This lighthouse was occupied by a keeper until 1953 when it was automated. Located 2 1/2 miles from shore off the tip of the Michigan "Thumb," it rests on the reef that it marks. The water is as shallow as 3 feet in some places and it is clear enough to see the dangerous rocks below. Nearby you can find the Thumb Area Bottomland Preserve where divers explore offshore caves and the remains of shipwrecks. Port Austin Reef Lighhouse has an octagonal, concrete base with a 20-foot ramp extending into the water. The ramp allows small boats to bring personnel and supplies, which may be lifted by the lighthouse's crane. The sturdy, four-story square tower is brown, with pairs of narrow windows decorating each side. The Fresnel lens has been removed from the lantern room.