Sandy Hook Lighthouse, New Jersey
The oldest working lighthouse in the country.
The Sandy Hook Lighthouse, located on the the tip of Sandy Hook, NJ, at the entrance of New York Harbor, has served as an to aid mariners who navigated the entrance of the southern end of the New York harbor.
The Lighthouse has survived the occupancy of British soldiers during the Revolutionary War and exposure to the coastal storms and flooding at the end of Sandy Hook.
The view of the New York skyline from the bridge crossing into the Sandy Hook demonstrates the strategic role the lighthouse played in the history of New York harbor.
The Lighthouse is situated one and a half statute miles inland from coast and is currently the oldest working lighthouse in the United States.
During the revolutionary War, the lighthouse survived an attempt to destroy it by Alexander Hamilton to avert it as aid to British navigation and a subsequent occupancy of British soldiers.
When the lighthouse was built in 1764, it was located 500 feet from the tip of Sandy Hook.
Today, due to growth and expansion of the land area caused by littoral drift, it is now one and half miles (2.4 km) inland from the coast line.
On June 11, 1964, the lighthouse was declared a National Historic Landmark on the 200th anniversary of its first lighting. This historic maritime landmark is still in operation at the entrance of the New York Harbor.
The lighthouse is an automated, 3rd order Fresnel lens, fixed white light, and is visible for nineteen miles on clear nights.
The light is maintained by the United States
Coast Guard and is lit 24 hours a day.
The lighthouse was restored in spring 2000.
The Lighthouse is a unit the Gateway National Recreation Area.
The lighthouse is open weekends, April to mid December. Tours are offered by the New Jersey Lighthouse Society, who partner with the National Park Service in the interpretation of the Lighthouse.
Sandy Hook, Gateway National Recreation Area
Fort Hancock, NJ 07732
Directions: Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 117, and continue on NJ 36 East for 13.5 miles, following signs to the Gateway National Recreation Area.
Other New Jersey Resources
New Jersey has ten lighthouses that are open the to public and several still in operation.
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They range from zoos, outdoor nature education centers, lakes, scenic settings with hiking trails, boating, living history farms and everything in between
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