Signs and Cameras installed at Dr. Tom's Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park; Photo taken at beginning of two-track leading to trailhead | Jane Boursaw Photo
Signs and Cameras installed at Dr. Tom's Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park; Photo taken at beginning of two-track leading to trailhead | Jane Boursaw Photo
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If you’ve walked the trail at Mission Point Lighthouse lately, you may have seen folks partying or camping at “Dr. Tom’s Trailhead,” located at the end of the two-track that starts at Center Road and ends at East Bay. Or if not actual people there, perhaps the remnants of activities, like a smoldering bonfire, cans or broken glass.

Where is this exactly? If you start hiking from the lighthouse, walk east to Marker 1 and continue to Marker 2, there’s a cluster of large rocks there, one of which has a plaque noting, “…look about you” and “Dr. Tom’s trailhead, 2004.” If you looked about you lately, you may have seen people partying there.

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Old Mission Lighthouse Park Trail, Dr. Tom's Trailhead on the Old Mission Peninsula
Dr. Tom’s Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park | Jane Boursaw Photo
Old Mission Lighthouse Park Trail, Dr. Tom's Trailhead on the Old Mission Peninsula
Dr. Tom’s Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park | Jane Boursaw Photo

I walk that trail at least a couple times a week, and see vehicles and people in that spot at various times of the day and week. If I do see people there, I generally avoid the area and take the trail that skirts around it. (Yes, I realize there have been people partying on these trails for several generations, but the world is a different place these days.)

Friends have told me the same, noting that it doesn’t always feel safe, especially if there are tents and a large bonfire. Lighthouse manager Ginger Schultz says the partygoers have also cut down large (healthy) trees there to use for the bonfire.

“This summer, we’ve witnessed a lot of bad behavior in the park with camping, fires, leaving trash and more,” says Ginger.

Old Mission Lighthouse Park Trail, Dr. Tom's Trailhead on the Old Mission Peninsula
Dr. Tom’s Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park | Jane Boursaw Photo

Peninsula Township is hoping to thwart the offenders by installing signage and cameras at the party spot, as well as signs at the beginning of the two-track.

Signs and Cameras installed at Dr. Tom's Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park; Photo taken at beginning of two-track leading to trailhead | Jane Boursaw Photo
Signs and Cameras installed at Old Mission Lighthouse Park; Photo taken at beginning of two-track leading to Dr. Tom’s Trailhead | Jane Boursaw Photo
Signs and Cameras installed at Dr. Tom's Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park; Photo taken at beginning of two-track leading to trailhead
Signs and Cameras installed at Dr. Tom’s Trailhead at Old Mission Lighthouse Park | Jane Boursaw Photo

I talked with our community deputy, Brian Abbring, who said if you continue to see partiers there, call the non-emergency sheriff’s dispatch number, (231) 995-5000.

You may also contact Brian at (231) 223-4525 or (231) 313-4525, or email [email protected]. However, if he is off-duty that day, he will get back to you.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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