• 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

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  • 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 »

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?

Portrait of William Floyd, painted in 1792, with his Mastic plantation in background.

In 1790, William Floyd - one of New York's four signers of the Declaration of Independence - was the largest slave holder in Suffolk County, New York, at one time. The 1790 U. S. Census indicates that 14 slaves lived on his Mastic plantation. More...