Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting Cape Forchu

What are the operating hours?

The Leif Erikson Trail and lighthouse grounds are open 24/7 year-round to walk and enjoy the observation decks. The café, gift shop, museum, and Climb the Light tours are open from mid-May to the end of September. Operating hours will be posted prior to the season opening.

Is there a fee to visit?

No, it’s free to park, walk the trails, enjoy the observation decks, and visit the museum inside the keeper’s residence building! There is a fee to climb the tower, which can be purchased at the tour registration desk.

Are pets allowed?

Absolutely! Pets are welcome on the lighthouse grounds and trail, provided they are kept leashed and you clean up after them. A dog waste station is located at the trails. Pets are allowed on the outdoor deck of the café; however, they are not permitted inside the keeper’s residence building or in the tower.

Is there parking for recreational vehicles and trailers?

Yes, there is parking along the roadway. Please note that oversized vehicles cannot drive up the hill to the upper lots as there’s no room to turn around.

Can I stay overnight in my RV or tent?

No, there is no parking permitted overnight anywhere onsite, including along the roadway. Camping of any kind is prohibited.

Can I have a picnic onsite?

The lighthouse grounds are a popular spot for picnics, and we have 6 picnic tables available. Please help us keep the site clean by using the waste bins provided on site.

Are there outdoor BBQs or a fire pit available?

There are no outdoor BBQs, but you are welcome to bring your own portable propane grill. We do not offer a fire pit and no fires are allowed due to the high winds and tall grass.

How long are the trails and how difficult is the terrain?

The Leif Erikson trail is a loop of approximately 0.5 kilometers, with a few small inclines. The first 400 feet is paved, while the rest of the trail is packed gravel with sections of loose stone.  At the upper parking lots, there is another short trail (300 feet long) that is steep and grassy, which leads to the highest point of the property and a panoramic view!

How accessible is the site?

Accessible parking is available in front of the Big Red Chair, which is near the accessible washrooms located in the Gift Shop building.  We offer a golf cart shuttle service for visitors with mobility issues (must be able to transfer to the golf cart seat).  We can drive you up the hill to the café, or on a tour around the trail. Unfortunately, the upstairs of the historic keeper’s residence building is not accessible; the museum can only be visited by climbing a staircase.

How can I take advantage of the golf cart service to get around the property?

You can call or text us at (902) 740-1680 and we can meet you with the cart. Alternatively, you can find a Visitor Experience Host at the Tour Registration desk inside the keeper’s residence building.

Can I use the grounds for my wedding or ceremony?

Yes, small events are often held onsite! Please fill out the events form on our website, and we will respond to you promptly.

Are there washrooms onsite?

There are two accessible washrooms at the back of the gift shop building and one washroom in the keeper’s residence building. During the summer months, there’s also a portable toilet located at the roadway.

Is smoking allowed onsite?

No smoking is permitted onsite. Butt disposal receptacles are provided at the parking areas.

Can I fly my drone?

Micro-drones (under 250 g) are permitted, as long as they are flown in a safe manner away from bystanders. To fly a larger drone, please call, text, or email prior to your visit for approval. Pilots are responsible for knowing the drone laws and abiding by Transport Canada’s regulations.

Does the lighthouse still light up at night?

Yes, it does!  Since it’s no longer essential for navigation, the light is no longer as bright as it once was.

Climb the Light

Can I climb the lighthouse on my own?

A tour guide is required to lead the way up the tower, due to the inability to pass on the narrow staircase and the space limitation in the lantern room.  If you’re not interested in hearing the guide explain the history, you can come for a Quick Climb where a guide will accompany you but give no narrative.

Do I need to book online, or can I just show up and climb?

Booking online in advance will guarantee a spot at your desired time. However, when we’re not busy with booked tours, we do offer Quick Climbs. Please keep in mind that we can only take 6 climbers at a time, so there could be a wait during busy times.

I’m in town for a limited time and all the tours online are booked – I really wanted to climb!

Please call or text us, and we’ll do our best to create another tour and squeeze you in.

Will you climb in all types of weather?

Rain and fog don’t stop us from climbing! What will stop us are very high winds or lightening. If you’ve booked online, we’ll contact you if climbs are cancelled. In the event of fog, we’re happy to reschedule your climb if desired.

Is there an age limit for children to climb?

There is no age limit, however, there is a height requirement of 48”. This is due to the height of the railing, the open spaces between the steps, and the ability to see the view once in the lantern room. It is not permitted to carry an infant or child, as safety protocols require both hands to be free and there is a 7 rung ladder to get into the lantern room.

I’m coming with my dog; can a pet go up in the lighthouse?

No pets are permitted in the tower. Safety protocols require both hands to be free and there is a 7 rung ladder to get into the lantern room.

Do you accommodate special requests, such as large groups, weddings, or private events?

Yes, we certainly can!  Please fill out the events form on our website, and we will respond to you promptly.