Thumbcoast Articles

Explore the Shallow Water Shipwrecks in Harbor Beach

Photo | Harbor Beach Kayak

Exploring the crystal-clear Lake Huron blue waters in Harbor Beach is a perfect activity for a beach getaway this summer. Enjoy the protected cove with calmer waters between the break wall and Crane Point. Here, you will find three shallow water shipwrecks to explore, and each can be easily reached from shore by paddle sport or boat. For this reason, it is a perfect choice for beginners or young paddlers. 

Did you know Harbor Beach has one of the world’s largest man-made fresh water harbors?

If you plan to bring your boat, paddleboard, or kayak, there are a few launching options on the digital map linked below. Harbor Beach Kayak is a great local resource with onsite knowledge of these wrecks and weather conditions. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, or bicycle from them and explore the lake and local trails

Digital Map

“There are additional shipwrecks in/near the harbor. We think there may be another one visible from the surface but we haven’t found it yet. There’s one near the lighthouse that would be a shallow scuba but you can’t see it from the surface.”

Jason – Harbor Beach Kayak

Shipwreck History

George H. Waud

This 139-foot wooden schooner was built in 1866 and located approximately 270 feet from shore at a varying depth of 6 feet. It was stranded here on April 17, 1902. There were no causalities.

Photo | Harbor Beach Kayak

Dorcas Pendell

A 148-foot wooden schooner was built in 1884 and located approximately 2,000 feet from shore. She ran aground and was stranded in the Great Lakes Storm of 1913. Burned in place on July 6, 1914, there were no casualties. 

Photo | Maritime History of the Great Lakes

John Wesley

This 135-foot wooden schooner was built in 1872 and is located approximately a 35-minute paddle from shore. This one is the most broken up of the three but possibly the shallowest. It ran aground in a heavy north gale on Sept. 7, 1901.

Photo | Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Michigan’s historic shipwrecks are protected by law, please do not disturb any remains.

Underwater View

Video | Anthony Fenn, July 2021

Harbor Beach Lighthouse

This sparkplug-style lighthouse first shined its light over Lake Huron in 1885. You can take a tour of its six floors and see the living quarters and panoramic views of the blue waters in Lake Huron. Typically tours take place on Saturday’s mid-June through the first weekend in September. The guided tour is a short boat ride leaving the Harbor Beach Marina.

There are plenty of activities in Harbor Beach to keep you busy. We’re here to help you discover more. Check out these other fun activities nearby:

  • Historical Walking Tour with 29 point of interest.
  • Fun summertime events like the Maritime Festival, Biyakathon, Cart Derby and fishing tournaments.
  • Summer movies on the beach and music series.
  • Road trip worthy day excursions along M25 to neighboring shoreline communities. Map it out here.
#DiscoverHarborBeach and #Discovertheblue

Article by Katie Stepp, Marketing Manger, Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

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