“open for climbing!”
For more than two centuries, lighthouses have guarded the Outer Banks coast. Generations of seaborne travelers and mariners have sought the comfort of these beacons' reassuring light as they navigated perilous channels and shoals that mark the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Perhaps that is why these sentinels, among the tallest in America, have come to serve as beacons of hope and inspiration.
Located just south of Nags Head, the Bodie Island Lighthouse as it stands today is the third such beacon built to help mariners maneuver the coast from Cape Hatteras to Currituck Beach. The original Bodie Island Lighthouse (pronounced “body”) was built in 1847, on the south side of Oregon Inlet in an area known today as Pea Island. Abandoned twelve years later due to a poor foundation, the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1859, again south of the inlet, but was blown up in 1861 by retreating Confederate troops who feared the Union would use it to their advantage for navigation.
Today’s Bodie Island Lighthouse was completed in 1872 on the north side of Oregon Inlet near the northern border of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The familiar black and white horizontal striped structure was partly built of materials leftover from the construction of the newest Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Standing 150 feet high and equipped with a first-order Fresnel lens, it flashes its 160,000 candlepower beacon 19 miles over the ocean. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is considered its architectural twin. Bodie Island Lighthouse is now open for climbing for the first time ever.
It's now open for climbing! Tickets are $8/adult $4/child. The ranger gives plenty of info/history on the walk up. You can come down at your own pace. It's worth doing if you're in the area, even just for the pictures.
Can't climb it, bust it has a nice little museum. Locals pronounce it "Body" rather than "Bow-dee," if you don't want to sound too much like a tourist!
The lighthouse was easy to get to and there was ample parking. There are walking trails around the property and wetlands. There is a gift shop/bookstore and a counter to purchase tickets to walk up the lighthouse. It was scorching hot outside so we took some pics and had a quick walk around, then sat in the car reading the wikipedia page on its history. Very neat and informative!
This is one of my favorite Lighthouses on the outer banks. It is definately worth a stop and walk around.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse you see today was finished in 1872 and is now open for you to explore for the very first time ever in its 140+ year history.
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Bodie Island Lighthouse
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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