predator fish. Since the construction of the reef, fishermen have found greater success in the walleye, pike, perch and smallmouth bass fishing.
- Michigan State Park Explorer Program - Learn more about the natural features and resources located in this park with the Outdoor Explorer Program.
- Designated Watchable Wildlife Site - Tawas Point is a stop over point for hundreds of species of migratory birds, and it is a favorite spot for many bird watchers from all over the midwest. The Wildlife Viewing Guide is now on line at www.michigan.gov/miwildlifeviewing
- Playground - These play areas offer a variety of playground equipment for children. Children will enjoy a playground located at the campground. In addition there are horseshoe pits and an area for volleyball.
- Beach House - Provides clothes-changing area for swimmers. Feature is ADA Compliant
- Fishing - Tawas Bay has perch, walleye, brown trout, lake trout, northern pike, bass, coho and chinook salmon. In 1987 a limestone reef was constructed in Tawas Bay, and it has helped to make the Bay one of the best fishing areas around. The reef is 800 feet long and 25 feet wide. It is located along the northern side of the bay and provides a natural habitat for smaller bait fish, which in turn attracts larger predator fish. Since the construction of the reef, fishermen have found greater success in the walleye, pike, perch and smallmouth bass fishing. In the spring and fall.
- Picnic Area - Picnic tables and fire pits/grills The day-use area of the park contains a picnic area with tables, picnic grills and a playground for children.
- Picnic Shelter(s) Feature is ADA Compliant - The picnic shelter in the day use area may be reserved for group picnics. The fee for a reservation is $50.00 for a day.
- Hiking - Located on the end of the point is the Sandy Hook Hiking Trail. The trail offers two-miles of guided hiking with interpretive stops along the way. The trail is designated for hiking only, bicycles and pets are prohibited.
- Lighthouse - The Tawas Point Lighthouse, built in 1876, is equipped with a Frensnel lens built in Paris in 1880. It replaced the original Ottawa Point Lighthouse located near the present campground playscape.
The lighthouse stands 70 feet above Lake Huron and the walls at the base are 6 feet thick. The Coast Guard station adjacent to the park on Lakeview Drive was also built in 1876 and is the only surviving example of the First Series Life Saving Stations built on the Great Lakes. Although it has been remodeled several times, the station serves as the sole representative of a true Victorian-era style station built on the Great Lakes. In 1991 the Coast Guard built a new station just outside the park entrance and decommissioned the old station. The Tawas Point Lighthouse museum store is located on the lighthouse grounds and is open May-October. For more information please visit the museum store online by clicking here.
The lighthouse is open for tours on weekends Memorial Day through Labor Day. The tour offers a unique opportunity to walk to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of Tawas Point. Tickets are available at the museum store. For tour information please call (989) 362-5658.
- Cross Country Ski - Cross Country Ski Trails are not groomed.
- Sandy Beach - The park offers two-miles of sandy beach. The campground beach located on Tawas Bay offers warm shallow water. The day-use beach is located on the Lake Huron side of the point and offers a designated swimming area. Pets are prohibited on all beaches located in the park.
- Metal Detecting Areas - Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statutes. If you wish to use a metal detector in this state park, here is a map that shows clearly where this activity may take place. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.
- Fishing in the Parks - Learn more about fishing at Fishing in the Parks, a free educational program. The day-use area offers a stocked fishing pond.
Return to Iosco County, MI Trails Page
Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan.gov, National Park Service,
and the USDA Forest Service.