Hi there!

 

So a trip to Vermilion Point means a trip to the shores of Lake Superior in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula. This is a spot you can go to get away from the crowds.

Here, you will find the Vermilion Point Nature Preserve, and you can also see what used to be the Vermilion Point U.S. life-saving service station. So this can be a stop to make if you want to explore a bit of Lake Superior lighthouse history!

 

Vermilion Point lighthouse, Lake Superior life saving station history. Lake Superior lighthouses in upper peninsula. sand dunes hiking trail. lake superior beach. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point lighthouse, Lake Superior life saving station history. Lake Superior lighthouses in upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point lighthouse, Lake Superior life saving station history. Lake Superior lighthouses in upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point lighthouse, Lake Superior life saving station history. Lake Superior lighthouses in upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

Vermilion Point was home to a Lake Superior station that served as a US Life-Saving Service Station (equivalent of present-day US Coast Guard) along what can be considered the most dangerous areas of the Great Lakes for ships.

Read the history of the Vermilion Point station.

A trip to Vermilion Point can also mean a trip to a beach on Lake Superior. You’ll be walking across small sand dunes to get to the beach. (Try not to step on the dune grass though! That’s said to be fragile and an important part of the coastal ecosystem.)

 

Vermilion Point Nature Preserve to lake superior. Michigan sand dunes in upper peninsula, Lake Superior sand dunes. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point Nature Preserve to lake superior. Michigan sand dunes in upper peninsula, Lake Superior sand dunes. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point Nature Preserve to lake superior. Michigan sand dunes in upper peninsula, Lake Superior sand dunes. up michigan travel blog

 

You’ll also notice a lot of driftwood once you make it to the shores of Lake Superior. And the other thing you may notice – the weather! It may be completely sunny with clear skies inland, but walk towards Lake Superior and it may be really gloomy! With all the driftwood and the gloomy weather, you can kind of get a sense for how this stretch of Lake Superior could have been a “shipwreck coast.”

You can go for a long walk on the beach in both directions.

 

Vermilion Point, lake superior beach in upper peninsula. driftwood. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point, lake superior beach in upper peninsula. driftwood. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point, lake superior beach in upper peninsula. driftwood. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point, lake superior beach in upper peninsula. driftwood. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point, lake superior beach in upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

This is also a beach where you can try searching for special Lake Superior rocks. There are some people on google reviews who call the Vermilion Point beach their new favorite rock hunting beach. You can look for colorful rocks.

 

Vermilion Point, lake superior beach for rock hunting, agate stones in upper peninsula. colorful rocks. up michigan travel blog

 

And, a trip to Vermilion Point also means taking some dirt roads that are more so the backroads of the UP! 

 

Driving to Vermilion Point. upper peninsula forest trees. up michigan travel blog

 

 

Is it worth the drive?

Well, that depends on if you feel that it’s worth it to basically go and see a whole lot of nothing! (As one google review put it.)

If you like exploring old lighthouses and life-saving stations (even the kind that are in bad shape), then you may find Vermilion Point interesting.

If you like beach combing (rock hunting) with (almost) no one around, then you may find Vermilion Point interesting.

If you want to go for a long walk on the beach, you might like this place!

If you want to see some small sand dunes, then you also may find Vermilion Point interesting!

If you want to drive the backroads of the UP, then you also may enjoy this trip!!

So, there are many things that many people may consider a drive to Vermilion Point to be worth it, but ultimately that will depend on how you like to spend your time! 

 

 

Camping near Vermilion Point

There is no camping directly at Vermilion Point.

But if you are looking for a quieter camping experience in the area, then you will drive right by the Andrus Lake State Forest campground. This makes it around a 20-25 minute drive from Vermilion Point.

 

 

 

 

 

And now…

A bit of what a trip to Vermilion Point can be like… along with the drive there!

PHOTOS!

 

I made a visit to Vermilion Point in July 2020.

Because this is more or less just an open space there is nothing that opens or closes.

So as long as the road to get there is accessible (it seems like high winds can cause trees to block the road for example), then it’ll be possible to see the Vermilion Point life-saving station at any time, from the outside.

It’s currently not possible to go inside any of the buildings because they haven’t been restored to safely do so. Currently the groups of SOS Vermilion and Little Traverse Conservancy are committed to preserving the nature and history of Vermilion Point.

 

Vermilion Point lighthouse, life saving station history. Lake Superior lighthouse. upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

So one of the most convenient times to go to Vermilion Point during your UP trip will be alongside a visit to the popular Whitefish Point. The turnoff onto the dirt road that leads to Vermilion Point is located around 5-10 minutes from Whitefish Point.

For google maps, you can locate Vermilion Point to help you find the dirt road.

 

And then, the Little Traverse Conservancy notes:

The road will quickly become gravel and sand.

Four-wheel-drive is highly recommended.

In 0.6 mile, be sure to stay slightly to the right on Vermilion Road (not towards Shelldrake Lake).

Travel roughly 7.25 miles until road veers north.

Be careful to not follow the 452 veer off, but stay on the main road straight to Vermilion.

Continue north on Vermilion Road for more than a mile.

Follow signs to parking.

 

From the turn-off onto the dirt road, you will be driving for around 30 minutes on the dirt road through a forest, and then it will end at the Vermilion Point parking area!

 

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. from whitefish point lighthouse. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. from whitefish point lighthouse. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. from whitefish point lighthouse. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. from whitefish point lighthouse. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. from whitefish point lighthouse. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point Nature Preserve. roads. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point Nature Preserve. roads. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Driving to Vermilion Point. roads. upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

 

Trail to the old U.S. life-saving service station

Then, from the parking lot you’ll see a trail, and this will take you to the area of the old buildings that were a part of the Vermilion Point life-saving station.

 

Hiking trail to Vermilion Point lighthouse, life-saving station. Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Hiking trail to Vermilion Point lighthouse, life-saving station. Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Hiking trail to Vermilion Point lighthouse, life-saving station. Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point life-saving station. Lake Superior life saving stations in Upper Peninsula. lighthouse history. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point life-saving station. Lake Superior life saving stations in Upper Peninsula. lighthouse history. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point life-saving station. Lake Superior life saving stations in Upper Peninsula. lighthouse history. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point life-saving station. Lake Superior life saving stations in Upper Peninsula. lighthouse history. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point life-saving station. Lake Superior life saving stations in Upper Peninsula. lighthouse history. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point life-saving station. Lake Superior life saving stations in Upper Peninsula. lighthouse history. up michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point life-saving station. Lake Superior life saving stations in Upper Peninsula. lighthouse history. up michigan travel blog

 

 

Sand dunes trail to Vermilion Point beach and Lake Superior

Then after you have looked around the life-saving station, you can then look for the trail to keep going towards Lake Superior.

You will be hiking on a sand dunes trail to reach Lake Superior! You’ll see small sand dunes all around! Again, try not to step on the dune grass! (aka stick to the trail.)

 

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Hiking the Vermilion Point sand dunes trail to Lake Superior. Upper peninsula sand dunes in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

Vermilion Point beach, Lake Superior. Upper peninsula beaches in Michigan. UP michigan travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit of what a visit to the Vermilion Point life-saving station can be like!

 

See neighboring Lake Superior light stations:

 

See more light stations in Michigan:

 

HAPPY VISIT TO VERMILION POINT AND LAKE SUPERIOR!

 

Vermilion Point lighthouse, Lake Superior life saving station history. Lake Superior lighthouses in upper peninsula. sand dunes hiking trail. lake superior beach. up michigan travel blog

 

 

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Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.