Guiding travelers to safety

Bodie Island Light Station sits at the end of South Nags Head and at the northern end of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Third time's a charm -- History of the light station

In 1837, the federal government determined that ships were in need of a light station on or near Bodie Island to set their position while navigating the dangerous cape (an area often known as the "graveyard of the Atlantic").  Construction of the first light station started in 1847, but the tower began to lean after being built on an unsupported brick foundation.  After failed afftepts to fix the problems, the first structure was abandoned in 1859. The second version of the lighthouse was built using better construction. However, it was destroyed in 1861 by Confederate troops who feared that Union forces would use the tower to survey the area and gain a military advantage. The current light station was completed in 1872.


The Bodie Island Light Station (located just a 20-minute bike ride from Gates' Getaway), is located at the end of a long road that opens onto a marsh -- a great spot to watch migrating birds and local wildlife.  The balck-and-white horizontal stripe design and conical tower are easily spotted day or night.

You can visit the top of the light station by climbing the 214 stairs to the top.  You'll be rewarded with a great view!   You can also visit the historic (and now remodeled) light keepers' house. Be sure to check the schedule as the light station is not open year round.  And, you need tickets (fee) to climb to the top.

Read more about Bodie Island Light Station here.