New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge
How many New Jersey lighthouses do you think you can visit in just two days? Take the Annual Lighthouse Challenge in October to not only experience New Jersey’s notable lighthouses but to help raise funds for the preservation of these majestic beacons of light. Just purchase a souvenir booklet at your first stop, and get it stamped along the way as you try to visit as many participating lighthouses and museums as you can over the weekend. See the schedule to plan your challenge weekend, and learn about the participating lighthouses below.
A 171 feet tall, this is New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse, and it’s also one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. Climb up 228 steps to the top, and visit the on-site museum and gift shop to pick up a souvenir.
Visit Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, for breathtaking views of Barnegat Bay and stretches of coastline. Climb the 217 steps to the top of the lighthouse, and then visit the Interpretive Center to learn about its history.
Cape May Lighthouse
Cape May Point
Built in 1859, this historic lighthouse has welcomed countless visitors to Cape May, as they pass by on ships or visit in person while exploring Cape May State Park. Climb the 199 steps to the top for dramatic ocean views, or just visit the Visitors Orientation Center and Museum Shop inside the nearby Oil House.
East Point Lighthouse
Situated at the mouth of the Maurice River and overlooking the Delaware Bay, this charming little lighthouse was built in 1849. Take a trip to the lighthouse, and then explore the surrounding Heislerville Wildlife Management Area.
Finns Point Rear Range Light
Constructed in 1877, this historic iron tower in the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge stretches 115 feet into the air. Visit the tower, climb the 130 steps and make sure to stop by the original oil house structure.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
This picturesque, residential-style lighthouse was first used by 17th century whalers and was built to mark the entrance of the Hereford Inlet. While you’re here, visit the gift shop, or stroll the beautiful surrounding garden areas, boasting more than 200 plant varieties.
Twin Lights of Navesink Lighthouse
Perched atop the Navesink Highlands, this unique lighthouse constructed from local brownstone in 1862 features two non-identical towers and dual lights: one fixed and one flashing. Learn about the local history by perusing the artifacts in the on-site museum.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
As part of Gateway National Recreation Area, this lighthouse overlooks Sandy Hook Bay and is walking distance from a number of notable historic sites and nature trails. Climb the 95 steps and nine-rung ladder to the lens room at the top. Stop by the Sandy Hook Visitors Center, which is the former lighthouse keepers’ quarter.
Sea Girt Lighthouse
This red brick lighthouse first shined its light in 1896, and it was the last live-in lighthouse built on the Atlantic coast, which means the tower was integrated into the keeper’s living quarters. Take a tour of this charming relic and view the artifacts on display.
Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse
Located along the shores of the Delaware River, this 1880s lighthouse features a steel skeletal structure that reaches 85 feet in the air, which houses the lantern room and a unique watch room and keeper’s dwelling. Come climb the 112 steps to the top.
Tucker’s Island Lighthouse
This reproduction of the original lighthouse (which infamously fell into the ocean in 1927) is the main draw of the Tuckerton Seaport, where you’ll find quaint maritime shops, museums and family-friendly attractions.
Stop by these participating locations:
Barnegat Light Museum
This museum houses the original Barnegat Lighthouse 1,025 prism lens, along with artifacts, replicas and photographs depicting the history of Barnegat Light and Long Beach Island.
Tatham Life Saving Station
The oldest existing building in Stone Harbor, this historic structure was built in 1895 and today features a tower to observe the Atlantic Ocean, Hereford Inlet and back bays.
U.S. Life Saving Station 30
This architecturally spectacular 1880s structure features a gabled roof, lookout tower, boat bay and wrap-around porch.