Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

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PARK ADVISORY: The interior of the Lighthouse is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park Overview

A panoramic view of Barnegat Bay, Island Beach and Long Beach Island is waiting for you at the top of the lighthouse.

Experience the “Story of Barnegat Lighthouse” in the park’s Interpretive Center. Step back in time and walk the Maritime Forest Trail through one of New Jersey’s last remaining maritime forests. Enjoy birdwatching and fishing in the shadow of Old Barney!

The site of Barnegat Lighthouse on the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County was regarded as one of the most crucial "change of course" points for coastal vessels. Vessels bound to and from New York along the New Jersey coastline depended on Barnegat Lighthouse to avoid the shoals extending from the shoreline. The swift currents, shifting sandbars and the offshore shoals challenged the skills of even the most experienced sailor. The park is included as a maritime site on the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail.

Illuminated on January 1, 2009 - exactly 150 years to the day that it was originally lit in 1859 - the beloved Barnegat Lighthouse is shining again! Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, the nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and promoting the park, raised funds to purchase a new U.S. Coast Guard approved lens.  The new light creates a single beam that is visible for up to 22 nautical miles and is once again a formal aid to navigation.  In 1927, the original lens was removed, and was replaced by a lightship anchored off the coast of Barnegat Light.  The original lens is still on display at the nearby Barnegat Light Historical Society's Schoolhouse Museum.

A panoramic view of Island Beach, Barnegat Bay and Long Beach Island awaits visitors at the top of Barnegat Lighthouse.  The lighthouse is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (weather permitting) from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  There is a $3 fee per person to enter the lighthouse from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Children ages 6 to 11 are $1 and children ages 5 and under are free and must be accompanied by an adult.  Visitors can also catch the views from the top without climbing the 217 steps thanks to four cameras that transmit live images of the view to a display in the nearby Interpretive Center.

Barnegat Lighthouse Interpretive Center
The “Story of Barnegat Lighthouse” is showcased in the Interpretive Center, which is adjacent to the  park office. The Interpretive Center exhibits depict the history of Barnegat Lighthouse from shipwreck to first class seacoast light. 

Images and stories recount the vision of Lieutenant George G. Meade, the evolution of lighthouse technology and the specific duties of Barnegat Lighthouse's keepers.  A large panel entitled “Save Barnegat Light” focuses attention on efforts of the local community and federal, state and local governments to protect the lighthouse from erosion and ultimate destruction.  

Visitors can learn about the changing nature of the coastline and the natural environment that surrounds the lighthouse, including Barnegat Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and the maritime forest.  A gallery of historic photographs provides a glimpse of life at a lighthouse on the Jersey Shore in bygone days. These images portray the lure of the bay and the many ways people have used and enjoyed the resources of this region. The Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park have purchased additional artifacts to display including a lighthouse lock and key, a keeper’s parlor stove and a post lantern. The Interpretive Center is open seasonally. For the hours of operation, please call the park office at 609-494-2016.

Park Programs
The Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park host a winter lecture series at the Interpretive Center covering maritime history and natural history topics. Check their website

Maritime Forest Trail
One of the last remnants of maritime forest on Long Beach Island is found at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.  The forest, which is dominated by black cherry, sassafras, eastern red cedar and American holly, is an important resting and feeding area for migratory birds on their long journey to and from their breeding sites.  The Maritime Forest Trail is a 0.2-mile-long, self-guided loop trail through this unique environment.

Saltwater anglers have access to Barnegat Inlet along the bulkhead in the picnic area where they can catch striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, summer flounder, tautog, winter flounder and black sea bass. A 1,033-foot concrete walkway with handrails on top of the south jetty provides fishing access for people with disabilities.  The picnic area is also accessible for people with disabilities.

Picnic tables are located along Barnegat Inlet where visitors can picnic, relax and observe the waterway. Two picnic shelters with tables are also provided for picnicking. Visitors who enjoy sunbathing and fishing can picnic on the sand along the jetty. Fires, propane stoves and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is an excellent area to observe many species of birds during the spring and fall migrations. A New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife program provides seasonal fencing of critical nesting areas on the beach adjacent to the park. This provides protection for certain endangered beach nesting birds and opportunities for observation.

The park also is a great location for viewing wintering waterfowl such as red-breasted mergansers, common eiders and harlequin ducks. The park often sponsors waterfowl viewing programs throughout the winter.

Access for Persons with Disabilities
The Barnegat Lighthouse State Park recreational and historic facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office at 609-494-2016 for further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TTY) users, call the NJ Relay & CapTel Service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897 for English or 1-866-658-7714 for Spanish.

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Recreational use of ATVs is not permitted on NJ State Park Service property. This includes state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. Thank you for your help in protecting New Jersey’s natural and historic resources. [N.J.A.C. 7:2-3.4(d)]

Smoking
State law prohibits the smoking of tobacco and use of electronic smoking (vaping) devices in all state parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, golf courses and marinas. [N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)]

Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6 ]

Keep Your Park Clean and Green
Keep Your Park Clean and Green Protect plants and animals and care for your park by taking your trash with you. Unless you're camping, whatever you carry into the park, plan on carrying it out too. It’s like crowdsourcing trash management! Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles in this park. Thank you!

Swimming
No swimming.

Pets
Pets must always be on a leash no longer than six feet in length and under the control of the owner. Please clean up after your pets.

Tick Protection
Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks, stay on trails, check yourself when you get home, shower and wash clothes immediately.

Photo Gallery

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Related Links

New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail (link is external)
New Jersey Lighthouse Society (link is external)
Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park (link is external)

Park Map

Area Map

General

Phone Number
609-494-2016

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 167
Barnegat Light, NJ 08006

Email Address
parks@dep.nj.gov

Park Hours

Gate Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Park Office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lighthouse hours Currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Park Fees

Entrance Fee None

Other Related Fees
Map / Directions

GPS Coordinates
39.76327, -74.10623