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.
Sportsman's Vehicle Permit
Off-road Recreational Driving
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. Driving remains restricted to approximately 1.5 miles of beach in front of the Fire Island Wilderness between the Wilderness Visitor Center and the breach at Old Inlet.
For the latest information, please call the Wilderness Visitor Center at 631-281-3010.
To Obtain a Permit
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 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?
Many boating accidents and drownings are alcohol-related. National Park Service rangers and other officers conduct safe boating checks and enforce boating under the influence (BUI) laws on the Great South Bay. More...