Holland Harbor Lighthouse

The Holland Harbor Light, known as Big Red, is located in Ottawa County, Michigan at the entrance of a channel connecting Lake Michigan with Lake Macatawa, and which gives access to the city of Holland, Michigan.

The lighthouse is on the south side of the channel. There are two modern lights marking the ends of the breakwaters that extend out into the Lake Michigan beyond the lighthouse.


After decades of local requests that went unanswered, in 1870 the United States Lighthouse Board finally recommended construction of the first light at Holland Harbor. It was thereupon approved by the U.S. Congress.

Text of the Michigan Historic Site marker:

Except for its color, it is a virtual twin of the Kewaunee Pierhead Light on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.

In 2007, the United States Department of the Interior announced that the Holland Harbor Light would be protected, making it the 12th Michigan lighthouse to have such status.


Public access to Big Red is somewhat limited due to the fact one must cross private property to see the lighthouse up close. However, there are no barriers for walking in to the lighthouse area. The best vantage points that are easily accessible to the general public are from across the channel at Holland State Park.