The Path From the Woods to The Castle Hill Light

Jane Neill-Hancock

Wayne, United States

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Castle Hill Lighthouse is located on Narragansett Bay in Newport, Rhode Island at the end of the historic Ocean Drive. It is an active navigation aid for vessels entering the East Passage between Conanicut Island and Aquidneck Island. The lighthouse was completed in 1890 on property formerly belonging to the naturalist, oceanographer, and zoologist Alexander Agassiz of Harvard University. Agassiz sold the land to the United States Government for the lighthouse for $1.00.

Although the lighthouse is not open to the public, the shoreline and cliff face where the lighthouse sits are accessible by several footpaths from the Castle Hill Inn and the Castle Hill Cove Marina. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 as Castle Hill Lighthouse.

From the viewpoint of my photo, you are standing near the tip of Aquidneck Island, looking at the top of the Castle Hill Light. The water beyond is Narragansett Bay, and the land beyond that is Conanicut Island.

When visiting Newport in August 2007, we followed the tourist directions to the Castle Hill Inn. Luckily the security guard at the gate is used to tourists driving up to the parking lot. He told me to park at the very end of the lot and look for a path through the woods.

We parked and found the path. The woods is rather dense and you travel quite a distance until you come out to a clearing. Look to your right and you see the top of the Lighthouse, as you see here. You follow the beaten path across the brown grass to the top of the light. There is a small and rickety wooden ladder that takes you down to the base of the light and the rocks below. If you follow the rocks to your left you come to a beach.

SOME path to the beach, right? Not me – I was thrilled to be standing at the top of the Light, but NO WAY was I climbing down that wooden ladder to the beach.

This photo was opened in ipiccy and I applied equalize and some highlights and shading to make it look more like a 1950s postcard.

Artwork Comments

  • Monnie Ryan
  • Jane Neill-Hancock
  • Jane Neill-Hancock
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