• Miles of uncrowded white sandy beaches extend to the horizon, separating the clear blue ocean and undulating grass-covered dunes.

    Fire Island

    National Seashore New York

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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.

Beachcombing

Shells on a Fire Island winter beach near Old Inlet.
Wintertime beach walks on Fire Island can provide good opportunities to look for seashells.
 

Beachcombing is an activity you can enjoy throughout the year on Fire Island. When ferry service is limited, you may still drive to either end of the island for access to the beach.

You are allowed to gather and take home up to two quarts of unoccupied seashells per day (for personal use only), although there are few days when you're likely to find such an abundance of discarded shells.

Always check to be sure that your shells—especially the univalves or snail shells—are not occupied by a new owner.

 
Broken shells and black egg case on sandy beach.

Can you guess what created the mysterious black object in the center of this photo?

Some of the treasures you find on the beach provide clues to the abundance of life in and on the sea. From marine plants to mollusks and crustaceans, to fish and birds, and even an occasional reptile or mammal. Perhaps your beachcombing will inspire you to learn more about Fire Island's plant and animal life.

Did You Know?

Aerial view of small community, Kismet, looking from the southwest, bay to the upper left and sandy beach to the lower right.

Seventeen pre-existing communities remain inside the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. Some early supporters of the national seashore were interested in its establishment to ensure that a proposed parkway down the middle of Fire Island would not be constructed. More...