New Backcountry Camping procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »
Some of Fire Island's primary dunes east of Watch Hill are as high as 40 feet. Most of the primary dune line on the island, however, is much smaller. Behind many of the primary dunes lies a series of crescent-shaped secondary dunes, with a low interdunal swale in between.
Dunes provide much-needed protection to back-barrier environments (including human development) against severe wave, wind, and storm events. In addition, these geomorphic features provide critical habitat to a variety of migratory birds and mammals.
Dune vegetation is very important for the formation and stabilization of dune complexes on barrier islands. Both the root system and exposed vegetation restrict sand movement around plants, helping to secure the dune.
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Did You Know?
Tiny insectivorous plants called sundews (Drosera rotundifolia and D. intermedia) may be found in the low moist swales between dunes in the Fire Island wilderness area. Sundew gets its name from the glistening sticky substance on its leaves that traps ants and other small insects. More...