Twin Lights State Historic Site
At the Twin Lights, visitors can climb the north light tower to enjoy a panoramic view of Sandy Hook Bay and the entrance to New York Harbor. A museum located in the building between the towers exhibits the first Marconi wireless telegraph station in the United States.
The imposing structure was built in 1862 and features two non-identical towers linked by keepers’ quarters and storage rooms. This design was intended to distinguish it from nearby lighthouses. Click here for more info.
What to Expect
The Navesink Twin Lights, towering 250 feet over Sandy Hook Bay and the entrance to New York Harbor, have been an aid to navigation since 1828. They are among the highest and brightest coastal beacons in North America, attracting many visitors who come to climb the North Light Tower or visit the museum.
The current structure was built in 1862 of local brownstone. Architect Joseph Lederle designed the non-identical towers so mariners could distinguish them at a glance from other nearby lights. The octagonal south tower was also meant to look like the queen on a chessboard, and this unique design served as another distinguishing feature.
After being decommissioned in 1949, the site was turned over to the State of New Jersey and became a park. A sixth-order Fresnel lens was placed in the north tower, and the site remains open to the public as a lighthouse and museum. The north tower is still lit at night for historic purposes and the building between the two houses a small museum featuring the first Marconi wireless telegraph station on American soil.
The Twin Lights State Historic Site, also known as Navesink Light Station, offers unparalleled vistas and connects visitors to New Jersey’s maritime history. It is home to a museum and programs that highlight the history of the best and brightest lighthouse in North America for generations of seafarers.
The Navesink Light Station’s unique location, on the Shrewsbury River in Highlands, overlooks Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the New York City skyline. It has been a beacon since 1828, guiding ships through the treacherous entrance to New York Harbor. It was the first place in the United States to use a Fresnel lens; one of the very first electrically lit lighthouses; and played a crucial role in Guglielmo Marconi’s early experiments with wireless telegraphy in 1899.
As a result, the site has many stories to tell. The museum is open Wednesday – Sunday and both the North and South Towers are available to climb. A must-see place!
The Twin Lights Historical Site is a non-operational lighthouse and museum located in Highlands, New Jersey, overlooking Sandy Hook Bay, the entrance to New York Harbor, and the Atlantic Ocean.
The museum features displays of nautical, lifesaving, and New Jersey cultural artifacts including a collection of photos of Highlands residents from the 1800s, signal pistols, swimsuits, a replica of the original Fresnel lens, and more. The North tower is open to climb if you wish and the views of both the Sandy Hook and New York City skyline are incredible.
Parking is available on the street outside of the lighthouse. The Borough of Highlands imposes parking restrictions on certain days for special events, such as the Lighthouse Festival. Residents wishing to park on-street may apply for a resident permit through the police department and upon approval of such application, such parking is allowed on that side of the street where the applicant resides, subject to the Chief of Police’s determination.
Twin Lights is a great choice for a family or group tour. Schools and other groups can arrange a guided tour led by a docent. The site is open year-round.
This historic lighthouse is known for several famous firsts: It was the location of the United States’ first Fresnel lens; Guglielmo Marconi demonstrated the first practical use of wireless telegraphy from here in 1899; and it was one of the first lighthouses to be fueled by kerosene and then converted to electricity.
While you are here, it’s well worth the climb up the spiraling narrow steps to the top of both the north and south towers to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of Sandy Hook Bay and the New York City skyline. The museum is also well worth a visit. Admission is free to all exhibits and the grounds. There is a small gift shop on-site. Self-tour maps, information panels, and interactive features are provided. Discover more interesting articles.
Driving directions from Clearview Washing to Twin Lights State Historic Site
Driving directions from Twin Lights State Historic Site to Hartshorne Woods Park