As if just visiting the Twin Lights isn’t enough, this year’s new challenge is climbing both towers the same day! There’s a $5 admission fee for adults, $2 for children under twelve, and that includes both towers!
The North Tower, the one accessed through the museum store, has been open to visitors for years, though because the lens is in place and the light lit, it’s only possible to go to the top less about 12 steps. That makes it 64 steps to climb spirally, with a landing to rest and look out the window just about halfway up.
The South Tower, where the tickets are sold for both towers, has about 64 steps to the parapet, then another dozen steps to the lantern to get a lighthouse view of the ocean, Highlands, and the beautiful Hartshorne Woods surrounding the back of the lighthouse. There’s a landing to rest every 25 steps or so, so even the less athletic can accomplish a personal goal of climbing two towers in a day! At the top of this tower, you can peer down through the grate to get an idea of how the light was installed there when it was an active lighthouse. From the level below in the enclosed parapet, it’s possible to go outside to the highly fenced walkway, read some of the great signs giving the history of everything you can see, and breathe in some spectacular fresh salty air. Then go into the Powerhouse to see the lens and get a new appreciation of how important the lighthouse was to navigation.
An even better idea is to get a guided tour of the Twin Lights, where admission includes the ticket to climb both towers. For $12 per person, with kids 10 and under free when present with an adult, you can learn all about the hidden history of the lighthouse. Groups can be as small as a single person or couple, or as large as a dozen or so. New Jersey State tour guides bring their own enthusiasm to the explanation or history artifacts in the museum, as well as highlight the entertaining stories about Marconi, Schenck, Ederle, Woodward Sandlass and so many other names so familiar to locals and so amazing for others to hear about. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon, a fantastic Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts outing, or even a wonderful way to learn local and American history for a summer school class. To book a private or group tour, contact Nick Wood at 732-872-1814 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Once again, the Twin Lights is in the annual New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge on Oct. 16 and 17, when youngsters and adults are invited to visit the lighthouses in the Garden State, from Cape May and Delaware Bay lights all the way up the Twin Lights and Sandy Hook. The event is put on by the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey. Ask about it when you get to the Museum at the Twin Lights.