Rock Island Lighthouse State Park
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New York’s rich maritime history includes many historic lighthouses on all its major coastlines. Along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, more than two-dozen lighthouses stand guard—several with public museums. Tibbetts Point Lighthouse in Cape Vincent contains the only original Fresnel lens operating on Lake Ontario while Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum on Long Island is the oldest lighthouse in New York State, having been authorized by the second Congress, under President George Washington, in 1792.
Rondout Lighthouse, in Kingston, is part of the Hudson River Maritime Museum. The northernmost lighthouse on the Hudson River, the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse built in 1874 in the Second Empire Style, is an architectural gem. Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse and Veterans Park Museum in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region is a historic operational lighthouse built in 1875, offering a large collection of military artifacts in its Veterans Museum & Light Keeper's House, as well as a magnificent view of Lake Erie from its lighthouse observation deck. The Stony Point Lighthouse, part of Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site, was built in 1826 and is the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. De-commissioned in 1925, it now stands as a historical reminder of the importance of lighthouses to commerce on the Hudson River.
In Plattsburgh, Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island, which dates to 1874, was one of the last lighthouses to be staffed on Lake Champlain. It guided ships through the narrow passageway between the island and the New York shore for almost 60 years. On the southern shore of Lake Ontario, the Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse, a two-story, seven-room dwelling and attached 70-foot-tall, square tower, was constructed in 1875. Today, the second floor of the lighthouse is a full-service, 3-bedroom suite that can be rented.
For more on New York's lighthouses, check out Historic Lighthouses to Visit in New York State.