Pennsylvania Great Outdoors: Lighthouse Island’s Peace Park

Adam McCully

Adam McCully

Published February 24, 2023 5:40 am
Last Updated: March 28, 2024 5:32 pm
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TIONESTA, Pa.Lighthouse Island in Tionesta is best known for the Sherman Memorial Lighthouse which is Pennsylvania’s tallest and only inland working lighthouse.

It towers 7 stories or an impressive 55 feet and has a 16 feet diameter.

The lighthouse is located at the confluence of Tionesta Creek and Allegheny River and was constructed in 2004 as a family memorial by Jack Sherman. Sherman told Erie Times-News that “this community has been good to me, and I’m one of those people who believe in giving back.”

The second floor is home to displays dedicated to the Sherman family’s history.

The Tionesta Lions Club offers public tours several times throughout the year. The 23-acre Lighthouse Island is open to public use and offers a boat launch, fishing pier, one-mile walk/bike trail, and several attractions in the Peace Park.

The island has a rich history. Tionesta Sand and Gravel once dredged sand and gravel from the Allegheny River that was used in numerous projects, including a local bridge over the Allegheny River and in the construction of Kinzua Dam.

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The entrance to the Lighthouse Island Peace Park welcomes visitors with a beautiful sign featuring a dove with an olive branch, along with Prince of Peace and Angel of Love statues, as well as two angels promoting the messages of hope and joy. Visitors will also find a Cross of Freedom, a replica of the Statue of Liberty, a replica of the Liberty Bell, a replica crib dam, a veteran’s memorial, and a chapel. The Cross of Freedom is a heraldic two-barred cross, consisting of a vertical line crossed by two shorter horizontal bars known as the Cross of Lorraine (French: Croix de Lorraine). The Statue of Liberty stands proudly along the Allegheny River as a symbol of freedom for all.

The Veteran’s Memorial is to honor of all branches of the U.S. military and all who served America. The chapel offers a peaceful place for reflection and prayer. It will undoubtedly be a popular location for wedding, prom, and family photos as well. There is also a replica model of 1893 Timber Crib Dam at the southern end of the island along the trail.

The next time you are in Forest County take a few hours to explore Lighthouse Island and nearby Tionesta Market Village, Tionesta Lake, and the Forest County Historical Society.

Find more fun things to do, see, and experience in Pennsylvania’s Great Outdoors region online at VisitPAGO.com.

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