Ohio’s Favorite Lighthouse

view of lake erie

When asking a stranger what first comes to mind when considering Ohio, you’d likely be met with a variety of responses. Corn fields, big cities, professional sports, roller coasters, and state parks might dominate the answers. But many people aren’t aware that Ohio is home to 18 lighthouses along the Lake Erie coastline. And among those stands Ohio’s favorite lighthouse: Marblehead. 

Sunset behind Marblehead Lighthouse in Ohio.
This shot, taken near sunset shows off Ohio’s favorite lighthouse.

Marblehead Quick Facts

Marblehead Light, at just around 50 feet, is dwarfed next to the more famous lights of the Atlantic. Cape Hatteras in North Carolina stands 208 feet and Saint Augustine along the Florida coast is 165. The light, constructed and opened in 1822, is the longest continuously operational light house on the Great Lakes. The light had beginnings as a whale oil lamp and was fully automated in 1946. During that time, the light was served by 15 light keepers, two of which were women. 

Cedar Point amusement park as seen from Marblehead Lighthouse.
From the lighthouse you can see the outline of Cedar Point in the distance.

The light is currently part of the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, under the control of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The grounds offers beautiful views of Lake Erie and Cedar Point.

Marblehead Lighthouse in Ohio, two views.
Close up view of the entrance to the lighthouse and a view of the top from the base.

When my children were little they always enjoyed climbing on the large rocks around the lighthouse (under my close observation of course). Benches and picnic tables are available on site and it’s a lovely place for a family picnic. There is plenty of lawn space for little ones to run and play. There are restrooms available as well. 

Keepers cottage at the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park in Ohio.
View of the onsite keepers cottage with the Marblehead Light visible above the roofline.

The park service normally offers seasonal tours of the lighthouse and keepers quarters. These have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID pandemic. More information on the park and the the history of the Marblehead Light is available at the state park website

Additional Resources on Ohio Lighthouses

If you are looking for additional information on other Ohio lighthouses consider visiting the Ohio section of the blog US Lighthouses. They provide historical information and pictures of all the Ohio lights.

Information sign at the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park.
An on site sign about the view from the light. From ground level you can easily make out Cedar Point in the distance. From the top of the lighthouse, you can see the Lake Erie islands.

And while you’re visiting northern Ohio, consider taking a trip to the islands. You can check out our visit to Kelleys Island, or click through for our visit to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. If you are interested in visiting the Ohio lights, two are located on South Bass and accessible on your visit.

Thanks for FindingOhio with us today on our visit to Ohio’s favorite lighthouse. As always, we appreciate you sharing our content on social media!