Type to search

6 Hudson Valley Lighthouses to Visit for History and River Views

Share
Built in 1869, the Saugerties Lighthouse operates as a B&B and tourist hub. It was recommissioned to aid in navigation in 1990. Photo by Vijai Kalathur Hudson / HVIllustrated.com

Whether you visit them by land or water, you’ll love exploring the past and ogling the views from these historic lighthouses.

Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse

This light was once located a half-mile offshore, warning ships away from dangerous shoals on the east side of the river. The light was operated until 1961 when illumination from the Tappan Zee Bridge rendered it obsolete. Currently, visitors can walk up to it, but can’t go in. Tours are on hold until further notice.

Esopus Meadows Lighthouse

Nicknamed “the Maid of the Meadows,” this light near Esopus was completed in 1871 to warn mariners about the pesky mud flats nearby. In 2003, after 38 years of darkness, a new light was installed in the tower. Though tours of the interior are not currently being offered, the Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) is offering a sail-by boat tour.

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

The hazards created by the Middle Ground Flats, a former sandbar opposite the city of Hudson, led to the erection of this lighthouse in 1872; it was shut down in the 1950s. Today, the trusty fortress once again serves as a reliable navigation tool for ships in the night, and is open for tours.

saugerties lighthouse

Built in 1869, the Saugerties Lighthouse operates as a B&B and tourist hub. It was recommissioned to aid in navigation in 1990. Photo by Vijai Kalathur Hudson / HVIllustrated.com

Saugerties Lighthouse

Built on a massive circular stone base, this lighthouse is over 150 years old. It got a major renovation after being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the lighthouse operates as a bed and breakfast, available to book from Thurs–Sun. For day visits, the lighthouse is accessible by kayak, boat, or nature trail.

Kingston’s Rondout Lighthouse celebrated its centennial in 2015. Photo by Bentley Potter for Ulster County Tourism

Rondout Lighthouse

This brick structure was completed in 1915 and marks the entrance to the Rondout Creek. Operated by the HRMM, the lighthouse contains period furnishings and exhibits. Visit the museum’s website for information about scheduled tours.

Stony Point Lighthouse

Commissioned in 1826, this octagonal lighthouse sits atop a high peninsula on the Stony Point Battlefield Historic Site. Although decommissioned in 1925, the light tower was automated by the Coast Guard in 1973 and serves as a navigational aid. Today, visit the site’s museum for an exhibit on its history, including a rare period Fresnel lens.

Related: Where to Find Blooming Sunflower Fields in the Hudson Valley

No thank you

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

Keep a pulse on local food, art, and entertainment content when you join our Hudson Valley Magazine Newsletter.