Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island Visitor Services
Assateague Wild Horses
• Visit the park
• Wildlife
• Lighthouse
• Bird watching
• Map
• Fishing
• Pony Swim

The Assateague Lighthouse is located on the Virginia portion of Assateague Island. The Coast Guard has maintained the lighthouse for many years. Ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Fish & Wildlife Service from the Coast Guard in 2004. While the U.S. Coast guard still maintains the light as an active navigational aid, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is responsible for preserving the lighthouse. The top of the lighthouse is accessible to the public (see the visitor schedule). It is still operational and one of the most impressive landmarks in Virginia. If you are a visitor that desires a panoramic view of the Assateague Lighthouse, then consider the Assateague cruise or kayak trip from the neighbor island of Chincoteague, Virginia.

Assateague Lighthouse
Lighthouse view from Assateague Channelviews from the topof the Assateague Lighthouse

Visitor Schedule

The Assateague Lighthouse opens for visitors each weekend from April through November from 9am to 3pm (closed from 12pm-12:30pm for lunch). Free admission (donations are gratefully accepted, which will help keep the lighthouse open for visitors.

* Time & schedule subject to change.

Views from the top of the lighthouse

The Assateague Lighthouse is approximately 1/4 mile away from Chincoteague Island and visitors can drive there from Chincoteague in about 5 minutes. You can ride a bicycle or walk on the trail that leads from Chincoteague over to Assateague Island. The trail is maintained by the National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service at Assateague Island. Visitors to the Maryland side of Assateague can drive to this area in about an hour. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is home of the lighthouse.The original lighthouse was constructed here in 1833 at a cost of approximately $55,000. In 1860, construction on a taller, more powerfully illuminated brick lighthouse began, but was delayed by the Civil War. After the war, work resumed and the lighthouse was completed in 1867. Assateague's lighthouse has twin rotating lights that flash one after the other from a height of 154 feet above sea level. The lights can be seen 19 miles out to sea. The Assateague Lighthouse stands 142 feet high, its base over 27 feet in diameter.

The Assateague Lighthouse is an active navigational aid and is in the National Register of Historic places. In 1933 the lighthouse was converted to be electrically operated, and its first light was a candle lantern. The Assateague Lighthouse has warned passing ships and local waterman of the shallow waters off Assateague for many years. Approximately 1,182 people traveled through this historic lighthouse at Assateague Island during Wildlife Refuge Week 2000 and visitors continually visit this special part of Virginia to see the lighthouse.

The National Wildlife Refuge System reached its 100th Anniversary in 2003. The National Wildlife Refuge at Assateague is an excellent place for birdwatching and outdoor activities after you visit the lighthouse. The Wildlife Refuge provides a great place to learn about history and increase understanding of the ever changing environment. When the Assateague lighthouse was first built, it was on the southern most end of Assateague Island. The land now south of the lighthouse is actually new land, that has grown out about 2 miles since the lighthouse was first built.

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Birdwatching, Fishing and Ponies along Assateague
Assateague Island Homepage
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