Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day
Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »
Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »
Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers
Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.
Winter Hikes and Special Programs at William Floyd Estate and on Fire Island
Contact: Paula Valentine, 631-687-4759
Although many Fire Island National Seashore facilities are battened down for the winter, the park and its partners have scheduled a variety of guided walks and other special programs for this January and February, 2011. Most programs are free or include a nominal program fee. Each provides an opportunity to explore and enjoy your public lands.
While the 613-acre William Floyd Estate is closed over the winter, its grounds will be open for several special weekend tours. Naturalist MaryLaura Lamont is conducting a ranger-guided tour of the historic fields and woods, and trails to the salt marsh and bay on Sunday, January 23 and Saturday, January 29. Her Great Backyard Bird Walk is scheduled for Saturday, February 19 (rain/snow date: Sunday, February 20). Each of these free programs starts at 9:00 a.m. and involves a 2- to 3-mile roundtrip hike. Call the William Floyd Estate at 631-399-2030 for more information.
Fire Island National Seashore's Wilderness Visitor Center is open daily over the winter, weather permitting. Ranger-guided walks on the beach include a Wilderness Hike for Nature Lovers on Saturday, February 12, and Exploring the Salt Marsh on Saturday, February 26, 9:00 a.m. to noon. Special children's programs in February focus on winter habitats and wildlife. Seaside Stories and Crafts: Wilderness Habitats will be offered on Saturday, February 5, at noon. The Junior Ranger Workshop: Winter Marsh Hike is scheduled for Saturday, February 19 at noon. Each of these programs is free. Park at Smith Point County Park, and meet at the Wilderness Visitor Center. Call 631-281-3010 for more information.
The Fire Island Lighthouse, open daily all year, is also providing special programs and tours. An Early Morning Tower Tour is planned for Saturday, January 22, at 6:30 a.m. Evening tower tours are offered Saturday, February 12 ("Lighthouses are for Lovers," $30/couple) and on Saturday, February 19 ($15/person). During Presidents Week, February 21-25, a daily children's activity will be offered at 11:00 a.m. The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society charges an interpretive program fee for these programs and for lighthouse tower tours. For reservations or more information about the Fire Island Lighthouse, call 631-661-4876.
For all outdoor programs, pack a snack, dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Bring a sense of adventure and explore the seashore in all its seasons!
See complete Calendar of Events and Activities or download a copy of Fire Island National Seashore's monthly programs.
Did You Know?
You might get to observe a number of birds on a ranger-guided walk at the William Floyd Estate: a blackburnian warbler perched on a tree branch, a woodcock flushed from the fields, or a bald eagle chasing an osprey with a fish over the salt marsh! More...