A lighthouse on a river? In Pennsylvania? But why?

Well, why not? Sure, the Sherman Memorial Lighthouse in Tionesta, PA is a few hundred miles away from the Atlantic Ocean and around an hour away from Lake Erie, but that just makes its presence in the PA Great Outdoors region that much more unique. It’s sort of like a dog wearing a hat. Dogs don’t need to wear hats. There’s no reason that a hat should ever be on a dog, but if someone yells, “Hey, look at that dog wearing a hat!” I’m going to look 10 times out of 10. The Sherman Memorial Lighthouse is like that, but much bigger and much cooler.

Completed in 2004, the lighthouse stands at 75-feet tall with 76 stairs and seven floors including the basement. And this is no thrown-together ramshackle of a lighthouse. The construction and planning that went into this landmark attraction are apparent inside and out. Each floor has its own personality and provides a unique experience that ties into the overall theme of the lighthouse. There’s a floor dedicated to the Sherman family’s heritage, a floor dedicated to lighthouse artwork, even a floor dedicated to lighthouse miniatures. And of course there’s a functioning light at the top. What sort of a lighthouse would it be if there wasn’t!

The only downside to this pillar of peculiarity is its limited availability. The lighthouse is only open and available for tours during a handful of weekends in the summer and fall. Like any good diva, the lighthouse knows how to keep its fans wanting more. You can find a list of these dates on the Tionesta Lions Club website,

Of course, there’s nothing keeping you from exploring the lighthouse grounds, which are a site to behold themselves. There’s a one-mile walking path around the peninsula where the lighthouse stands. From here you can see both the Allegheny River and the Tionesta Creek, as well as some fantastic views of woodland scenery.

So if you’re looking for an activity that is completely unique and fun for the whole family, make your way towards Tionesta, and the Sherman Memorial Lighthouse. Take a picture and post it to social media, then watch as your friends and family try to guess where you’re at. Unless they’ve been there themselves, you’ll probably have them stumped.

Find more information to plan your trip to the Forest County online at or call (814) 849-5197.

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