Point Abino Lighthouse juts out from the rocky shores of Lake Erie at the southern end of the peninsula it is named for, looking more like a castle than a lighthouse due to its unique shape and architecture.

The lighthouse was built in 1917 to serve as a beacon for increased shipping traffic at this end of the lake and operated until 1995. Shortly thereafter it was designated a National Historic Site.

A look at the structure helps you understand how it earned this title, its unusual shape consisting of a rectangular lower level tapering into a tall tower, and classic detailing far more intricate than most lighthouses.

A raised concrete walkway leads from a connecting beach to where the lighthouse sits offshore and when water levels are high it looks like it is floating on the lake.

The city of Fort Erie has acquired the lighthouse and offers guided tours of the historic site, which happens to be the only way for the public to visit it, as it is hidden behind a private residential neighborhood.

Tours usually take place on certain dates each summer from June to September, but it remains to be determined whether tours will resume this year as they have been closed until further notice since 2020.

Visit the website for updates and availability before making the trip.

And if you don’t want to wait for tours to reopen, a paddle from one of the nearby public shores might be the best way to see the lighthouse this summer. Crystal Beach is not far away.

Be sure to follow the rules of the area when visiting. Respect social distancing measures by visiting with a small group and picking up your trash to leave the area as beautiful as you found it.