New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge Is A Beacon For Climbers

The Cape May Lighthouse is one of the stops on the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey, which takes place October 21 and 22. (Photo by Sara Grillo)

NEW JERSEY – How many New Jersey lighthouses have you climbed?

This is the 18th year that the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey will beckon local and out-of-state climbers to ascend and descend 12 lighthouses flanked on both the east and the west – from Sandy Hook to Cape May to Finn’s Point on the Delaware River.

“It is a great way to tour the state and a great way to learn about all of our majestic lighthouses and the history behind them,” said Craig Coughlin, who helps organize the challenge.

He said they have been successful in bringing in around 2,000 people to take part in the challenge from multiple states. Anyone who visits all lighthouses in the challenge within the two-day period – October 21 to 22 – will be entered into a drawing to win a prize worth $1,000.

Photo by Sara Grillo

Challenge hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, but night climbs are being offered at Absecon, Cape May and Tuckerton from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

It’s a fun way to spend a fall weekend, but the challenge is also a way to raise much needed funds to preserve the treasured landmarks, many of which have played an important role in New Jersey’s history by guarding mariners and protecting our coasts for over a century.

Their powerful roots are beginning to show in other ways, too. The Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse in Paulsboro is still part of the challenge, but will be closed for Coast Guard repairs and climbing due to much needed structural work.

For a full schedule, climbing fees and challenge information, visit