COROLLA — It will cost $12 to climb to the top of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse this year, but you can do it for free on Saturday.
The 148-year-old red brick lighthouse, which is still in use as a navigational aid, reopens for the 2023 season on Saturday. To mark the occasion, the Outer Banks-based nonprofit that owns the lighthouse will open it to all climbers ages 4 and up for free between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“Enjoy the beautiful grounds, the 220 steps to the top, the panoramic view of the northern Outer Banks, a unique elliptical brick path, and the Victorian stick style buildings” on the property, Outer Banks Conservationists said in a press release Tuesday, adding that the smaller lighthouse keeper’s house, which includes a museum shop, will also be open.
Besides the lighthouse’s original 1st order Fresnel lens, visitors can learn about the history of the lighthouse tower, the lives of those who worked as lightkeepers, and some of the shipwrecks the lighthouse was built to help prevent.
According to Outer Banks Conservationists, the lighthouse’s night marker has a 3 second-on, 17 second-off pattern. It was built in 1875 as an aid to navigators to fill the last remaining “dark space” on the East Coast.
First opened to the public in 1990, the lighthouse tower is now open every day of the year, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 30. After Saturday, the cost to climb the lighthouse is $12. Season passes are available.
All climbers must sign a liability waiver before climbing. Children younger than 4 are not allowed to climb on their own but may enter secured in a backpack. Leashed pets are welcome on the lighthouse grounds.