The Anclote Keys Light – one of the Gulf Coast’s skeletal lights that is a true survivor.
Built in 1887, the 102 ft (31 m) light is located on Anclote Key just west of the Anclote River and the city of Tarpon Springs.
The key is only accessible by boat, but even casual visitors can get a closer glimpse of the light by taking one of the Tarpon Springs boat tours that beach on Anclote Key.
The light is skeletal – comprising of a central tube that houses the staircase and a perimeter support structure. Currently, the tower is brown while the lantern at the top is black.
The light was automated in 1952 and was eventually deactivated 1984. The land was turned over to the state and added to Anclote Key Preserve State Park.
There was a lot of damage to the light from neglect and vandalism, but the light was restored and in 2003 it was relit using a reproduction fourth order Fresnel lens.
As said before, the only access is by boat, either personal or by one of the Tarpon Springs tours. Note however, they appear to drop people off south of the light and the 30 minutes they allow really isn’t enough to get all the way to the light and back. At least not when I’ve tried it.
All in all, this is one of the more fun lights to visit.