» st. joseph
The lighthouse at St. Joseph is one of a few that sits at the end of a long pier where it is thereby subjected to the full fury of Lake Michigan. In the winter, this produces some interesting effects.

Note that it is not possible to safely walk past the inner lighthouse to reach the lighthouse at the end of the pier without crampons. There is only about a foot or two of clearance along the edge of the peir which was ice coated and slanted a bit towards the water. There was one photographer wearing crampons who had made it past the inner lighthouse.

St. Joseph lighthouse.

Ice on Lake Michigan from the bluffs south of St. Joseph.

Two people who get as emotional as I do about ice.

St. Joseph lighthouse from afar.

South pier light, St. Joseph.

Couldn't get any closer than this (and this is zoomed) without risking an unwanted splash into Lake Michigan.

According to the internet, this light is 30 feet tall.

Looking down the walkway.

Ice shards.

From the north.

The edge of the ice.

Iced railing.

Ice on Lake Michigan from the bluffs south of St. Joseph.

Look closely and you can see a photographer under the walkway.

Icy balcony.

» south haven
The South Haven lighthouse is also at the end of a pier and you can safely walk all the way to the end as long as you watch your step (I did see one guy take a spill). It was a nice sunny day so there were many people around. Luckily when I first arrived there was some photography group who had the end of the pier all blocked off with their tripods so I was able to get some photos of the light with no people in them.

South Haven.


The side of the lighthouse that faces the lake.

Edge of the pier.

Broken ice in the harbor and the north pier light.

Ice on the walkway.

Ice from here to the horizon.

Another angle.

Probably not the safest place to let your kids play because the ice beyond the shelf was not solid, but I'm sure they were having fun.

On the edge.

Looking like the arctic.

» warren dunes state park
I've tried to visit Warren Dunes in the summer but was scared away by the long line of cars backed up at the park entrance. There was no such backup on this day, but there were a few people around who were searching for snow-covered hills to sled or snowboard on. In my experience, dune areas along the lake often tend to be windblown so the snow, besides getting mixed with sand, tends to disappear. I was surprised to see so much ice on the lake but it has been a fairly cold and stormy winter.

Ice shelf at Warren Dunes.

Warren Dunes.

Left: The view from the top of a dune. Right: The beach.

Emerging from the sand.

Left: An ice pile on the beach. Right: View to the northwest from the top.

» videos

Left: From the end of the South Haven pier. Right: Pressure ridge.


< Back to Photos & Trip Reports

» all photo reports from lower michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Fall 2012 - Summer 2013
Photos from around town in different seasons.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Fall 2011 - Summer 2012
Photos from around town in different seasons.
Fall in Ann Arbor, Michigan
October 2011
Fall photos, mostly from around the University of Michigan campus.
Lake Michigan
September 3, 2010
A windy, wavey day on Lake Michigan brings the surfers out.
Nordhouse Dunes, Michigan
February 27 - 28, 2010
Winter camping in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness along Lake Michigan.
Lake Erie, Michigan
February 6, 2010
Checking out the ice on Lake Erie at Sterling State Park.
The Thumb, Michigan
September 6, 2009
Kayaking along the rocky shores of Lake Huron near Port Austin.
Spring in Ann Arbor, Michigan
April - May 2009
Photos of bright colors returning to campus and town.
St. Joseph, Michigan
February 8, 2009
Checking out the ice around St. Joseph before it melted away.
Fall in Ann Arbor, Michigan
October - November 2008
A few attempts at capturing the beautiful fall colors.
Frozen Coast, Michigan
February 16, 2008
Exploring the frozen shores of Lake Michigan, from Warren Dunes to South Haven.
Northern Michigan
October 19 - 21, 2007
Enjoying the fall colors in northern Michigan.
West Coast, Michigan
July 21, 2007
Checking out a couple of the beaches and towns of Michigan's west coast.
Northern Michigan
June 21 - 22, 2007
Canoeing the Pere Marquette River and checking out the Sleeping Bear Dunes area.
Northern Michigan
July 1 - 4, 2006
Checking out Grand Haven, Silver Lake, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Traverse City.
Michigan Spring
April 2006
Spring pictures from around the Ann Arbor area.
Michigan Winter
December 2005
Winter pictures from around the Ann Arbor area.
Northern Michigan
July 2 - 3, 2005
Hiking the Manistee River Trail, canoeing the Jordan River, and making a brief stop at Wilderness State Park.
The Arb, Ann Arbor
January 2005
Pictures from the first big snowfall in Ann Arbor in 2005 when I skied from home to the Arb and fell into the river.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
May 2003
A visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
My favorite photos from Ann Arbor.
Michigan Law Quad
My favorite photos of the University of Michigan Law Quad.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
October 12 - 14, 2012
Unrelenting rain drenches our fall weekend trip.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
February 24 - 27, 2012
Winter photos from the Leelanau area, including Pyramid Point, Empire Bluffs, and Crystal Lake.
Spring in Ann Arbor, Michigan
April - May 2011
Flowers erupt and warm weather returns to open arms.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
February 28, 2010
Exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes in the winter.
Frozen Coast, Michigan
February 20, 2010
Checking out the frozen lakeshore of Lake Michigan at Warren Dunes, St. Joseph, and Holland.
Fall in Ann Arbor, Michigan
October 2009
Fall color viewed mostly from a few tall buildings around town.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
May 16 - 17, 2009
Enjoying springtime in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Detroit, Michigan
March 7, 2009
Making a quick and rare trip to Detroit, checking out the haunting Michigan Central Station and a few other places.
The Thumb, Michigan
January 31, 2009
Hiking along Lake Huron to see the rock formations and lighthouse near Port Austin.
Nordhouse Dunes, Michigan
July 26 - 27, 2008
A quick overnight backpacking trip into the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area.
Winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan
January 2008
Winter photos from campus, town, and city parks.
North Manitou Island, Michigan
August 11 - 12, 2007
Backpacking on North Manitou Island, enjoying the sunset, and watching storms roll off from Lake Michigan.
Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor
July 14, 2007
Checking out the flowers and interesting plants of the Univeristy of Michigan Botanical Gardens.
Ice Storm, Ann Arbor
January 17, 2007
Pictures from around town after an ice storm coated all the trees in ice.
South Manitou Island, Michigan
July 2, 2006
Hiking to the sand dune bluffs on the west side of South Manitou Island.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
February 27, 2006
Hiking and skiing around the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Michigan Fall
October 2005
Pictures from around the Ann Arbor area.
Sleeping Bear Dunes Area, Michigan
May 27 - 29, 2005
Kayaking on Lake Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Winter Camping, Northern Michigan
December 2004
Winter camping near the Pine River.
My favorite photos from Michigan.
Turnip Rock, Michigan
My favorite photos of Turnip Rock, from both summer and winter.
Ross School of Business
My favorite photos of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.