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Off-Season Fire Island: Lighthouse & Beyond

Sometimes having a business trip is a hassle and a bit stressful.   I recently had the opportunity to take a business trip up to Long Island New York. This was the first time I was able to go on a trip for my work since the pandemic started.  Luckily, I had the ability for some flexibility that allowed me to ‘swing by’ Fire Island National Seashore on my way from JFK airport after my morning flight.

Lighthouse in the background with walkway and dunes at Fire Island Seashore

I decided to visit the Fire Island Lighthouse on the western part of the seashore, which is adjacent to Robert Moses State Park.  Driving over to the south beach was pleasant. There are great views as you traverse the bridge across Great South Bay, if you can see around the occasional road work.  I was struck by the size of the parking ‘fields’ driving along the coast in Robert Moses State Park.  Given it was late fall, there was very little traffic, especially for New York. However, I could easily see how they can be very busy during the summer.

I parked at Field #5, the last “Field’ before the National Seashore. There I found a 3/4-mile walking path through the dunes that headed directly to the Light House.  While other parts of the park have a seasonal schedule, the Lighthouse is open year-round.

Fun Fact:  The current Fire Island Light House was completed in 1858, replacing its shorter 74 feet tall 1826 predecessor, and becoming the tallest lighthouse on Long Island at 168 feet.

There is a separate building and exhibit that shows the light house lens and history.  Right next door was the Lighthouse and exhibit.  Unfortunately, I did not have time to pay the $10 tour fee to walk up the 182-step lighthouse to get a view of the seashore and the Manhattan skyline. The Park rangers were helpful as always with locating the stamps and providing some interesting information on the site.

Map of Fire Island national seashore inside lobby of Visitor Center

There is much to offer outside what I was able to visit.  Getting out on the beach would be great. As well as going over to the other end to of the park to see the Eastern most Wilderness Visitor Center.  Hopefully, future visits will allow me the ability to check those out soon.

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