Sportsman's Vehicle Permit
2012 Recreational Driving Season
A current valid permit is required for every vehicle driven on Fire Island beaches. Each Fire Island National Seashore permit has its own stipulations and requirements.
With a Fire Island National Seashore Sportsman's Vehicle Permit, $50/vehicle, offroad recreational vehicles are permitted to drive at certain times on designated portions of Fire Island National Seashore's beach as a means of access for fishing or hunting. Smith Point County Park and Robert Moses State Park have separate recreational use permits.
Sportsman's recreational driving is restricted to the beach along the Atlantic Ocean on the south shore of Fire Island, west of the Wilderness Visitor Center (at Smith Point) to Long Cove (approximately 6 miles) between the water's edge and 20 feet seaward of the beach grass. Vehicles may not cross dunes, damage vegetation, or enter the designated wilderness area.
Permits for recreational driving may be purchased at the Otis Pike Fire Island Wilderness Visitor Center on or after September 1, for use between September 15 and December 31. However, the beach may be closed to driving at any time due to high water or other adverse conditions on the beach. In 2005, no recreational driving permits were issued due to an overwash near Old Inlet. In 2009, the sale of permits was delayed due to beach conditions. In 2012, recreational driving was suspended due to the creation of a breach at Old Inlet during Hurricane Sandy.
For latest information, call the Wilderness Visitor Center at 631-281-3010.
The beach may be closed to all driving during high tides, when vehicles will not be able to safely travel at least 20 feet from the base of the dunes.
Current rates for a Sportsman's Vehicle Permit are $50/year (check or money order only, made payable to "National Park Service").
You must possess a valid state drivers license and your properly-equipped four-wheel drive vehicle must have a current state registration.
A no-fee New York State recreational marine (saltwater) fishing registry is now required for fishing.
New York State and federal permits are required for waterfowl hunting.
When you purchase your permit, you are also required to watch a 5-minute driving orientation video, where you'll be advised of the "rules of the road" and other safety and resource protection messages.
Did You Know?
The first Fire Island Lighthouse was built at the end of Fire Island in 1826. Today, the Fire Island Inlet is more than five miles west of this foundation. You can see the remnants of the first structure when you visit the present lighthouse, constructed in 1858. More...