What is it about lighthouses that’s so mesmerizing?

Lighthouses always inspire curiosity. They are mysterious, romantic and scary, all at the same time!

Since we moved our sailboat to Long Island Sound, we have been keen on seeing as many of its beautiful lighthouses as possible.

22 Lighthouses We Sailed to on Long Island Sound

Here’s our list as we’ve been documenting Long Island Sound lighthouses we were able to see.

Long Island Sound Lighthouses

#1 Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1882
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

The Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse was erected in 1882 to protect the entrance to Stamford Harbor, one of the largest and most dangerous harbors in Connecticut. This was a sparkplug lighthouse cast iron tower, manufactured in Boston.

#2 Great Captain Island Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1868
  • Available by car? No
  • Available by boat? Yes, including the ferry (One must be a Greenwich, CT resident to visit the island)
  • Public access? No but you can walk around (for Greenwich residents)

The Town of Greenwich bought the island and the lighthouse in 1973, and successfully restored the building in 2009. The lighthouse isn’t operating but still has a light. The lighthouse is still the residence of caretakers.

The island is also a nesting place of egrets.

We are not Greenwich residents and didn’t board the ferry to visit the island. We anchored our sailboat in the harbor, took the dinghy to land, and no one asked us for proof of residency when we were walking around the island.

#3 Peck Ledge Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1906
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Peck Ledge Light is another iron cast sparkplug lighthouse in Norwalk, Connecticut. The tower is 54 feet tall, and it cannot be seen from land.

#4 Penfield Reef Light

  • Constructed: 1874
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No (Privately owned)

Penfield Reef Light can be seen distantly from the shores of Fairfield and Bridgeport but the best view is from the boat.

The Lighthouse is considered haunted by Keeper Jorden who drowned when his boat capsized near the light in 1916. The keeper was trying to reach mainland to join his family for Christmas.

#5 Southwest Ledge Light

  • Constructed: 1877
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Southwest Ledge Light is an active lighthouse marking the main entrance channel to the harbor of New Haven, Connecticut.

The lighthouse was listed for sale for $10,000 back in 2016 and ultimately sold for $180,000 by a group of donors with plans to turn it into an educational sight for Marine sciences students.

The lighthouse was one of the first to be built on a cylindrical iron foundation to address shifting ice. At that time that was a huge innovation (we saw a couple more of lighthouses of this design in the Sound).

#6 Five Mile Point Light (aka New Haven Harbor Lighthouse)

  • Constructed: 1847
  • Available by car? Yes
  • Public access? Yes

This building was completed in 1847 in place for an older construction. The octagonal tower is 80 feet tall. The light was powered with 12 lamps with reflections. It was deactivated in 1877 when the Southwest Ledge Light was completed.

The lighthouse can be accessed by a car but there’s no public access inside the building. Still the park surrounding it is very nice.

#7 Eaton’s Neck Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1799
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Eaton’s Neck Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Long Island. It was lit in 1799, it is also the sixth oldest in the US! It is still active, so the grounds are closed for public

#8 Greens Ledge Light

  • Constructed: 1902
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Greens Ledge Lighthouse is a cast iron offshore lighthouse near Norwalk, Connecticut and Darien, Connecticut. It is one of 33 sparkplug lighthouses still in existence in the United States and remains an active aid to navigation

#9 Stratford Point Light

  • Constructed: 1822
  • Available by car? Yes
  • Public access? No

This lighthouse at the mouth of the Housatonic River opened on 1822. It remains active and it remains an unofficial symbol of Stratford!

The second tower was one of the first prefabricated cylindrical lighthouses in the country.

While you cannot go on ten grounds, you can drive close and see the building which is beautiful!

#10 Black Rock Harbor Light

  • Constructed: 1823
  • Available by car? Yes, plus a short hike
  • Public access? You can come close but not inside

Black Rock Harbor Light, also known as Fayerweather Island Light. This one dates back to 1823 and remained active until 1933 when it was replaced by two automatic lights offshore. It has been restored a few times since then.

#11 Sands Point Light

  • Constructed: 1806
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Sands Point Light guards entrance to Manhasset Bay and it is the fourth lighthouse to be built on Long Island. This 1809 stone tower was built by an American Revolutionary War veteran who stayed on as its first keeper for many years

Anyone who loves The Great Gatsby’s story as much as we do knows that this is exactly the bay that lay between Gatsby’s mansion and Daisy’s mansion. It’s across Manhasset Bay that Gatsby was looking towards the green light at his love’s house

#12 Execution Rocks Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1849
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

The lighthouse was commissioned in 1847, and constructed 20 years later. As of today, it is only accessible by water.

A lot of dark history happened in this area. Condemned Revolutionary War prisoners faced death near these rocks. Chained here at low tide, the prisoners slowly drowned as the tide rose.

Later in 1920s a famous serial killer Carl Panzram was roaming on Long Island leaving 21 victims (many of whom he tossed in the water). In his memoir the killer noted that he was “not in the least bit sorry” for any of his crimes.

The lighthouse has been fully automated since 1979, but the rumors of many ghosts haunting it still persist.

#13 Stratford Shoal Light

  • Constructed: 1878
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Stratford Shoal Light, also referred to as Middle Ground lighthouse, (circa 1878) is a lighthouse on a shoal in the middle of Long Island Sound approximately halfway between Port Jefferson, New York and Bridgeport, Connecticut.

It is similar to some Hudson River lighthouses, and “embodies the enormous cost and heroic effort required to put these designs in place in the treacherous waters of Long Island Sound.”

The lighthouse is believed to be one of the most haunted lighthouses in Long Island Sound. Before the lighthouse was built, the ship Trustful, despite the crew being reluctant to sail, ran into this shoal and sank, drowning all aboard.

Due to its isolated location, keepers sometimes would develop psychological issues and become suicidal.

Although the lighthouse was automated in 1969, local mariners going by the lighthouse still claim to hear lots of banging noises, grinding noises and loud sounds, which we unfortunately cannot confirm.

#14 North Dumpling Light

  • Constructed: 1849
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

North Dumpling Light is a lighthouse on North Dumpling Island in Long Island Sound off Fishers Island, New York. It sold to a private party, so it is not open for public.

During Prohibition years, this area was used to transfer illegal alcohol. Two ships transporting illegal booze were grounded by storm in these waters, with alcohol having mysteriously disappeared by the time the Coast Guard arrived.

The local government suspected this lighthouse keeper of helping smugglers by running extra lights to aid their navigation.

#15 Morgan Point Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1868
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Morgan Point Lighthouse is located on the west side of the mouth of the Mystic River.

In 1919, Morgan Point was discontinued and later sold to a private owner.

#16 New London Ledge Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1909
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? Yes (There are boating cruises that help get there)

New London Ledge Lighthouse is a lighthouse on the Thames River in Connecticut (of course there is Thames River where there is New London).

The lighthouse was built in 1909. According to local legend, New London residents did not want to gaze out to sea at a structure that would be out of place among their large and historic homes, so Colonial and French architectural influences were used in the lighthouse.

New London Ledge isn’t the only New England lighthouse said to be haunted, but its resident ghost Ernie is the most famous of the ghosts. Ernie was reportedly an early keeper at New London Ledge, who one evening, after a bitter fight with his girlfriend, returned to the lighthouse and killed himself with a fishing knife.

There is no way to confirm or deny this story.

#17 New London Harbor Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1760
  • Available by car? Yes
  • Public access? No

New London Harbor Lighthouse (Locally known as Pequot Avenue Lighthouse ) is the nation’s fifth oldest light station and the seventh oldest U.S. lighthouse.

It is both the oldest and the tallest lighthouse in Connecticut. It was built in 1760 and it is a reminder of the glory days early in the country’s history when New London was the third busiest whaling port, behind New Bedford and Nantucket.

New London Harbor Lighthouse (in the background)

#18 Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1886
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is located at the mouth of Connecticut River by the town of Old Saybrook and it has been in service since 1886. The lighthouse was one of the first of cylindrical cast-iron lighthouses constructed in the Sound between 1880s and 1920s.

The tower has 4 floors of living space for keepers. It was automated in 1959. It is featured on the state’s “Preserve the Sound” license plates

It has been privately owned since 2015 and the rumor has it the current owner is planning to turn it into a clubhouse for his grandchildren.

Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse

#19 Lynde Point Light

  • Constructed: 1838
  • Available by car? Yes
  • Public access? No

Lynde Point Light (or Saybrook Inner Lighthouse) was designed to be a leading light for ships coming through Long Island Sound

Lynde Point Light constructed 50 years prior to its neighbor. It started operating 1838 in pace for a wooden tower which had been here previously.

Lynde Point Light

#20 Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse

  • Constructed: 1802
  • Available by car? No
  • Public access? No

Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse constructed in 1802 and commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson.

It has been called the Eiffel Tower of Long Island Sound 🗼

The lighthouse has been a standalone octagonal tower since all other construction around it was destroyed by a fire in 1976 (the last picture in the carousel shows what it looked like before the fire)

#21 Sheffield Island Light

  • Constructed: 1857
  • Available by car? No, but it can be accessed by ferry
  • Public access? Yes

Sheffield Island Light was constructed in 1857 to replace an older lighthouse that had been there. The Victorian style limestone building is of the same design as the lighthouse at Great Captain Island (our #2 lighthouse).

Greens Ledge Light (our lighthouse #7) was built to the west of Sheffield in 1900 and was better located to warn ships of the rocks and shoals on the approach to Sheffield Island harbor and Norwalk harbor. Sheffield Island Light was then deactivated in 1902 and sold to the Norwalk Seaport Association for renovation and restoration in 1986.

#22 Huntington Harbor Light

  • Constructed: 1857
  • Available by car? Yes, but you cannot come too close
  • Public access? No

Huntington Harbor Lighthouse is formerly known as Lloyd Harbor Lighthouse. It is still operating.

It is a lighthouse in Huntington Bay on Long Island, New York. The lighthouse was established in 1857 and the current tower was first lit in 1912.

We are not done yet! Stay tuned for more lighthouses on this page!

Here’s our map of Link Island Sound lighthouses!