The Saugerties Lighthouse

Saugerties Travel Blog

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On the peninsula, looking south

The Saugerties Lighthouse is listed in every touristic brochure of the Catskill region. I have seen posters, articles, lots of photos, etc. All dedicated to this little gem in the Hudson. After several failed attempts to visit it I finally did so today! And, I learnt later, I was lucky to make it.

The first Saugerties Lighthouse was constructed in 1835. Saugerties was an important city and harbor at that time. The little lighthouse stood away from the shore atop a small pier, warning the ships fro the shallow waters around the Esopus Creek. The light was provided by whale oil lamps!

In 1867 US Congress appointed $25.000 (in current time $400.000) for the construction of a new, bigger and better facility, which was opened in 1869.

The Saugerties Lighthouse, west side
In the 1888 the lighthouse was connected to the main land. And the 1940s brought electricity to the lighthouse. This was also the beginning of the end, in 1954 the US Coast Guard automated the structure. There was no need for keepers anymore and the residential section fell into disrepair.

After more than 20 years of decay the structure was saved, it was added to the list of the "National Register of Historic Structures" in 1978. It took until 1990 before the heavily damaged lighthouse was restored to its former grandeur. Now it is open for an outside visit during daylight and open for tours on Sundays. It can also house guest since it is a Bed & Breakfast!

I had always assumed that the lighthouse would be located near the city center, that one could park in front of the building and look at it.

The Saugerties Lighthouse, west side
But, to my surprise, the only way to get there is via a small hike through a very damp, muddy and swampy forest on a peninsula. The hike is only possible if the Hudson River has low tide. With high tide some parts of the trail are completely swallowed by the water. During my visit it was fortunately almost low tide so I only had to face the mud. Several wooden plank bridges helped to negotiate the most swampy parts.

With a sun setting behind the high peaks of the Catskills, reflecting in the Hudson the atmosphere was extremely picturesque. I have to come back on a Sunday for a tour!

For more info see the website listed above and/or this nice little video.

More pictures below!

 

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On the peninsula, looking south
On the peninsula, looking south
The Saugerties Lighthouse, west si…
The Saugerties Lighthouse, west s…
The Saugerties Lighthouse, west si…
The Saugerties Lighthouse, west s…
Midway the peninsula, looking nort…
Midway the peninsula, looking nor…
Midway the peninsula, looking north
Midway the peninsula, looking north
Midway the peninsula, looking west…
Midway the peninsula, looking wes…
The Saugerties Lighthouse, east si…
The Saugerties Lighthouse, east s…
Looking west from the lighthouse i…
Looking west from the lighthouse …
Looking west
Looking west
The Saugerties Lighthouse, east si…
The Saugerties Lighthouse, east s…
The lighthouse, south west side du…
The lighthouse, south west side d…
Saugerties
photo by: mdalamers