Rawley Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Point Beach State Forest. It is near the town of Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The lighthouse was first built in 1853 and replaced with the current structure in 1894. The tallest lighthouse (Rawley Point lighthouse) along the Wisconsin coast is 111 feet (34 m) tall. It marks the entrance to the Manitowoc harbor. The lighthouse is neither staffed nor open to the public. However, it is a popular tourist attraction in the area nonetheless. Rawley Point Lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Lighthouse continues to be an operational navigational aid for ships. The lighthouse has been in service for many years, guiding ships safely through the waters of Lake Michigan. The station became fully automated in 1979, with the present optic installed in 1987. There is no longer a lighthouse keeper, but the light itself is still functioning. The lighthouse also serves as a historic landmark and popular tourist attraction in Point Beach State Forest.
Where is Rawley Point Lighthouse Located on a Map?
Rawley Point Lighthouse is located in Point Beach State Forest. Point Beach State Forest is a recreational area located along the shore of Lake Michigan in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. The lighthouse is situated near the mouth of the Manitowoc River, which empties into Lake Michigan. The lighthouse and the surrounding beach and dunes are popular attractions in the area, drawing visitors from around the state. It is a popular destination for outdoor activities like camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, and swimming.
The forest covers approximately 3,000 acres (1200 hectares) and includes several miles (km) of sandy beaches, dunes, and wetlands. The forest also has a network of hiking trails that wind through the woods and along the beach. Visitors can camp at one of the several campgrounds in the park or stay in a rustic cabin. There are several designated picnic areas, playgrounds, and a beach house. Point Beach State Forest is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and is open to the public year-round.
Flora at the Tallest Lighthouse on the Wisconsin Coast
The plant species found in Point Beach State Forest and the surrounding area contribute to the beauty and diversity of the forest’s natural environment.
- Trees: The forest is dominated by a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. These include red oak, sugar maple, white pine, and hemlock.
- Wildflowers: The forest is home to a variety of wildflowers, including wild lupine, harebell, goldenrod, and black-eyed Susan.
- Grasses: The forest has several types of grasses, such as big bluestem, switchgrass, and Indian grass.
- Shrubs: The forest also has several types of shrubs, including red-osier dogwood, sand cherry, and elderberry.
- Wetland plants: The forest’s wetlands are home to several types of aquatic plants, including water lilies, arrowheads, and cattails.
Fauna at the Tallest Lighthouse on the Wisconsin Coast
Point Beach State Forest and the surrounding area offer a rich and diverse habitat for a variety of wildlife. This makes it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.
- Birds: The forest is a popular destination for birdwatchers, as it is home to over 200 species of birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, sandhill cranes, and great blue herons.
- Mammals: The forest is home to several mammal species including white-tailed deer, black bears, red foxes, coyotes, and raccoons.
- Reptiles and amphibians: The wetlands and streams in the forest are home to several species of reptiles and amphibians, including painted turtles, snapping turtles, green frogs, and American toads.
- Fish: Lake Michigan, which borders the forest, is home to several fish species, including lake trout, salmon, walleye, and smallmouth bass.
Point Beach State Forest is a great destination for visitors who want to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area. While you’re visiting the tallest lighthouse along the Wisconsin coast, there are a variety of attractions and points of interest located nearby, including:
- Two Rivers: The city of Two Rivers is located just south of Point Beach State Forest and offers several attractions, including the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, the Rogers Street Fishing Village, and the Two Rivers Historical Society Museum.
- Manitowoc: The city of Manitowoc is located just north of Point Beach State Forest and offers several attractions, including the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, the Rahr-West Art Museum, and the West of the Lake Gardens.
- Kettle Moraine State Forest: The Kettle Moraine State Forest, located about an hour’s drive west of Point Beach State Forest, offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing.
- Door County: Door County, located about an hour and a half’s drive north of Point Beach State Forest, is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty, charming towns, and outdoor recreational opportunities.
- Green Bay: The city of Green Bay, located about an hour’s drive from Point Beach State Forest, offers several attractions, including Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, and the National Railroad Museum.
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