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Seahorse Key lighthouse opens for annual festival

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By Kitty Land, Special to the Beacon

By Ada Lang

The Cedar Key Lighthouse on Seahorse Key is situated on the top of a steep hill looking out over the Gulf of Mexico with a view that is nothing short of breathtaking. The lighthouse is only open to the public three days during the year: the Saturday following July 4 and the two days of the annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival. The weather this past Saturday was beautiful; the short boat trip to the island quite pleasant.

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The lighthouse itself is no longer active as a light-house. The lens has been removed from the tower. A photo of the lens hangs on the wall inside the light-house next to the spiral stairs leading up into the tower. The tower is not a tall one. The height of the hill makes that unnecessary. Two short flights of stairs ends at a short door leading out to a widow’s walk that goes all the way around the tower. The day was clear and Cedar Key was plainly visible in the distance. Looking out toward the Gulf of Mexico, the power station at Crystal River was also visible.

Seahorse Key is also home to several species birds and other wildlife. Most prominent were the osprey that call the island home. Sea birds flew over-head and perched on the channel markers approaching the island. Blue crabs were visible in the water. An added bonus to the entire trip was a dolphin keeping pace with the boat for the first part of the trip to the island.