Wood Island Lighthouse is an active and historic lighthouse located on the eastern edge of Wood Island in Saco Bay, Maine. The light is located just outside the entrance to Biddeford Pool and the Saco River’s endpoint.
President Thomas Jefferson directed the establishment of Wood Island Light in 1808. The original wooden tower was octagonal in shape. In 1839, a granite tower was built to replace the wooden tower after it rotted. The lighthouse is a 47-foot conical white granite rubble tower. The light is located 71 feet above mean high water. The tower was renovated in 1858 to allow for the installation of a 4th-order Fresnel lens. The current keepers’ quarters were also constructed at the time.
The original lantern room was demolished in the 1960s to make way for an aerobeacon. Locals thought the aerobeacon was an eyesore, so when the lighthouse was automated in 1986, a new lantern room was built and installed. A VRB-25 beacon, which was the latest technology at the time, was added. Its automated beacon alternates between green and white every 10 seconds.
The United States Coast Guard maintains the lighthouse’s active beacon, while The Friends of Wood Island Light, a non-profit organization, has assisted the Coast Guard in preserving and improving the lighthouse and keepers’ housing. Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse does provide lighthouse tours. The tours take place in July and August, as well as on Maine Lighthouse Day in September. Vine’s Boat Landing in Biddeford Pool is where they depart. East Point Sanctuary is the best place to see Wood Island Lighthouse from the mainland. The Sanctuary’s parking is free and can be found along L.B. Orcutt Blvd in Biddeford.
Wood Island Lighthouse is the second-oldest lighthouse in Maine (after Portland Head Light) and the eleventh-oldest in the United States. On January 21, 1988, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Wood Island Light Station, with the reference number 87002274.
Looking to explore more beautiful spots in Maine? Check out the GoXplr Maine Map at goxplr.com/map/maine!
- Originally constructed: 1808
- Current tower constructed: 1858
- First lit: 1858 (current tower)
- Construction: Granite rubble
- Tower shape: Conical
- Height: 47 feet (14 m)
- Focal height: 71 feet (22 m)
- Markings: White with black lantern
- Characteristic: Alternating white and green lights every 10 seconds
- Range: White: 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi) & Green: 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi)
- Status: Active
- NRHP number: 87002274
- Address: Wood Island
- Town: Biddeford
- State: Maine
- GPS: Lat 43.45686 Lng -70.32898
- Parking notes: Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse, an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, does offer tours of the lighthouse. The tours are held in July, August, and on Maine Lighthouse Day in September. They leave from Vine’s Boat Landing in Biddeford Pool. From the mainland, Wood Island Lighthouse can best be viewed from East Point Sanctuary. Parking for the Sanctuary is free and can be found along L.B. Orcutt Blvd in Biddeford.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE
External Website: https://woodislandlighthouse.org/