The “road less taken” tour of the Thumb

Visitors and locals alike travel about the Thumb, taking the well-worn, well-known roads such as M25 and Van Dyke, and miss some of the wonderful sights and spots of Huron County. Here are a few such places:

Rocks: Right off Gagetown Road, in-between M53 and Bad Axe Road are some big rocks like you’ve never seen. Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park welcomes visitors Wednesdays thru Sundays. What they’ve got there are Michigan’s singular stone age stone markings.

Lights: Surrounded by navigable water, the Thumb sports its share of shiny rings to guide the sailors. Among them, the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse still functions as an official lighthouse from the grounds of Lighthouse County Park. Near the tip of the Thumb, two miles out, floats the Port Austin Reef Light. Now valued as a photo-op stop, the beacon has treaded water for 137 years. If you don’t take your own selfie, pictures are available at several locations in town, such as the Emporium, or Lisa’s Loft. Near Wagener County Park, the Harbor Beach Lighthouse has seen fit to have lit the beach for 130 years. 

Burgs: (Charming, less-known small towns): If you were to start at M25 in Unionville and continue (or turn onto) Bay City Forestville Road, you’d come to Gagetown, a burg well worth the ride. If you head back the way you came, turn right at McEldowney Rd, which becomes Owendale Rd, you’ll find Owendale. Were you to head east on Sebewaing Rd, turning left onto South Elkton Rd, you’d wind up on Main Street in Elkton, of course. Heading southeast again, several routes, well-traveled and little-used, will get you to Sebewaing, the biggest small town in the Thumb. Sebewaing lies hidden in the most south-western point of the county. There are three campgrounds in the town, including the world-famous Sebewaing County Park, and an airport, not large, but convenient for small craft on short flights. Also in town is the Sebewaing Municipal Harbor Marina. The depth of the harbor averages out to 8 feet since the recent digging out of Saginaw Bay at the Sebewaing River.

Thanks go to Capt. Fred Davis, an author who has been published around the country with his boating blogs, for many of the ideas in this blog. His weekly “As I see It” articles in the Huron Daily Tribune are a joy and a revelation, and his “Boat Smart” safety articles are available at


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