Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an admission fee?

TOWERS - Currently, during our off-season, there is no charge to go up the North Tower. The South Tower is available by private tour (fee required). TOURS - $12 per adult, with children 10 years and under free when present with an adult. Tour admission includes access to the South Tower. During our summer season, there is an admission fee to go up the towers. To climb up the towers it is $5 per adult, and $2 per child 12 years or under.

Can I have a pre-planned event at Twin Lights, such as a wedding, photo session, group party?

Yes! Depending on your plans, an event permit may be required for a special event, but in all cases, permission from our Superintendent Maggie Mitchell is mandatory. Contact her at events@twinlightslighthouse.org.

Can I picnic on site?

Yes. There are picnic tables for small, socially distant groups, during COVID-19.

Can I bring my dog?

Only on the grounds and only during regular hours. Dogs must be on a leash and cleaned up after.

Who owns and operates the Twin Lights?

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry.

Why are there two towers?

The first Navesink Light Station was built in 1828 and consisted of two identical towers. Those “Twin Lights" gave the station a definite and decided character that helped distinguish it from the nearby Sandy Hook lighthouse and the Sandy Hook Lightship stationed offshore. When the present station was commissioned on May 1, 1862, the south tower contained a first order Fresnel lens that gave ships a warning of their approach to land. The north tower was lit by a lens of the second order, an indication to vessels they were coming up on a headland along the seacoast and the approach to a bay.

Why are the towers different shapes?

We really do not know. What we do know is that several men who sat on the lighthouse board were also regents at the Smithsonian during the construction of the castle building perhaps they influenced the design at Highlands. Another explanation could be that the south tower had to be much sturdier in order to support the giant 9 foot Fresnel lens sitting atop a pot of mercury high up in the tower.

How tall are the towers and how many steps to the top?

The focal plane (center) of the north tower is 246 feet above sea level. The towers have 64 steps to the observation deck in the north tower and 65 in the south tower.

What does the Twin Lights Historical Society do?

The Society is an officially recognized friends group that has a long and unique relationship with the Twin Lights that dates back to the 1950s. The Society follows industry best practices in building, maintaining and interpreting a collection of 3,000-plus artifacts and creates museum exhibits that are always free to the public. The Society employs a part-time curator and runs internship programs for budding historians and museum anthropologists, and also oversees operation of a museum store—the profits from which support its collection and displays. The Society partners with the state on multiple projects geared toward the appreciation and enjoyment of the lighthouse by the public. The Society’s efforts are funded by low-cost memberships, on-site donations, grants and private and corporate giving.


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