HUDSON — The first tour of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse will kick off the summer season on July 13. Monthly tours will be offered on the second Saturday of the month with departures from either Hudson or Athens public boat launches. Tour dates are July 13; Aug. 10; Sept. 14; and Oct. 12. Departure times from Hudson are 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2; and from Athens, 11:30 a.m. 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Located in the middle of the Hudson River between the Village of Athens and the City of Hudson, the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse was built in 1874 (then called the “Hudson Light”) to guide ships safely around the Middle Ground Flats. The lighthouse is owned and operated by the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society (HALPS), and is responsible for the restoration, maintenance and preservation of the lighthouse. The United States Coast Guard maintains the actual light that serves as an active aid for navigation on the Hudson River.
Through the years, the lighthouse has had nine keepers, including one woman, Nellie Best in 1918. Emil J. Brunner was the last civilian keeper, and kept the light from 1930 to 1949. Lighthouse volunteers will share some of the stories of the keepers, and the ecology of the Hudson River. Visitors can make their way to the “widow’s walk” for a 360 degrees view of the Hudson River.
The lighthouse is accessed by a short boat ride from either the Athens Village Riverfront Park, Athens, New York or from the Henry Hudson River Front Park, Hudson, New York. Reservations can be made on-line at https://www.hudsoncruises.com/ or by phone at 1-518-500-2524. Tickets are: Adult (12+): $25 for non-members; Adult Members (Member ID Required): $15; Youth (3-11): $15 for non-members; and Youth Members (Member ID Required): $5.
For more about the history and preservation of the lighthouse, visit www.hudsonathenslighthouse.org, or call 518-828-5294. Private tours for organizations and groups of 18 or more are arranged on an individual basis.