10 North Shore Massachusetts Lighthouses To Visit/Photograph

The North Shore of Massachusetts is home to many beautiful lighthouses that are worth checking out! For decades, these 10 lighthouses have served as vital navigation aids for boaters along the North Shore’s rocky coast. Today, many of the North Shore lighthouses are still operational, although they have been automated. Each lighthouse is unique, stunning, and well worth visiting and photographing!

Annisquam Harbor Light

  • Location: Gloucester (Cape Ann)
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1801 (Former) 1898 (Current)
  • Focal Height: 45 ft (14 m)

Annisquam Harbor Light Station is a historic lighthouse on Wigwam Point in the Annisquam neighborhood of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The lighthouse stands 45 feet tall and was built in 1801. The lighthouse is not open to the public and no parking is available near it. Annisquam Harbor Light Station can best be viewed from Wingaersheek Beach.

Baker’s Island Light

  • Location: Salem
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1791 (Former) 1821 (Current)
  • Focal Height: 111 ft (34 m)

Baker’s Island Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse on Bakers Island in Salem, Massachusetts. The lighthouse was established in 1791 and on April 8, 1796, President Washington approved $6,000 for a set of twin lights for Baker’s Island. The twin lights were damaged in a storm and the round stone tower (which currently stands on the island) was built in 1820. The lighthouse stands 59 feet tall and can be best viewed from a boat, kayak, or drone. Essex Heritage is an organization that does offer tours of the lighthouse and island.

Cape Ann Light Station (aka: Thacher Island Lights)

  • Location: Rockport (Thacher Island)
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1861
  • Focal Height: 166 ft (51 m)

The Cape Ann Light Station, also known as Thacher Island Lights, is a nationally significant light station that was established in 1771. It was established under colonial rule and it was the first station in the US that marked a navigational hazard instead of a harbor entrance. The current twin lighthouse towers were built in 1861. The lighthouses were decommissioned in the 1980s and their lenses were removed. Today, the station is owned by the Town of Rockport and in 2001 was added to the National Register of Historic Place. The lighthouses can be viewed from the mainland at Loblolly Point and also up-close via boat or kayak. The town of Rockport operates a Thacher Island launch on Saturday mornings in the summer to take visitors to roam the island.

Eastern Point Light

  • Location: Gloucester (Cape Ann)
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1833 (Former) 1890 (Current)
  • Focal Height: 57 ft (17 m)

Eastern Point Lighthouse has stood at the entrance of Gloucester Harbor since 1833. There have been three lighthouses on the plot and the current tower was completed in 1890. The 36-foot tower is operated by the Coast Guard and the lighthouse itself is not open to the public. That said, visitors can park near the lighthouse and walk along the breakwater.

Marblehead Light

  • Location: Marblehead
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1835 (Former) 1895 (Current)
  • Focal Height: 130 ft (40 m)

Marblehead Light a unique cast-iron lighthouse is situated on Marblehead Neck. The first Marblehead Light was constructed in 1835, but it was replaced in 1895 with the current square skeleton frame. The tower stands 105 feet tall and was automated in 1960 with a fixed green light. If you’re looking to see the lighthouse up-close, head to Chandler Hovey Park which has about a dozen parking spots.

Newburyport Harbor Light (Plum Island Light)

  • Location: Newburyport
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1788 (Former) 1898 (Current)
  • Focal Height: 50 ft (15 m)

The Newburyport Harbor Light, also known as Plum Island Light, was built in 1788 on the northern end of Plum Island. It was one of the first lighthouses built in the United States. The 44-foot lighthouse was an essential guide to help mariners get into Newburyport Harbor. Today, the lighthouse is owned by the City of Newburyport and there is a small park around the lighthouse that allows visitors to get up close to it.

Newburyport Harbor Front Range Light

  • Location: Newburyport
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1873
  • Focal Height: 37 ft (11 m)

The Newburyport Harbor Front Range Light was built in 1873 to help guide mariners through the Merrimack River along with the rear range light. The Front Range Light stands about 14 feet tall and is made of iron.

Newburyport Harbor Rear Range Light

  • Location: Newburyport
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1873
  • Focal Height: 58 ft (18 m)

The Newburyport Harbor Rear Range Light is a historic lighthouse at 61½ Water St. near the Merrimack River. The lighthouse is one of a pair of range lights built in 1873 to help mariners navigate the Merrimack River. Today, the lighthouse stands about 32 feet high and can be found a few hundred yards behind the front range light.

Straitsmouth Island Light

  • Location: Rockport
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1835 (Former) 1896 (Current)
  • Focal Height: 46 ft (14 m)

The Straitsmouth Island Light is a lighthouse located on Straitsmouth Island, in Rockport. The lighthouse was first opened in 1835 and the original lighthouse was replaced in 1896 with the current 37-foot tower. The lighthouse was automated in 1967 and is still in operation.

Ten Pound Island Light

  • Location: Gloucester
  • Directions: Here
  • Year first lit: 1821 (Former) 1881 (Current)
  • Focal Height: 57 ft (17 m)

The Ten Pound Island Light is a historic lighthouse in Gloucester Harbor. The lighthouse was first established in 1821 and the 30-foot conical cast-iron tower that currently sits on the island was built in 1881. Gloucester Harbor is notorious for being one of the busiest seaports and the lighthouse was an essential aid for navigation. Ten Pound Island Light is still functioning today.

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