Sanilac Petroglyphs

The Sanilac Petroglyphs are the only verified sandstone glyph carvings in Michigan.  Enigmatic, sometimes bizarre, images are carved into nearly an acre of sandstone out in the forest in Sanilac County.

sanilac petroglyph

The discovery of these unique carvings was a happy result of the horrendous firestorms that swept through the "thumb" region at the end of the lumbering era.  Some of the firestorms were so intense that railroad rails were twisted and entire towns were obliterated. When the strong west winds blew through after one particularly intense forest fire, the topsoil was blown away revealing the long hidden carvings.

The story is told that even the local tribes didn't know who had created the carvings. Many of the more unusual images, like the 6 finger hand and the man with the conical hat, still offer puzzles to be solved. The site is open to the public from Memorial Day until Labor day. There is a pleasant interpretive walking path on the site that will lead you to a White Pine that survived the fires back in the last century.

Directions:  From Highway 25 on the Lake Huron shore, take Bay City-Forestville Rd. West to Germania Rd.  Go south about 1/2 mile and you will reach the park where these remarkable carvings are located.