Tower Rules

Welcome to the Tower at Wood Island Lighthouse!

We reopened the tower to visitors in 2008 after new railings were installed to reduce the risk of falls and to provide a sturdy hand support for you to make the climb up the stairs. Climbing the tower is a fun experience with the reward of an exhilarating view from the top. It does, however, involve a steep climb up 60 stairs to heights that present dangers and may not be for everyone.

For your protection and safety FOWIL has developed the following rules and safety requirements. You must agree to comply with these rules and to follow the instructions of the Tower Guide as a condition to going up the Tower. FOWIL reserves the right to deny access to any guest where in the sole judgment of the Tower Guide that guest may pose a hazard to him or herself or to other guests. Neither FOWIL nor its volunteers assumes any risk or responsibility for your safety on this tower visit.

  • No more than 6 visitors may ascend the Tower at any one time.
  • Visitors may only go up the Tower with a Tower Guide – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • No bare feet. Appropriate footwear must be worn and must fit firmly on your feet – No flip-flops or clogs.
  • No back packs.
  • Camera cases are allowed, but we recommend that they be worn across the chest to prevent accidental loss.
  • Must be 10 years or older.
  • Must be accompanied by adult who accepts responsibility for their safety and conduct.
Climbing the Tower
  • Proceed as instructed by the Tower Guide in single file.
  • Go up at a normal, steady pace. Do not stop or interrupt the flow of others.
  • You should not encounter others on the stairs. If others are descending the stairs allow the entire group to come completely down the stairs before beginning your own climb.
  • The last 9 steps are a more narrow wrought iron stair case. Climb carefully, one person at a time.
At the Top


  • At the top of the iron staircase you will go through an opening or hatch in the floor of the Lantern Room. Watch your step as you climb through and ALWAYS BE AWARE OF WHERE THE OPENING IS while you are in the Lantern Room.
  • To go out onto the circular walkway/platform that rings the top of the lighthouse it is necessary to crawl through a 2-foot square hatch that is only a few inches off the ground.

Wait until the Tower Guide has opened the hatchway door and has instructed you on how to go through the hatch. If you do not feel comfortable going out on the exterior walkway, you can see the view from inside the Lantern Room and may stay there. BE ALWAYS AWARE of the floor opening through which you climbed up into the Lantern Room. Out on the walkway, always grip the railing and watch your footing.   Hold onto your child. ABSOLUTELY NO CLIMBING ON THE HAND RAILING. ABSOLUTELY NO RUNNING, SHOVING, HORSEPLAY, OR ATTEMPTS TO SCARE OR ALARM OTHER GUESTS.

Descending the Stairs

In order to accommodate all our guests who want the tower experience, our stay at the top is limited. The Tower Guide will direct you when it is time to leave.

  • When descending the iron staircase, it is safest to descend backwards. The Tower Guide will demonstrate if necessary.
  • Going down, proceed at a slow but steady pace. Be respectful of those above you.
  • Keep a firm grip on the railings on the way down. If you need help, ask the Tower Guide to assist you.