Fire Island Lighthouse


The south shore of Long Island in New York is one big, beautiful beach. Traveling east on the Ocean Parkway takes you past the glorious Jones Beach, and continuing further you will eventually reach Robert Moses State Park and the Fire Island National Seashore. An unexpected family trip to New York gave us an opportunity to spend a peaceful Saturday morning exploring this spectacular area, so we headed east toward the famous lighthouse.

“For decades, the first evidence of land for travelers crossing the vast Atlantic Ocean from Europe was the Fire Island Lighthouse. Completed in 1858 near the site of its 1826 predecessor, the current Fire Island Lighthouse is still a beacon attracting thousands of people each year. Its light, 167 feet above the level of the sea, can be seen more than 20 miles away.” – NPS web site

I know we are supposed to embrace rather than endure the Maine winters, but this one has been especially stubborn in not wanting to leave, so as we walked the 3/4 mile boardwalk from the parking lot at Field 5 to the Fire Island Lighthouse, we soaked in the more southerly morning sun which was warm and very welcome. In the summertime this place can be quite crowded, so on this day we were glad to be able to enjoy it at a more peaceful time.

Excited that the lighthouse tower was open for a tour, we climbed the 156 iron steps and two small ladders that led to a magnificent view from the top. Jack was thrilled to be able to do this all by himself, and as you can see, he climbed at a furious pace. Me… I don’t like heights so much, and when you add in the fact that you can see through each of the 156 iron steps, I was just a tiny bit more methodical in my approach.

When we got out onto the viewing deck of New York’s tallest lighthouse – despite the long way down – I was able to enjoy the stunning 360 degree views. We also stopped off to admire the inner workings of the lighthouse, an amazing sight when seen up close.

“Today the light is lit by a DCB-224, with two 1000-watt bulbs, which rotates in a counter-clockwise direction. The rotation gives the appearance of a flash every 7.5 seconds.” – NPS web site

A return walk alongside the Atlantic was just the ticket, as we found horseshoe crabs, silver sand dollars, and all sorts of other beach treasure. We had hardly set foot on the beach before Jack had his shoes and socks off, running down to the shore to be chased by the breaking waves. Yes… a very nice morning it was.


5 thoughts on “Fire Island Lighthouse

  1. Oh how I have missed your posts, now back from vacation will attempt to get caught up! Love the action shot of your Jack on the steps. This looks like a fun mini getaway, so beautifully scenic and uncrowded too, love it! You found *silver* dollars on the beach??? ~Lili

    • David Patterson

      Whoops… finding silver dollars would have be nice. I meant sand dollars, or at least that’s what I thought they were 🙂

  2. What a beautiful view from the top! I have climbed the St. Augustine Lighthouse a few times and I’m always blown away by how big the world looks from up there…even though all the other stuff looks so small.

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