Barnegat Light Things to Do
Visit the Lighthouse
Barnegat was built in 1859 by George G. Meade at a station originally established in 1835. It was inactive from 1944 to 2009; The lantern is 163 ft high; it has a white flash every 10 s. The lighthouse is a brick tower with lantern and gallery. I missed the Barnegat Light Museum that is located nearby in a former schoolhouse, displays the original 1st order Fresnel lens. The lower half of the tower and the lantern roof are painted white, the upper half of the tower is bright red. The keeper's house was destroyed in 1915. Barnegat, a sibling of Absecon Light, was the tallest U.S. lighthouse when it was built, and it is still the third tallest brick tower in the U.S., according to Lighthouse Heritage data. The Barnegat Light Historical Society supports maintenance and operation of the light station. A major restoration was completed in 1991. The tower is threatened by beach erosion; in 2001 the Army Corps of Engineers spent $1.38 million for a rock seawall to protect it. However, a Corps survey showed the tower is leaning 22 inches (56 cm) away from the vertical. In 2003 the state spent $500,000 to repaint and restore the tower. In September 2008, it was announced that the lighthouse would be relit on New Year's Day 2009. In 2011, town officials were negotiating to lease the light station from the state. In August 2012 a lightning strike knocked out the light, and several months of repairs were needed to restore it
Park gate hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Lighthouse Hours: open weekends from 9am to 3:30pm (weather permitting)
Fee: $3 per person ages 12 and older; $1 per person ages 6 to 11; children under 5 free
Fees are in effect beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
The lighthouse does close due to inclement weather.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Road Trip
Barnegat State Park Maritime Forest...
One of the last remnants of maritime forest on Long Beach Island is found here. The forest, which is dominated by Black Cherry, Sassafras, Eastern Red Cedar, and American Holly, is an important resting and feeding area for migratory birds on their long journey to and from their breeding sites. The Maritime Forest Trail is a 1/5-mile long, self-guided loop trail through this unique environment.
This is an excellent area to observe many species of birds during the spring and fall migrations. A New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife program provides seasonal fencing of critical nesting areas on the beach adjacent to the park. This provides protection for certain endangered beach nestings birds and opportunities for observation.
The park also is a great location for viewing wintering waterfowl such as red-breasted mergansers, common eiders and harlequin ducks. The park sponsors several waterfowl viewing programs thoughout the winter.
I did not get a chance to actually walk on the Maritime Trail. Maybe next time.Related to:
- National/State Park
Wander the beach & visit the Lighthouse
Wander the lovely paths through the dunes to the gorgeous white sand beaches. Visit the historic Barnegat Lighthouse. This lovely old lighthose is open to the public. You can climb to the top for phenominal views of the dangerous BARNEGAT INLET and surrounds. Much work has been done to keep this gem from toppeling into the rough waters etching the ground around it. Though the beaches offer comparitively safe swimming, the inlet area is famous for it's rough seas.
For some excellent history and photos of the island and its rough seas, I strongly recommend a series of books from Down the Shore publishing. This is a treasure trove of works by local talent. Including local author (and my friend) Margaret Thomas Buchholzs' works. Her book "New Jersey Shipwrecks" is an engrossing accounting of the many shipwrecks in the shoals off Barnegat Light. Also referred to as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic"
Review -“A book of historic importance …. vivid and powerful accounts of life and death. It reads like an engrossing novel. I was swept away.”
— Sharon J. Wohlmuth, New York Times best-selling co-author of Sisters, Mothers and Daughters and Best friends
some helpful links
Down the Shore
Long Beach Island history
State Parks/ Barnegat Lighthouse
NJ Scuba/Barnegat InletRelated to:
- Water Sports
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Barnegat Light Hotels
710 Bayview Avenue, P O Box 128, Barnegat Light, New Jersey, 08006, United States
Good for: Couples
Barnegat Light Sports & Outdoors
Saltwater anglers have access to the bulkhead along the picnic area where they can catch striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, summer flounder, tautog, winter flounder, and black sea bass. A 1,033-foot concrete walkway with handrails on top of the south jetty provides fishing access for people with disabilities.
We didn't do any fishing, but did observe people fishing from the jetty
Equipment: Bring your own equipmentRelated to:
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
This is one of the most dangerous inlets on the east coast. The inlet is used by a large fishing fleet consisting of full-time commercial, charter and recreational vessels who produce an annual direct fish value of over $30M/year. The US Coast Guard designates this site as a “Surf Station” due to the hazardous inlet and requires a safe channel to fulfill critical life safety, search and rescue operations.
May 2012: The Coast Guard rescued six people from a life raft after the 38-foot boat they were in ran aground and began taking on water in Barnegat Inlet Thursday morning. A crewmember on board the Southern Comfort, a sportfishing boat based in Forked River, radioed Coast Guard watchstanders at approximately 7:45 a.m. reporting they were aground on the rocks of the inlet's north jetty.
Once the boat began to sink, the crew abandoned the vessel and boarded a life raft where they waited for assistance, Coast Guard officials said in a prepared statement. Crews from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light launched a 25 foot response boat and a 47 foot motor life boat, and rescued all six on board the life raft after reaching them a few minutes later.
Barnegat Inlet connects the Atlantic with Barnegat Bay. The cleanest part of the whole bay is the inlet at the famous Barnegat lighthouse. The reason it’s clean is that the force of the ocean current coming and going twice a day, keeps the area pretty fresh, but while the water might seem cleaner there, other dangers lurk and therein lies an accident waiting to happen. There are sharks in that bay — mostly small ones measuring five feet or less, but you have your big ones too.
Equipment: Have good charts and a tide tableRelated to:
- Sailing and Boating
1 Hotels in Barnegat Light