Ready to travel back in time? It’s Maryland Lighthouse Challenge weekend

If you enjoy beautiful views, exploring the past and are up for a road trip, consider joining this weekend’s 12th Maryland Lighthouse Challenge.

Participants are invited to visit 10 lighthouses scattered around the state, as well as the Lightship Chesapeake, which is moored in Baltimore.

“It is quite a challenge. It’s doable in two days,” said Cathy Lewis, one of the volunteers helping with the event put on by the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

The group has put together driving directions that will take you to every lighthouse in the challenge, as well as two bonus ones, if you choose.

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The Cove Point Lighthouse in Calvert County is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. It was built in 1828. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

The cool thing is, you can visit as few or as many as you like, although fees and schedules vary, and you’ll take home a free souvenir from each.

“The ones that you do visit, you’ll get a little token that you were there. If you do make all of them, then there’s a bonus,” Lewis said.

The northernmost lighthouse on the list is in Havre de Grace, and several are in Southern Maryland.

Some are conical towers, others are shaped like hexagons, and one is a wooden bell tower.

Lewis said, to her, lighthouses have special appeal.

“I think they’re charming … it’s visiting the past, you know?”

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Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is Maryland’s most recognizable lighthouse, and it needs serious repairs. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Thomas Point lighthouse

The Thomas Point lighthouse is a National Historical Landmark. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

rocks

The lighthouse has rocks on two sides to protect it from ice. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Thomas Point lighthouse

A view of the lighthouse from the dock. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

the base of the Thomas Point lighthouse

The foundation is showing lots of rust and decay. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

THomas Point lighthouse supports

The metal supports need work. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

cracked beam

A cracked wooden beam on the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

view from the top

One of the gorgeous views from the lighthouse’s top level. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

bulb

The light in the Thomas Point lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Thomas Point lighthouse

Another view from the first level. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Thomas Point lighthouse

The foghorn at the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Thomas Point lighthouse

John Potvin of the U.S. Lighthouse Society looks at the lighthouse light. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Thomas Point Lighthouse

More rusting, rotting metal supports. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

parlor

The parlor of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

view of the bay

A view of the Bay Bridge from the boat Audacious, heading toward the lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

view from the boat

A view on the boat Audacious, heading from Annapolis to the Thomas Point lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

rocks

If you look close, you can see the initials that people have carved into the rocks around the lighthouse over the decades. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

fog signal

The fog signal at the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

window view

You can tour the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse in summer and fall. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

stairs

Stairs and a ladder on the second level allowing access to the other levels. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

privy

The lighthouse’s privy, or outhouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

stove

The stove in the kitchen of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

lighthouse light

You can volunteer to work on the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

stairs

The spiral staircase. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

sign

The lighthouse was built in 1875. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

window view

Another view out the window. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

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Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
Thomas Point lighthouse
rocks
Thomas Point lighthouse
the base of the Thomas Point lighthouse
THomas Point lighthouse supports
cracked beam
view from the top
bulb
Thomas Point lighthouse
Thomas Point lighthouse
Thomas Point lighthouse
Thomas Point Lighthouse
parlor
view of the bay
view from the boat
rocks
fog signal
window view
stairs
privy
stove
lighthouse light
stairs
sign
window view

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