Hunting Island Lighthouse is closed for repairs, but visitors have options.
Hunting Island State Park’s historic lighthouse is closed to the public as repairs are made to the 147-year-old structure. The lighthouse can still be viewed from the grounds and docents will be on hand to interpret and give more information about the lighthouse. And thanks to modern technology, you can experience views form the top of the lighthouse in the park’s visitors center.
The lighthouse will be closed to the public until further notice so repairs can be made to the stairs and railings. Public safety was a major priority when deciding to close the structure and make repairs. Visitors can still tour the lighthouse grounds and speak with docents about the history of the area. Visitors – have no fear. You can experience high tech views from this iconic tower. The visitors center, located just inside the park entrance has two different lighthouse experiences.
The visitors center now houses an 8-by-13-foot virtual lighthouse. This is a scaled-down model that visitors can enter to get a complete view from the top of the lighthouse. TV monitors provide images of the view that are especially important for people who are not capable of climbing 167 steps to the top of the actual lighthouse. Also, children under 44” are not permitted to climb the lighthouse, so they can get the experience of climbing to the top. There is also a virtual reality option. Visitors can wear a headset and get the complete sensation of walking around the lighthouse, climbing 136 feet to the top, and experiencing the 360-degree views.
According to the park’s website, “The original structure was built in 1859 and rebuilt in 1875 after it was destroyed during the Civil War. A unique feature of the lighthouse is that it was constructed of interchangeable cast-iron sections so it could be dismantled should it ever need to be moved. Severe beach erosion made it necessary to relocate the lighthouse 1.3 miles inland in 1889.”
For more information and a sneak peak of the lighthouse experience visit Friends of Hunting Island State Park.
For more information on the history of Hunting Island and its historic lighthouse visit Walk on the Wild Side at Hunting Island State Park.