Bodie Island Lighthouse

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8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Road, Nags Head, NC, USA

Bodie Island Lighthouse Nags Head Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
112 reviews
Bodie Island Lighthouse Jul 27, 2012
The lighthouse was still under rennovation during Memorial Day weekend 2012 when I visited. The keeper's house was open with exhibits on the history of the structure. A path from the parking lot leads to an overlook across the marshland where you can take some great photographs. Maybe worth a quick visit if you are heading south from Nags Head. Hopefully when the construction is finished visitors will be able to climb to the top.

"Bodie Island" is no longer an island, the inlet that once separated it from the peninsula having closed up long ago in the continually shifting terrain of the Outer Banks. "Bodie" is the name of a family that once owned land in the area.

For some reason TravBuddy had the lighthouse located on Ocracoke Island, when it is actually just south of Nags Head.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse seen f…
View of the marsh from the overlook
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emmytravel emmytrav…
49 reviews
Closed in 2010 for renovations May 23, 2010
Bodie (pronounced Body) is under renovation in 2010. I don't know what the cost is for climbing when its open, probably similar to Currituck or Cape Hatteras fees. I did drive up to it. It is surrounded by scaffolding and plastic wrap. If there is a gift shop it was not evident. If you are heading to the Hatteras-Ocracoke Free Ferry Cape Hatteras lighthouse will be on the left and Bodie on the right.
grandmar says:
The keeper's cottage has the visitor's center and a museum
Posted on: Feb 22, 2017
vances vances
582 reviews
Bodie Island Lighthouse Jun 24, 2008
The current Bodie Island Lighthouse has been in operation since 1872, although this was the third one built to service this portion of the Banks. The first attempt was so poorly constructed that it tilted right away and had to be torn down; the second one was blown up by Confederate forces as Union troops were taking over the Banks – the Outer Banks were captured by the North early in the war and occupied for the duration). Operation of the lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the National Park Service years ago (the Outer Banks are designated as a National Seashore) and there is a ranger station here.

You can’t go up this lighthouse, but they do open up the keeper’s house occasionally --- as I was madly dashing about snapping some pictures I was informed that there would be a tour soon by no less than three rangers! This lighthouse is stunning and there were only a few other cars in the spacious lots. A very relaxed, free atmosphere prevails and a visit is highly recommended!
Bodie Island Lighthouse
Bodie Island Lighthouse - keeper's…
Bodie Island Lighthouse from a sli…
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
furiousfowl says:
this was the 2nd light i saw after leaving buxton (cape hatteras) im amazed at all types of lights that i have seen. these are great structures that everyone should visit and learn about
Posted on: Jul 15, 2008
jennjeff1 says:
I have a few great sunset shots here at Bodie Island Lighthouse I need to upload soon! Great tips on the ranger tour Vance! Be sure to post to the Lighthouses group when you get a chance! ~Jeff
Posted on: Jun 29, 2008
Sweetski says:
You're a man after my own heart Vance. I was invited to join the 'magnificent seven' with only six awards under my belt. Just 4 more reviews and I'll be there. Yet, like you, I can't bring myself to upload poor reviews either :)
Posted on: Jun 29, 2008
furiousfowl furiousf…
19 reviews
Bodie Island Lighthouse Jul 20, 2008
now this light was the only one i got to climb up to, it was a heck of a climb, but worth it. this light is located on the roanoke sound side of the 1st island that is part of the cape hatteras seashore, located just south of Ngs Head a few miles before Oregon inlet. its the 3rd that has stood in this area, the 1st was built 1847 and abandoned in 1859 due to a poor foundation. the 2nd was built in 1859, was destroyed by retreating confederate troops who feared it would be used as a union observation post during the civil war. the 3rd and current light, with its original 1st order fresnel lens was completed in 1872.

in 1932 the light was upgraded to an electric lamp using oil-fueled generators. in 1940 the lighthouse was fully automated(no keeper). in 1953 it switched from generators to the commercial electric grid for its power.
0 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
grandmar says:
The pictures are of Currituck Beach, and not Bodie. I don't think Bodie can be climbed (yet)
Posted on: Feb 22, 2017
grandmar grandmar
202 reviews
Bodie Island Light, Keeper's Quarters and Museum Nov 29, 2004
Bodie Island is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The 150 ft tall Bodie Island Light is 4 miles north of Oregon Inlet, and is encircled by two black and three white bands. It is an active lighthouse which is equipped with the original first-order Fresnel lens (which is treated as a separate property from the tower itself). The 160,000 candlepower beacon flashes 19 miles over the ocean in the on for 2.5 seconds and then off for the same period pattern.

Originally built on Pea Island in 1847, and rebuilt with improvements in 1859, the 80 foot tower was blown up in 1862 by Confederate troops to prevent its use as a position marker by the Union forces.

The building of the lighthouse was supervised by Dexter Stetson, who supervised the construction of Cape Hatteras. He used many of the same construction techniques that made the Hatteras lighthouse so strong. The method of "Stacking" was used where timber pilings below the ground were placed and granite blocks were built above the base. After the construction of Hatteras, there were many unused materials. Many of these were used during the construction of Bodie Island Lighthouse

The first keeper of Bodie Island Lighthouse was paid an annual salary of $400

On October 1, 1872, the present tower was put into operation and is the third lighthouse built here. According to a lightkeeper on duty at the time, shortly after this light was activated, a flock of wild geese flew into the lantern, causing severe damage to the lens. It was quickly repaired, and a wire screen was placed around the light to prevent further mishap. It was also necessary to put a lightening rod on the tower.

The light was electrified in 1932, which ended the need for an on-site keeper. Finally, all of the light station’s property except the tower itself were transferred to the National Park Service in 1953. Still a functioning U.S. Coast Guard navigational aid, the tower is closed to the public.

As with a number of other stations, the keeper's quarters was built as a duplex and was home to as many as three families (head keeper and two assistants) during its use.

Bodie Island was completely undeveloped, and the closest school was in Manteo on neighboring Roanoke Island (accessible only by boat). This meant that the keeper’s wife and children lived away from the lighthouse except during the summer month. Eventually, school buses were able to reach the island, and the families were able to live with the keepers. The light was electrified in 1932, which ended the need for an on-site keeper.

Since 1953, the Keeper’s duplex has since undergone two historic restorations, the last having been completed in May 1992. The building now serves as a ranger office and visitor center for Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Bodie Island section.

One of the attractions of this lighthouse is that it isn't open to be climbed, so I don't have to feel guilty about not climbing it. It is all surrounded with that orange plastic web fencing at ground level - apparently because pieces sometimes fall off of it - which is another reason that it can't be climbed I guess.

Although the tower was not open for climbing when we were there, the lighthouse keeper cottage is now a museum, and there are accessible restrooms, a visitor center, walking paths, and a unique bookstore.

Open All Year 9am - 6pm in summer, 9am - 5 pm rest of year

5/31/04 - 9/6/04 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

9/7/04 - 5/29/05 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
1903 postcard Bodie Island Light a…
Back of 1903 postcard
Bodie Island Light and Keeper's Co…
Bodie Island Light

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photo by: Zagnut66