Crooked River Lighthouse
& US 98 Along Florida's Gulf Coast
It would be easy to miss a great landmark along US 98. I almost drove by the Crooked River Lighthouse, but managed to make a gravel-tossing turn just in time. A narrow dirt road leads off the highway to the lighthouse (which is on the north side of the road--the opposite side from the Gulf of Mexico). There's only one tiny sign, and it doesn't provide enough warning.
The Crooked River Lighthouse is located west of Carrabelle, Florida, off US 98.
Since 2006, restoration has been underway at the Crooked River Lighthouse. It's obvious the work has been a success. The old lighthouse, which was built between 1893 and 1895, appears to be in great shape today.
For $5, you can buy a ticket to climb the narrow spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse.
The Crooked River Lighthouse stands 103 feet tall. It was electrified in 1933, automated in 1952, and decommissioned in 1995. Its lens, a 4th order Fresnel, was made in Paris in 1894, and is now on display in New Orleans, at the Hale Boggs Federal Building.
US 98 West...
After the lighthouse, you've reached the very best part of US 98. From Carrabelle to Apalachicola, the highway spends most of its time at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. It's a beautiful drive, that remains uncluttered by development. There were some pesky orange cones providing contrast to the otherwise perfect view during my drive in June, 2009, but hopefully they'll be gone by the time you get there.
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