New Hampshire’s lighthouses are sparse, but the views are spectacular

Because of its short ocean coastline, New Hampshire has fewer lighthouses than other New England states and most of New Hampshire’s lighthouses are located on Lake Sunapee. But New Hampshire has a standout lighthouse on the island of New Castle, at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. The Portsmouth Harbor Light hosts several open houses in the summer and fall when visitors can climb to the lantern room and see magnificent views of the harbor. A visit to a lighthouse, oddly enough, is wonderfully in synch with a vacation with kids or a couple’s romantic getaway.
Our thanks to the generous help of Jeremy D'Entremont. See more lighthouses at www.lighthouse.cc. Photos by Jeremy D'Entremont.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

Off Route 1B New Castle, NH, 03854 Phone: 207-646-0245

Location: Fort Constitution, Piscataqua River, Portsmouth Harbor

Accessibility: The area immediately around the lighthouse is not accessible to the public except during the open houses. The lighthouse can be seen from the Fort Constitution State Historic Site, on route 1B at the U.S. Coast Guard Station at New Castle (603-436-1552). The tower is open for occasional open houses and tours by appointment. Cruises are offered by the Granite State Whale Watch at 603-964-5545. The lighthouse also is known as Fort Point Light, New Castle Light, and Fort Constitution Light.
Tours: The lighthouse will be open for tours in 2007 from 1 to 5 p.m. on May 27, June 24, July 14 and 29, August 11 and 26, September 30, October 14. Tours are on a first come, first served basis; no reservations. Visitors may climb to the lantern room to see the magnificent view and to see the Fresnel lens up close. Volunteers will tell visitors about the history of the light station, and there will be souvenirs for sale. No children under 42 inches tall are allowed to climb to the top, and adults are not allowed to carry children up the stairs. Prepare to climb 44 stairs to the watch room and a 7-rung ladder to the lantern room. Suggested donation of $2 for adults and $1 for children is suggested.
The facility: Maintained by Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (207-646-0245). Station established in 1771; present lighthouse built in 1878. Light is fixed green, visible for 12 nautical miles; fog signal is one blast every 10 seconds.

Loon Island Light

Accessibility: Not open to the public.The facility: Lighthouse built in 1960.

White Island Light (Isles of Shoals Light)

Location: Southern tip of White Island, southernmost of the Isles of Shoals

Accessibility: The island is not open to the public; the best views are from cruises to the Isles of Shoals. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation, owned by the State of New Hampshire. Lighthouse built in 1859. Light flashes white every 15 seconds; fog signal is one blast every 30 seconds.

Burkehaven Light

Accessibility: Not open to the public. The facility: Present lighthouse built in 1983.

Herrick Cove Light

Accessibility: Not open to the public. The facility: Station established in 1893.