• 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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  • 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.

Celebrate 50 Years of American Wilderness

The high dunes of the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness stretch along Fire Island's ocean shoreline.
 

The Wilderness Act of 1964
Fifty years ago something happened in the United States that had not yet happened anywhere else in the world: wilderness areas were formally designated and protected by federal law. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, legislation that provides the highest level of protection for some of our most iconic, wild landscapes.

Since the landmark legislation was passed in 1964, more than 109 million acres of wilderness have been added to the National Wilderness Preservation System.These wild, undeveloped lands include majestic peaks, dramatic desertscapes, lush meadows, and dynamic shorelines, each with unique educational and recreational opportunities.

Learn more about the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Wilderness is Closer Thank You Think

Many of us conjure images of far off wilderness but enjoying these special places doesn't have to mean a long road trip (unless you want to!). Fire Island National Seashore's wilderness is just a two-hour drive from New York City. The relatively unspoiled dunes, swale, and salt marsh of this wilderness stand in contrast to neighboring developed barrier islands and mainland Long Island. Though it is one of the smallest wilderness areas in the National Wilderness Preservation system, Fire Island's wilderness supports a vast array of marine and terrestrial plants and animals. Nature lovers, outdoors enthusiasts, and students from near and far come to this wilderness for a glimpse of the world as Nature intended in an otherwise suburban landscape.

 

Join Us for Wilderness Weekend: September 6-7, 2014!

Songs of Wilderness –The barrier island wilderness –its undulating dunes, lush backdune thicket, and dynamic breach –has inspired mixed media artist David Adams "Songs of Wilderness" exhibit. Visit the Wilderness Visitor Center on Fire Island where it will be on display through October 13. The artist presents creative spin art superimposed on drift wood and other objects cast upon the shore, as well as sketches and paintings in celebration of Fire Island's own wilderness and wilderness areas across the country.


Watch Hill to Wilderness Ramble

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
11:00 am-12:30 pm

Watch Hill Dune Station

Wilderness enthusiasts and beach lovers can join this 2-mileguided round-trip hike from Watch Hill to Long Cove. Once the site of the former residential community and United States Coast Guard Station, Long Cove is the western boundary of the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness.. Journey over sand and through time as you explore the human history of this wild landscape.


Leave No Trace Workshop

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Wilderness Visitor Center

The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness is one of 758 wilderness areas within the National Wilderness Preservation System, areas "affected primarily by the forces of nature with the imprint of man's worksubstantially unnoticeable." Explore the concept of Leave No Trace and learn how you can enjoy solitude and recreation in wilderness without leaving an imprint. Dress for the outdoors. All ages are welcome.


Junior Ranger Wilderness Explorer

Wilderness Visitor Center

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Noon to 1:30 pm

It's a birthday party for the Wilderness Act and kids ages 8 to 12 are invited! Learn about wild landscapes from coast to coast and about one of the smallest wilderness areas in the National Wilderness Preservation System, Fire Island's very own Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness.After a short indoor discussion, there will be outdoor activities and a walk into the wilds of the wilderness. Dress appropriately for weather and be prepared to walkon sand.


A Walk in Wilderness

Wilderness Visitor Center

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Join FINS Chief of Natural Resources Management Michael Bilecki for a short walk into the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness. Along the way, explore the meaning of wilderness, and how Fire Island's wilderness character is monitored and managed. (1-mile round trip)

Download the Wilderness Weekend Schedule.

Did You Know?

Two boats side-by-side on the water.

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...