Lighthouses of the Seaway Trail: Trip 1

Seaway Trail, NY
August 7-12, 1998


I was planning on being in Buffalo, NY from August 6 - 16, 1998. So I left Raleigh, NC about 2:00pm on the 6th. I drove until about 10:00pm...made it all the way to Morgantown, WV. So the next morning we got up at 6:00am, and were back on our way. We decided to stop in Erie, PA to see the Presque Isle Lighthouse. This is located in Presque Isle State Park. Entrance to the park is free, the lighthouse is off the main road just before the bridge into the animal sanctuary.

Note: There is also the Erie Pierhead Light in Presque Isle State Park, but we found that one a year ago, so did not visit it this time. These are previous pictures.

There is parking right in front of the lighthouse. The house is a private residence, so please only view the lighthouse from the beach view. You have to trudge through the sand around the dune to get a decent shot of it.

The next light we set out to view was the Erie Land Light. This light eluded us for a while. We knew from a book, that the light was right off of Route 5, however after traveling north on 5 for a bit, we had still not seen Lighthouse Dr. So after a while of not being able to find it, we stopped for a map. What we found out was that Lighthouse Dr. was off of a section of Route 5 that was closed due to road construction. In Pennsylvania, they love to close roads, even if they aren't working on them. So I just pretended like I fit under the category of "Local Traffic Only" and went by the sign. Sure enough, there was Lighthouse Drive. Go to the end of that, and there is the light on the left.

I had intentions of stopping at the Barcelona and Dunkirk Lighthouses, but ran out of time. I was supposed to stop at the mall to pick up a tux for a wedding I was in on the 8th, so I never had a chance to.

August 11,1998

I decided to head back south of Buffalo to find / photograph a few more lighthouses I had missed on the way into Buffalo. We head west out of Buffalo on the I-90 towards Erie, PA. You get off at exit 60 (Westfield) and make a right onto Route 394 just after the toll booths. Head down to the first light, and make a right onto Route 5, and the Barcelona Lighthouse (This is a private residence, so do not trespass.) is immediately on your left. I pulled off into the marina's parking lot, you can get some very good pictures from there. You can also walk down towards the water to get a little bit more distant shot of the lighthouse.

The next one we visited was the Dunkirk Lighthouse. Stay on Route 5, and It is just up the road maybe 10-15 minutes. It is a little ways into the City of Dunkirk. Follow the signs for Point Drive and Fort Gratiot State Park. Once onto Point Dr, just keep following it into the park. Stay to the left at the fork and you will see the tower behind some trees. You can turn into the parking lot. While I was there, I spoke with the two gentlemen that were running the place. Unfortunately, I arrived there too late to go inside. I did get to take a bunch of pictures of the lighthouse and other nautical memorabilia on the grounds.

Once at the Dunkirk Lighthouse, the curators gave us better directions to the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse. We continued north along Route 5 until we arrived into the town of Evans Center. We followed a sign off of Route 5 for Sturgeon Point. Since we were coming up from the south, we made a left onto the street. We followed the street a short distance until we came to Lake Shore Road, then made a right, and it was on the left hand side.

We continued to follow Route 5 into Buffalo. Since we were coming up from the South, I figured that we would see all the "other" lights around the Buffalo waterfront. We started with the South Buffalo Southside Light. The next lights were off of the Coast Guard Station at the end of Fuhrman Blvd. From the tip, near the Buffalo Main Light sits the Buffalo Breakwater (Old Bottle Light), then out in the water,  you can see the Horseshoe Reef Light, Buffalo Intake Crib Light, the Buffalo Breakwater Light.  Its funny how many people pass right through Buffalo heading to Canada in search of Lighthouses...and miss all of these! We had photographed the Buffalo Main Light on a prior trip.

August 12, 1998

We left Buffalo, NY via the I-90 Eastbound en-route to the I-81 Northbound. This interchange is in Syracuse, NY. We then took the I-81 north to the Henderson exit. (exit 41) (Route 178)  Made a right at the end of the exit ramp and followed that Route 178 to Henderson Harbor.  Route 178 will eventually come to Route 3 (Seaway Trail). Continue heading straight, when you cross over Route 3, this will became Military Road. Keep on Military Road until you come to a fork in the road. There will be a sign that says the Lighthouse Road is to the left, follow that. You will drive down that road for quite a while, be careful, we spotted deer. Eventually that road will come to an end, and there will be the Stony Point Lighthouse. This is a private residence, so do not trespass. We ended up looking for this lighthouse for over an hour. I hope I made these directions fairly clear so others wont have to waste their time.

The next lighthouse on our little trip was the Selkirk Lighthouse. We followed Route 3 west to the town of Pulaski (Some books say Port Ontario.) You will be on Route 3 for a good 20 minutes or so. Watch for County Route 5 (Lake Road), there will be a sign showing Co. Rte. 5 and pointing to the left, you need to go right onto Route 5. This will take you down Lake Road and lead you right to the Selkirk Lighthouse.

Next lighthouse: Oswego West Pierhead . Head back up County Route 5, make a right onto Route 3. Follow Route 3 until you see a sign for Route 104B, take that to the right and follow that until it drops you off onto Route 104. Make sure you follow those to the right so you head towards Oswego. Once you head more towards the town of Oswego, watch your speed, The cops always radar, I know, I spent two and a half years here at SUNY Oswego. Route 104 will turn into Bridge Street, once on the other side of the Oswego River, make a right onto West 2nd Street. Follow this up to the very end and you will see the Oswego Marina. This will be your best vantage point. The lighthouse sits out on the breakwall. I stopped at the marina and talked with the person sitting in the little booth, she allowed me to drive out to the end of the pier to take a few pictures. (**This lighthouse, if you recall, is one of pictures I lost when my film wasn't quite loaded correctly.)

Jump back onto Route 104, again paying attention to your speed, heading west towards Rochester. The next lighthouse you will be looking for is Old Sodus Point and Sodus Pierhead. I believe there is a good 37 miles between the two. Watch for Route 14. Make a right onto Route 14, and follow it to the village or Sodus Point. Make sure you follow Route 14, it does a few zig-zags, but if you follow the signs, you will be fine. Make a left onto Ontario Street (at fire hall) and follow it to the end, there will be the lighthouse on the Old Sodus Point Lighthouse on the right. From the grounds, you can see the Sodus Pierhead Light. If you follow the lakefront, it will lead you to a small park where you can walk out to the lighthouse.

Once again, back out to Route 104, and head west. This time, follow 104 completely into Rochester. You will be looking to make a right onto Lake will be the same corner the big Kodak building is on. As you head north on Lake Ave., look for Holy Cross Church, it will be on your right. Make a right into the parking lot, and the Charlotte-Genesee Light is in the back of the parking lot.

To get to the next light, make a left out of the lot, and jump onto the Lake Ontario State Parkway. You will be on this for quite a bit, the lighthouse is just west of Braddock Bay. Look for Lighthouse Drive exit, and make a right. Go to the very end of the street, and you can see the Braddock Point Lighthouse off to the right. Or, if you make a right onto the street just before the end of Lighthouse Drive, and it will be a few houses up on the left. This is a private residence, so do not trespass. You can get a few good shots from the street, or climb down onto the rocks at the end of Lighthouse Drive, however, if you have a boat, that will give you the best photo. (This is the other lighthouse that I screwed up the film for, so I apologize for having no picture.)

To get to the last lighthouse of our trip, head back west on the Lake Ontario State Parkway, and follow it to the very end. Then head west on Route 18 to Route 269. Make a right onto Route 269, then a left onto Lower Lake Road. You will be looking for signs to Golden Hill State Park. Take the camping entrance rather than the main entrance. This will drop you off right at Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse.

Trip Notes:

That concluded our trip of a good portion of the Seaway Trail. However, there is another lighthouse 30 miles west of the Thirty Mile is Old Fort Niagara Light. We visited that one during Christmas of 1997, so we did not stop there again. This trip took us a whole day, we left at 8:30am and arrived home (In NY, not NC) about 9:30pm. This also included some searching for Stony Point, stopping at my college in Oswego, etc. So you might be able to shave a couple of hours off the trip. It was probably about 350-500 miles? I will add them up a little better when I have more time.

Although in this trip I didn't have time for the Thousand Island's lighthouses, my sister did offer a picture of Tibbet's Point Light for this page. I will cover those lights one day, who knows, maybe even sometime in the summer of '99.

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