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 on Fire Island
Winter is a quieter, more peaceful time on Fire Island. The landscape is sometimes blanketed in soft, white snow with barren branches encased in ice glistening in the sun. If you're properly prepared, you can experience the stunning beauty of the seashore during the chilly season. Bundle up and join a ranger-led program such as a hike or bird walk, or bring your children to an indoor Junior Ranger program. If you visit on your own, keep in mind that very few public facilities are open on Fire Island during the winter, and those that are open usually keep shorter winter hours.
Winter is a time for wildlife on Fire Island. White-tailed deer sport their dull winter coats, snowy owls are occasionally spotted near the beach, and sightings of seals and are common.
Seals occasionally bask on the winter beach. Please do not get too close to seals on the beach or disturb them. Please report the stranding of any marine mammal or sea turtle to the nearest ranger, or call the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation hotline at 631-369-9829.
Did You Know?
In 2014, America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964, just a week before the establishment of Fire Island National Seashore.