Bald Head Light

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Bald Head Island, North Carolina… - Discover. 910.368.4074
Bald Head Light - Closeup of painted camouflage
Bald Head Light - Bald Head from a boat - closer
Bald Head Light - Bald Head between flashes at night
Bald Head Light - Approaching the island in a sailboat
Bald Head Light - Bald Head atnight

Bald Head Light Bald Head Island Reviews

grandmar grandmar
249 reviews
Old Baldy Nov 16, 2000
Originally I confused the name of this lighthouse - I thought it could not POSSIBLY be Bald HEAD - it must be Bald Hill. But it really is called Bald Head. It looks to me like it has leoprosy or is has been designed by some overenthusiastic camo painter.

The first lighthouse was built here in 1796. The current lighthouse "Old Baldy," was build 110 feet tall in 1818 about a mile from the ocean. The light is not centered on the top. It was never effective at warning ships away from Frying Pan Shoals at the entrance of the Cape Fear River. It is the oldest standing lighthouse on the NC coast.

Confederate forces disabled it in January, 1865, prior to losing control of the Cape Fear River in the battle at Fort Fisher. In the early 1900s, the Bald Head light was downgraded to a low-intensity, steady light, and was finally discontinued in 1935. From 1941 to 1958, Old Baldy produced a radio beacon to direct ships into the Cape Fear River Channel in times of fog and bad weather. Today, it emits a long steady beam as a restored historical site on Bald Head Island.

It is a thirty-minute ferry ride from Deep Water Marina at Southport to Bald Head Island. Cars are not allowed, but golf carts can be rented on the island or it is a short walk to the lighthouse. It is open to the public.

There is a museum also.

Enter the Keeper’s Cottage and purchase your admission sticker. This is good for all day until closing.

Adults (age 13 and older) $6

Children (ages 3-12) $3

Keeper’s Cottage (the Smith Island Museum of History- Bald Head was originally Smith Island). Learn about lighthouse keepers, pirates, surfmen, and more in this authentic recreation of an 1850's era house.

Learn about maritime history on the island. Find out how a Lyle gun was used. Read a lightkeeper’s journal.

Old Baldy Lighthouse Step into adventure – up 108 steps, 5 landings and climb a ship’s ladder into the lanthorn room for the best view on the island. Children (anybody under the age of 12) are not allowed to climb the lighthouse on their own – must have adult supervision.

Oil House This was built to hold the kerosene oil that fueled the beacon light at the top of Old Baldy. During WWII, it served as a radio station for US Coast Guard.

During the Civil War, Old Baldy was contained in part of an earthen works complex known as Fort Holmes. Over 1,100 Confederate soldiers, and other people essential to running the fort were camped on this and much of the surrounding property. Walk the boardwalk off of Lighthouse Wynd to see the remains of sand curtains, Battery no. 4 and a magazine bunker used to help defend the Cape Fear and blockade runners from the Union Navy.
Bald Head from a boat - closer
Approaching the island in a sailbo…
Bald Head between flashes at night
Bald Head atnight
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Bald Head Island
photo by: vances