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 Horton Bluff Range Front, NS    
Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.
Description: The Horton Bluff Lighthouse is situated on the west side of the Avon River near its mouth. The original 1851 structure, featured a light shown from a window of three panes that projected from the roof of the keeper's dwelling. Three lamps were shown from the window. One lamp with an eighteen-inch reflector was directed down channel to the north, while a lamp with a twelve-inch reflector exhibited its light up the river to the east, and the third lamp operated without a reflector.

Robert King was the first keeper of the lighthouse, and Charles Rathburn was appointed his successor in October, 1870. When Keeper Rathburn passed away in 1879, his wife was made responsible for the light.

The first lighthouse burned down in April, 1883, and five months later, its replacement, a square wooden pyramidal tower with attached dwelling, was completed. Mrs. Rathburn remained keeper of the light until 1921.

The present Horton Bluff Lighthouse was built in 1961 along with two keeper's dwellings, and the previous lighthouse was unceremoniously pushed over the cliff and burned after seventy-eight years of service. The 1961 lighthouse features an 8.7 meter high tower rising from one corner of a square, flat-roofed building. An orange vertical stripe, visible from the water, is painted on the tower. Apparently the color of the stripe has faded or is a recent change as others, including the Coast Guard, call it a red stripe.

The light sits atop Horton Bluff with the Avon river sixty-five meters below. This structure is designated as a front range light, and its companion rear range light is a skeleton tower located 539 meters away.


  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, various years.
  2. Lighthouses & Lights of Nova Scotia, E.H. Rip Irwin, 2003.

Location: Located near Hantsport on the Evangeline Trail, marking the west entrance to the Avon River.
Latitude: 45.1085
Longitude: -64.2253

For a larger map of Horton Bluff Range Front Lighthouse, click the lighthouse in the above map.

Travel Instructions: Take Exit 9 off Highway 101 (Avonport) continuing straight through the roundabout. Proceed 0.2 km and turn right on Bluff Road. Continue 2.5 km (1.6 miles) and turn left onto Lighthouse Road. Horton Bluff Front Range Lighthouse is located across railway tracks, a distance of 0.5 km (0.3 miles) down Lighthouse Road.

The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.

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