Esopus Meadow LighthouseTake a tour to the Esopus Meadow Lighthouse with the Hudson River Maritime Museum!

It’s no surprise that New York City, which boasts five hundred miles of coastline, is directly shaped by the water that surrounds it. Situated on one of the largest natural harbors in the world, it once required many lighthouses to aid maritime navigators during their nautical journeys.

While a number of such fixtures are no longer active, they are still a sight to behold — not only for their architectural and aesthetic legacy, but also for their history.

Along the Hudson River, there are seven lighthouses that you can still see today:

1. Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

Hudson Athens lighthousePhoto by Katy Pearce courtesy of Preservation League of NYS

This red brick and granite lighthouse, situated between Hudson and Athens, was constructed in 1874 as a marker of the Middle Ground Flats, a former sandbar ridge. The lighthouse’s unique shape and the granite caisson on which it was built upon help protect its structural integrity.

The lighthouse remains active today and is noted for its working fog bell — one of the last remaining in the United States. Inside, you can find a spiral staircase, along with artifacts, historical photos and other memorabilia that outline the history of the lighthouse.