Whether you’re reading this post on a balmy Spring day or on a day best spent indoors, it’s time to start planning this year’s RV camping trips. May we make a suggestion for something out of the ordinary? Why not go in search of the many lighthouses that ring Lake Ontario, and enjoy some RV camping along the way?
Because we know we just lit a spark in the hearts of lighthouse fans, we’ve put together some facts about Lake Ontario lighthouses and the RV camping available nearby. Our Lake Ontario lighthouse travelogue follows the New York shoreline, traveling northeast from Fort Niagara.
Niagara Falls Area
While visiting lighthouses near Niagara Falls, you’ll find convenient RV camping at Four Mile Creek State Park. Because this park is adjacent to Fort Niagara State Park, you’ll also be close to our first Lake Ontario lighthouse, part of Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site. Take time to enjoy this nicely-preserved fort, as well as the lighthouse that was decommissioned in 1975.
Just up the shoreline in Golden Hill State Park, be sure to visit the Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse, built in the 1870s. Traveling east on Lake Ontario State Parkway, you’ll also see Braddock Point Lighthouse, which is now a privately owned bed & breakfast.
Just down the road near Rochester, NY, picturesque Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse is open for tours May to November. Camp at gorgeous Webster Park campground in Rochester, where you can hike, fish from the pier and enjoy stunning Lake Ontario views.
Rochester East to Cape Vincent
Continue east from Rochester along Hwy 104 to Sodus Bay, where two lighthouses stand guard. Tour Sodus Point Light, where you will also have a view of Sodus Outer Lighthouse, way out at the end of a pier.
From Sodus Bay, travel east to the H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego, NY for a fascinating trip into maritime history and a view of the Oswego West Pierhead Light. While in Oswego, take in a delightful sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario at Sunset RV Park.
Don’t leave the area without a trip to where the Salmon River meets the Lake at Selkirk. That’s where you’ll find Salmon River Lighthouse Marina, home to historic Selkirk Lighthouse.
Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence River Area
It’s a fast one hour trip along the lakeshore on NY-104 and NY-3E to where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River. Along the way, you’ll see signs that lighthouses man the shoreline at Horse Island, Galloo Island and East Charity Shoal on Henderson Bay, but they can only be viewed from the air or by boat. If you’re hoping for easier access to historic lighthouses, stop to view the small breakwater tower at Cape Vincent, as well as beautiful Tibbetts Point Lighthouse in the same town.
The Thousand Islands Area within the St. Lawrence River is home to our last group of Lake Ontario lights. The best way to see these lights is from one of the charter boat tours operating out of Alexandria Bay. Plan to see Rock Island Light, Sunken Rock Lighthouse, Sisters Island Lighthouse and Crossover Island Light. For a view of one more area lighthouse, travel upriver on NY-12 then NY-37 to Ogdensburg. A riverside park there gives views of the Ogdensburg Harbor Light. To help you make reservations for camping along the St. Lawrence, here’s a well-written guide to Thousand Islands area campgrounds.
Beginning to see the light about the joys of RV camping as you go in search of Lake Ontario lighthouses? It’s a fascinating way to spend your next motorhome camping trip, so don’t wait to start planning your Lake Ontario itinerary.
Photo credits: The picture of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse is by Matthew D. Wilson from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.