Photograph the Lighthouse at Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead

Rate this Adventure Wisconsin Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead

Added by Matthew Sampson

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal is home to a picture-perfect antique lighthouse along the Lake Michigan coast. There is a unique stone pier leading out to the brick-red lighthouse. The lighthouse is located on the north pier of the southern entrance to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal.

Driving on Highway 42 from Sturgeon Bay, cross the bridge over the canal heading north. Take the first right after crossing the bridge on Utah Street. Turn right on Cove Road, followed by a left on Canal Road. Follow Canal Road along the canal until the road comes to a dead end at the U.S. Coast Guard Station. You can park your car in the dirt parking lot outside of the station. Be sure to read the warnings and signs before walking into the Coast Guard Station – there are areas that are off limits. Keeping to the left of the walkway, walk by the Coast Guard Station to the water. You will see the pier and the lighthouse in front of you.

Make sure to walk out onto the pier to get better views of the lighthouse. Be careful when traversing the pier, as the stone walkway can be slippery when wet or icy in the winter. I recommend bringing shoes with good traction for this reason. The best time to photograph the lighthouse is at sunset or sunrise. Be sure to catch the red light flashing from the lighthouse in your photos!

If the weather is nice, head out to the beach just north of the pier for some great relaxing. Also, there is another lighthouse (Sturgeon Bay Canal Light) on the south side of the canal, which you can see to the south.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Good shoes
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Skill Level:



Year Round


Easy Parking

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Added by Matthew Sampson

Photographer, homebrewer, and coffee-lover currently based out of Chicago, IL. I love exploring the outdoors and exploring new cities through food and beverage. Follow me everywhere – @mattdsampson.

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