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Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

Neptune Beach...
Level Contributor
75 posts
174 reviews
Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

I know you can view Big Red from the state park, but I’d like to get closer. I’m out of state, so I understand I can get access 11am M-F (July trip). I’m not clear where that gate is. Is it Lake Shore Drive? And will this give me access to walk the pier and the outside of the lighthouse? Thanks!

13 replies to this topic
Neptune Beach...
Level Contributor
75 posts
174 reviews
1. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

Sorry, meant to say is gate at end of Lakeside Rd?

Grand Rapids...
Level Contributor
2,851 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

South Shore Drive. End of road. There is a sucerity shack there. If it is staffed, tell the guard on duty you want to walk to the lighthouse. He will direct you to a few parking spaces further in. It is around a ten minute walk. If there is no staff present at the gate, park somewhere outside the gate in approved parking. That is, any space that is not marked as private or authorized parking only. It is not reccomended to enter through the gate if it is possible and/or unstaffed. Only enter with security approval with your vehicle but do not hesitate to enter through on foot either way. If that be the case plan on a 20 minute walk. This IS NOT handicap access and some of this is a dirt trail, though one could take the private road as well. Just follow the path.

In saying all of this, i have yet to walk it myself. This is from everything I read, heard, and experienced first hand up to asking to go through security as I did not have policy access that day. I take it you have been to their site? If not, they do have their own site. Just google Big Red Lighthouse for legal policy hours and such.

Grand Rapids...
Level Contributor
2,851 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

https:/…visitor-info.html this is the direct link for info.

Neptune Beach...
Level Contributor
75 posts
174 reviews
4. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

Thanks much for the great details! Yes i did go to the site, but it doesn’t say where the gatehouse is located (unless i missed it). So you’ve filled in those blanks. I’ll come back and let you know how it was!

Grand Rapids...
Level Contributor
2,851 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

Thank you. I would love to hear your experience! Yes, it is very easy to find. You cannot miss it. On a side note I cannot remember the name right now but the main road that goes south bound from south shore closest to the gatehouse, take that to 146th. Turn right though. Different name. The house is called the castle house maybe. Dont remember. It is a private community but almost primearely for summer renters so you can go in there but not inside the house. South a little further is Felt Mansion, in which you can often tour inside ($12) but either way you can walk the grounds. Very nearby is the Saugatuck Dune Rides as well.

Grand Rapids...
Level Contributor
2,851 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

http://feltmansion.org

https://castlepark.org/visiting-castle-park/

66th st is the main south north road.

The above links are the two to check out if you want to see the two nearby worthwhile houses.

Neptune Beach...
Level Contributor
75 posts
174 reviews
7. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

Thanks again!

Holland, Michigan...
Level Contributor
1 post
66 reviews
8. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

The access road to Big Red is off of South Shore Drive which follows along the south side of Lake Macatawa. South Shore eventually turns into Bay Road where the small security building is that allows you access.

From a site I found:

"Pedestrian access to Big Red is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays to local residents from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Out-of-state visitors may visit from 11am to sunset Mondays through Fridays. There is parking for four cars beyond the gatehouse, available when the gatehouse is staffed. Otherwise, parking is outside (not at marina or yacht club). Bicycles must be left in the bike rack at the gatehouse. It is a quarter-mile walk to the lighthouse from the park entrance; the walk is across sand and gravel and is not handicapped-accessible. No beach towels, dogs, or coolers can be carried in to the park. Visitors may stay for one hour."

Neptune Beach...
Level Contributor
75 posts
174 reviews
9. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

Ok, we went to Holland’s Big Red yesterday, thanks to your help!

So, you just head out on South Shore Rd, and it will seem like forever. We kept looking for it to turn into Bay, but it does not do that until you’re actually on the property of the private gated community. At the spot where South Shore ends, on a post on the left side of road is a small printed sign that says Lighthouse with an arrow. A few feet further there’s a small white gatehouse with a pointed roof. In front of it was an even smaller sandwich board that said “Big Red open”. We drove to gate, and said we want to go to Light. She said “sure, i have one spot open right now, and anyone can go in today” (locals can only go in Tues, and they limit the number of people at any given time. Once the guard raises the gate bar, you park about 100 feet from gate. You walk about 1/8 mile on sidewalks/road that are part of the private community. About halfway you’re actually begin walking a very narrow sidewalk through/between the yards/houses of the residents. After the first 1/8 mile, you come out on a sand path that parallels the canal, and you can see the park across canal. Walk straight out the sand another 1/8 mile and you’re standing in front of this beautiful Lighthouse.

Such s picturesque area. You also have access to another pier out to the channel marker, and can view the beach and house of the wealthy family who allow us non-locals to go out across their private proprty to visit this Light M-F!

I will be doing a review once i get to my PC instead of App. I took photos of all these points to help others like me find this great place! Any questions, ask away. Marty

Grand Rapids...
Level Contributor
2,851 posts
8 reviews
10. Re: Holland Big Red Lighthouse- where is gate access?

Thankyou sooo much. That was more than I could ask for. I am looking very forward to seeing the photos. If you don't mind, your review will be 'the go to place' I will send people with the same question. Thankyou for the very detailed response.

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