View the beauty of Florida’s Forgotten Coast from an elevated perspective! Come explore two of Franklin County’s most incredible and important pieces of maritime history. Climb the Cape St. George and Crooked River Lighthouses and learn the importance they served to the area’s cotton and lumber export, as well as the oystermen and fishermen who also greatly depended on their guiding light. Have fun, see you at the top!
Cape St. George Light
First constructed in 1833 near the western tip of Little St. George and standing at 65 feet tall, was the very first Cape St. George Light. After three reconstructions and a move in location the third reconstruction finally collapsed on October 22, 2005. In 2008, the fourth reconstruction took place with the help of the St. George Light Association, composed of volunteers, who won state and federal grants and retrieved 24,000 bricks from the previous lighthouse that were used in the interior lining of the tower. They used the original plans from the original 1833 Lighthouse and decided that the location of the replica be in the center of St. George Island. Later in 2009, a replica of the light keeper’s house was built and now serves as a gift shop and museum.
Given the Certificate of Excellence in 2017 on TripAdvisor, visitors commented “Great place, a must see”, “Amazing Views”, “Great Place to visit- a family favorite” and many more positive reviews. The Cape St. George Lighthouse, Keeper’s House Museum, and St. George Lighthouse Associations mission and vision is to preserve and educate locals and visitors about the important historic contributions that the Lighthouse and its Keepers have made to the Apalachicola area. Their goal is to make it the most frequently visited Lighthouse in Florida’s Forgotten Coast and provide the best educational experience possible.
The St. George Light is located at 2B East Gulf Beach Drive on St. George Island. Their hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 5pm, closed on Thursdays and open Sunday from Noon to 5pm. For a small fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children 16 and under, you can climb the 92 stairs up to the top for an amazing view of beautiful St. George Island, Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay.
Crooked River Lighthouse
A guiding light to fishermen, oystermen and the like for over 100 years, the Crooked River Lighthouse, also known as the Carrabelle Light, stands where it was originally built in 1895, replacing the three that were destroyed by hurricanes on Dog Island in 1873. Standing at 103 feet, made out of iron and steel, this sturdy lighthouse is a beacon of history to Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Rated 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, some of the visitors have commented, “Uniquely Different”, “Great stop for history buffs”, “What A View”, “Just Fun!” and many more wonderful comments.
The historic structure was almost auctioned off before the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association and the City of Carrabelle took ownership and created a public park that now surrounds it. The landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With the support of public and private entities, the restoration of the lighthouse was completed in 2007. Tucked away in the beautiful serene forest habitat, the lighthouse features a recreation and picnic area with a pavilion, picnic tables, children’s playground and a native plant garden. In 2009, grant funding allowed for the construction of the light keeper’s house that now stands as a museum, gift shop and headquarters for the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association.
The Crooked River Lighthouse is located on 1975 Hwy 98 W in Carrabelle. The lighthouse is open for climbs Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. The Keeper’s House Museum and Gift Shop is open Wednesday through Sunday from Noon to 5pm. For a small fee of $5 per person, you can climb the 138 steps all the way to the top for a gorgeous view of the Apalachicola Bay, St. George Sound and scenic Tate’s Hell State Forest.
Photo of Cape St. George Light on St. George Island provided by Issac Lang.