Follow the Maryland lights during the 2015 Lighthouse Challenge

Marie Gullard

People have been fascinated with lighthouses for centuries: Architects admire their structure; artists capture them in sculpture, canvas, and photos; adventurers love to climb them.

The Chesapeake Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society, in partnership with lighthouse organizations throughout Maryland, bid enthusiasts to “See the Lights” during the 10th Anniversary Lighthouse Challenge.

Lighthouse Piney Point
The lighthouse at Piney Point is among those on the 2015 Lighthouse Challenge route.

The event takes place Sept. 19–20 in the form of a driving tour of the state’s land-accessible lighthouses. These include the Choptank River Replica, Concord Point, Cove Point, Drum Point, Fort Washington, Hooper Straight, Piney Point, Point Lookout, the Seven Foot Knoll, and the Lightship Chesapeake.

There is no fee to take the challenge. However, some of the lighthouses have a climbing fee, and some are in state or national parks, which may have an entrance fee. The chapter posts a list of anticipated fees on its website, as well as a driving map to each location. A complimentary souvenir will be handed out at each lighthouse, whether or not the participants choose to climb it.

“The challenge brings participants to the lighthouse from all over the country — 27 states were represented one year,” said Karen Rosage, the event chair. “It’s an educational and fun-filled event as folks travel around the bay. If they visit all (of the sites) they get a special souvenir proclaiming that they’ve ‘seen the lights.’”

In addition, the organizers are offering three bonus sites. These are the Sandy Point Shoal, the Blackistone Lighthouse Replica, and Millers Island Lighthouse (which will be viewed from the Dock of the Bay Restaurant in Sparrows Point).

Other lighthouse festivals and events take place throughout the country for those who might want to plan a vacation around them. They include the 12th annual Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival, July 11–12, and the 20th annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, Oct. 8–11.

“Time at any lighthouse is time well spent. A whole weekend spent touring (them) is a lighthouse lover’s dream,” Rosage said.

MORE: Maryland’s lighthouse tours

For more information:

Lighthouse Challenge: cheslights.org

United States Lighthouse Society: uslhs.org

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