Sportsman's ORV driving limitations
Due to the breach at Old Inlet, the sportsman's driving area is reduced to approximately 1¼ miles of the beach west of the Wilderness Visitor Center. Required permits may be purchased at this visitor center when staffed, for use through 12/31/2013. More »
New Backcountry Camping procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »
Wilderness Area Backcountry Camping
There is a $20 cost recovery fee associated with each reservation, which can be paid by credit card when the reservation is made online.
Camping is restricted to no more than 12 people at a time in the eastern zone (with a maximum group size of 4 campers/site) and no more than 24 people the western zone (with a maximum group size of 8 campers/site). See Wilderness-Backcountry Camping Zones map.
From March 15 to Labor Day (when seasonal driving restrictions are implemented), backcountry campsite may be selected on the beach in front of the eastern zone or western zone, in areas where there are no restrictions or closures (e.g., for the protection of nesting shorebirds or other protected species, or where beach conditions are not suitable).
At least one member of each camping party must be 21 years of age or older in order to obtain a backcountry camping permit.
There is a 3-night limit of stay for wilderness camping.
Remember to print out and bring two copies of your camping permit: leave one at the visitor center during check-in, and keep the other with you at your campsite.
Campsites are not assigned, but you must select a suitable site which will not disturb vegetation, dunes, or nesting shorebirds. Your site must also be no closer than 300 feet from other campers. Additional rules and regulations and safety information will be posted on the Recreation.gov web site.
Please be aware that you and your party will need to hike on soft sand from 1 to 3 miles to reach the western camping zone, and from 4 to 5 miles to reach the eastern camping zone. This is a carry-in, carry-out area, and there is no water once you leave Watch Hill. Be prepared for ticks and mosquitoes when the weather is warm!
Bring drinking water and all necessary supplies, and carry out all garbage. Open fires are prohibited; use a backcountry stove for cooking.
If you have additional questions, call the Office of Interpretation at 631-687-4780.
There are limited dune crossings from the wilderness to the beach. No bicycles or other wheeled vehicles are allowed in the wilderness area.
No dogs/pets allowed March 15 - Labor Day (plover nesting season); at other times they are permitted but must be on a 6' leash at all times.
Take safety precautions for ticks and mosquitoes. Plan for quickly changing weather conditions.
Bury human waste in a hole 300 feet from water and 6" from land surface; no trenches allowed.
Leave no trace of your campsite: "Take only pictures, leave only footprints."
Did You Know?
You might get to observe a number of birds on a ranger-guided walk at the William Floyd Estate: a blackburnian warbler perched on a tree branch, a woodcock flushed from the fields, or a bald eagle chasing an osprey with a fish over the salt marsh! More...