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.
Fire Island Wilderness
The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness contains a variety of barrier island ecosystems in a relatively natural condition. It is the only federally designated wilderness in the State of New York, and is just a short drive from New York City. At 1,380 acres, it is also one of the smallest wilderness areas managed by the National Park Service.
From March 15 through Labor Day, pets are not permitted in the Fire Island Wilderness area or on the beach in front of the wilderness.
The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness Act, Public Law 96-585, December 23, 1980, designated approximately 1,363 acres as wilderness in Fire Island National Seashore, and identified 18 more acres as potential wilderness additions.
In October 1999, a Federal Register notice announced that 17 acres of potential wilderness by that time fully complied with wilderness standards, and were officially designated as wilderness.
Approximately 1 acre of potential wilderness exists within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore: the nature trail at Smith Point, which runs behind the dunes for about ½ mile from the Wilderness Visitor Center to the ocean beach; and the area of Old Inlet.
The Wilderness Act was signed into law on September 3, 1964, just a week before the establishment of Fire Island National Seashore. Celebrate both in 2014!
Did You Know?
Whales and other marine mammals live in the ocean south of Fire Island. Occasionally, they are can be spotted from shore, and rarely a dead whale will wash ashore. More...