Lighthouses of Portland & the Area, Portland

29 Reviews

Several Lighthouses in Portland and Freeport

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  • Looking to Ram Island Ledge lighthouse
    Looking to Ram Island Ledge lighthouse
    by tvor
  • Portland Head lighthouse
    Portland Head lighthouse
    by tvor
  • View from the lighthouse
    View from the lighthouse
    by tvor
  • tvor's Profile Photo

    Oldest lighthouse in Maine

    by tvor Updated Sep 28, 2014

    We stopped over at a Best Western in Portland to break our journey up the coast. We planned to stop and see the Portland Head Lighthouse as it is the oldest one in Maine and were delighted to discover that it was a short drive from the hotel. It took about 20 minutes from the turn off from Route 1 to Cape Elizabeth where the park and lighthouse are.

    The lighthouse and keeper's house are perched on top of a rocky cliff in the middle of Fort William park. There's a small museum in the house that costs a mere $2.00 to see. The only reason we didn't go in and explore is that we did have a long drive and, with one or two stops planned, we couldn't take too much time. The views from the site are spectacular and there's an older lighthouse off in the distance, Ram Island Ledge lighthouse, which makes a nice backdrop to your photos of the better kept one.

    The lighthouse was constructed around 1790 and was lit with whale oil lamps. The lighthouse itself was raised 20 feet in the 1800s and the present day keepers' cottage was rebuilt in the 19th century as well. It was home to the lighthouse keeper until 1989. The lighthouse is still operational though automated.

    The morning we went was hot and sunny, with little wind so we didn't see the sea crashing against the rocky coastline but the views certainly were amazing. It's a nice place to stop, maybe have a picnic. There's a decent sized parking lot which is free, as well.

    Portland Head lighthouse Portland Head lighthouse View from the lighthouse Rocky shores around the lighthouse Looking to Ram Island Ledge lighthouse

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    Portland Head Light & Museum

    by CEP1863 Written Oct 28, 2013

    Situated in Cape Elizabeth, Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in Maine. It is a stunning setting and the surrounding Fort Williams Park is also picturesque. There are no parking charges and you can walk around the exterior of the lighthouse for free.

    There is a small but very interesting museum that harts the history of the lighthouse and the ship wrecks around this part of the coastline. Entrance to this museum is $2.00 , cheap considering that you don't have to pay for your parking however I was amazed at the number of people in the relatively short time that I was there who refused to pay and walked out. Considering that the place is run on donations it is not a lot to pay in order to make a contribution towards the upkeep of this beautiful place.

    Portland Head Light Portland Head Light Portland Head Light Portland Head Light Inside the museum
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    Portland Head Light

    by Mayzhou100 Written Aug 8, 2013

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    If you google "Portland Maine", you will see Portland Head Light show up in the first few pictures. It already becomes the symbol of Portland,ME. Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth. The light station sits on a head of land at the entrance of Portland Harbor.The Lighthouse is so beautiful that no matter where you are, you can always get a good shoot.

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  • See Lighthouses

    by dres1414 Written Dec 26, 2011

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    Try to go to the lighthouses near the ocean. It's a beautiful sight, when the water is splashing on the rocks, when the birds flies around . And on the way, take a stop at one of the amazing beaches all the way along the coast of Maine.

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    Point Head Lighthouse at Ft. Williams Park

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 28, 2008

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    This lighthouse is still being used. It happens to be a drop off point for buses so everyone can take a picture. Yes, me too. But I tried to get the buses out of the way. In 1787, George Washington had the lighthouse built and it burned whale oil for years. Then in m id 1800's lens were put in and 1964 an autobeacon installed. It is the most photographed lighthouse in the US.

    Close view of lighthouse View form the lot by bus Commemoration of the park info Fort Williams is big and locally used park
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    Spring Point Lighthouse

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 28, 2008

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    The l;ighthouse was constructured in 1897 to try and deter many wrecks on the habor. A 900 feet granite rock water break was added in 1951 at a cost of $200,000. The break is 15 feet abover wate level. The candlepower has increased to now be 200,000 power-a lot. It went automatic in 1934. It is rarely open to public; maybe once a year.

    Map of the lighthouse location Literature of the lighthouse Picture of the light Breakwater birm Small People at the foot of lighthouse
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  • Photo Opp

    by JShultz Written Jul 12, 2008

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    One of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. Once you visit, you'll see why. You can't get a bad shot. Whether photography is your hobby or it's the first time you've ever taken a picture, you'll leave with professional looking images.

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    Spring Point Ledge Light

    by Jefie Updated Sep 14, 2007

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    Spring Point Ledge Light is a 54-foot tall "sparkplug-style" lighthouse that was built in 1897. It used to be isolated from the main land until a breakwater was constructed in 1951. People are free to walk up to the lighthouse (make sure to wear good shoes, the breakwater is uneven, to say the least) and during summer, it is possible to go inside the lighthouse on Saturdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm for a small fee. Again, you need good shoes because you'll have to make it up some pretty steep and narrow stairs, and for this reason, small children are not allowed inside. Tours include a visit of the keeper's quarters inside the lighthouse and some stories about how they would keep themselves busy during the days they spent in the middle of the sea, cut off from their friends and family.

    Spring Point Ledge Light is located next to the Portland Harbor Museum and on the grounds of Fort Preble (1808). There is also a small beach next to it.

    Breakwater leading to Spring Point Ledge Light
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    Portland Headlight at Fort Williams Park

    by Jefie Updated Sep 13, 2007

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    Portland Headlight probably is Maine's most famous landmark. Located on the grounds of beautiful Fort Williams Park, this lighthouse was built at the end of the 18th century and was originally lighted with 16 whale oil lamps. Throughout the years, these have been replaced with lenses and the original tower has been elevated to its current 92' height. The former lightkeepers' residence has now been transformed into a small museum where you can learn more about the history of Portland Headlight (Open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; $2 for adults, $1 for children).

    Fort Williams Park is open from sunrise to sunset, free of charge (free parking is available). This 90-acre park offers splendid views of the bay, and there are several spots where you can take pictures of Portland Headlight along the walking trails. There's also a small beach (but the water is pretty cold) and numerous picnic tables. I did not, however, find a place where you could buy drinks or snacks, so you'd better make sure to fill your picnic basket beforehand :o)

    Portland Headlight, Maine, USA Portland Headlight, Maine, USA Portland Headlight at Fort Williams Park
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    LIghthouses tours

    by SLLiew Updated Aug 2, 2007

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    Portland is a great place to visit lighthouses.

    The most visited and photographed lighthouse "Portland Head Light", located in nearby Cape Elizabeth, south of Portland.

    Maine is a major fishing and shipping area with rocky and cliff coast, open windy ocean and foggy at times.

    These historical lighthouses were critical during the days using whale oil light before GPS, modern electronics and radar nagivation to guide ships, boats and fisherman safely home.

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    Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth

    by Icemaiden02 Written May 6, 2007

    This white conical tower stands just south of the entrance to Portland Harbor (Maine). It was originally called two lights since two stone towers were built 300 yards apart at this site in 1829.

    In 1924 the twin lights were discontinued. Both structures are found at this site, as of 1987, although the light of the western tower was removed when it became private property.

    I want to own a lighthouse on my property!

    Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth
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    Portland Head Light

    by Icemaiden02 Written May 6, 2007

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    Portland Head Light was not only Maine's first lighthouse, commissioned by George Washington in 1790, but also the first light to be completed under the direction of the newly formed government of the United States.

    It was automated on August 9, 1989 to celebrate the bicentennial of the US lighthouse system. Portland Head is one of the most photographed lighthouses in Maine.

    Portland Head Light
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    Portland Breakwater Light

    by Icemaiden02 Written May 6, 2007

    Portland Breakwater Light is also known as Petroleum Docks, and even affectionately called "Bug Light" by the locals.

    Because of extensive damage to Portland Harbor due to a 1831 storm, in 1833 construction began on a breakwater. Although the half-mile barrier provided protection, it was considered to be both an eyesore and a navigational hazard by mariners. In 1855 a wooden, octagonal, pyramidal lighthouse was built. But controversy over the breakwater continued.

    It wasn't until 1886 when the barrier was extended to the original 2500 foot length and capped with coursed granite blocks by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The tower was only two feet above water, and the constant washing of sea water damaged wood and iron. The present lighthouse resembles a 4th century B.C. Choragic Monument. The 13-foot cast-iron tower is lined with brick for more strength. The light was discontinued in 1942.

    Bug Light
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    Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

    by Icemaiden02 Written May 6, 2007

    Standing 54 feet above water, this light is located in South Portland in the vicinity of old Fort Preble. It is on a 900-foot breakwater on the west side of the main channel to Portland Harbor. The design was popular in the late 19th century since the pre-fabricated cast iron structure was less expensive.

    Be careful on these rocks!
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  • Visiting the Lighthouses around Portland

    by Coarstours Written Aug 27, 2005

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    Maine's rocky coast is ideal for visiting the many lighthouses on the coast. A trip to Pemaquid Light State Park is about 1 hour from Portland. This lighthouse is best seen from below the colorful rocks

    Pemaquid Light
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