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Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

The Marblehead Lighthouse is one of Lake Erie's best known and most-photographed landmarks. It is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse during the summer season for spectacular views of the lake and its islands in the distance. History buffs will enjoy stopping by the replica lifesaving station with museum of US Coast Guard activities and visiting the gift shop. The area also offers picnic areas and restrooms.

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Tours of the Lighthouse (Memorial Day-Labor Day)

Noon-4pm every day in summer; $3 per person (cash only); children 5 & under free. Tours start every 20 minutes.

It is 77 steps on a winding staircase to the top of the lighthouse. Tour tickets can only be purchased onsite with cash, in person, on the day of your visit. The first tour is at Noon; the last tour leaves at 3:40pm. 

The lighthouse tours may be cancelled during times of high wind, heavy storms, and lightning. The museums and gift shop may also be closed during those times.


The grounds surrounding Marblehead Lighthouse offer excellent picnicking with scenic Lake Erie views. Tables are supported by concrete pads. Restrooms are available. There is no cost to tour the grounds, livesaving station, or gift shop. 


Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes, has guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead Peninsula since 1822.

Read more History about Marblehead Lighthouse

Natural Features

The park is located at the tip of Marblehead Peninsula, a narrow finger of land which juts into Lake Erie. One of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, Lake Erie is shallow, with its depth ranging from only 25-30 feet in the western basin to an average 120 feet in the eastern basin. The lake’s shallow depth and lopsided basin account for Lake Erie’s sudden and violent storms. Marblehead Peninsula is located on the fringe of the western basin. The rocky shoreline of Marblehead Peninsula is particularly dangerous to sailors, even in good weather, with a depth of merely 10-12 feet just 400 feet from shore.

During the last glacial period, deep depressions left by massive ice sheets formed Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes as the glaciers retreated and meltwater filled in the huge basins. Many of the interesting features of the Lake Erie islands and shoreline are also the result of the scraping and sculpting power of the boulder-studded glacial ice.

Geologic Guidebook: Parks in the Lake Erie Region

Along the Marblehead Peninsula shoreline and on the islands, horizontal benches of limestone bedrock were exposed by the glaciers and remain nearly free of vegetation. These areas, known as alvar ecosystems, support unique communities of rare, hardy plants. Nearby Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve is an alvar environment featuring a number of endangered plants including the globally rare Lakeside Daisy. May is the best time to see this state and federally listed plant in bloom.

Contact & Hours

Park Hours: 6am to 11pm daily. Visitors are permitted to actively engage in legitimate recreational activities outside these hours. If you have questions, call the park office.

Park Office: (419) 734-4424; Office located at East Harbor State Park

Tours: Daily, weather permitting, Memorial Day through Labor Day

Museum, Gift Shop, and Life-saving Station: Open seasonally; managed by the Historical Society

Park Manager: William Monnett

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Phone Number

(419) 734-4424