Things to Do - Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook is open!
The Sandy Hook Unit reopened to the public on Wednesday, May 1. Beaches B, Gunnison, and North Beach are open. As we continue to make beach areas safe, more areas will open to the public. We will continue to update this website as we open more areas.
Lifeguards are on duty from 10 AM to 6 PM from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day at ocean side beaches. Please swim only at guarded beaches and only when lifeguards are on duty. When wading, be aware of sudden drop-offs. If you can't swim, don't go in.
Rip currents are powerful currents of water flowing away from shore. Before you go to the beach, learn what you need to do to "Break the Grip of the Rip!"®
Surf fishing is permitted at all beaches except when lifeguards are on duty and when beaches are closed to protect nesting shore birds. An annual pass for nighttime fishing can be purchased at the Entrance Station.
May 1 - 24 pass will be sold from 9AM-4PM and cash, check, money order or credit cards will be accepted.
May 25 - Labor Day passes will be sold 24 hours a day. Cash, check, money order or credit cards will be accepted 7AM-5PM. From 5PM-7AM check, money order or credit card will be accepted. No cash will be accepted between 5PM and 7AM.
The Saltwater Angler Registry is part of an improved data program to help protect long-term sustainability of recreational fishing. Please visit this website for information regarding the Saltwater Recreational Registry.
Fish Smart, Eat Smart is a guide for eating fish caught in New Jersey coastal waters from the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife. Please read this before eating what you catch.
For a great way to see Sandy Hook, the seven-mile long Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) starts at the park entrance and loops around Fort Hancock. It is shared by walkers, bicyclists and in-line skaters. Bring your own bicycle or you can rent a bike during your visit.
The MUP is for everyone, so please use it with courtesy. Whether you walk, bike or rollerblade, stay on your side of the yellow line. Keep an ear out for people who wish to pass. Keep animals on a short enough leash to keep your pet on your side of the trail.
Trails begin at the Sandy Hook Visitor Center and at Area M near Nine Gun Battery. Walking ocean beaches is permitted but in spring and summer shorebird nesting season some areas are closed.
Sandy Hook is a prime spot for birding. Try Plum Island, the Spermaceti Cove boardwalk, the Horseshoe Cove salt marsh, North Pond or the fields at Fort Hancock.
This summer, overnight tent camping has been expanded to select areas of Sandy Hook. Click here to read more on Camp Gateway. Reservations are now available at www.recreation.gov under "Camp Gateway."
Non-motorized car top boats can be launched from Beach Area C and Horseshoe Cove. Windsurfing and kite-boarding is best on the bay across from Beach Area C. Horseshoe Cove is popular with recreational boaters. Landing on beach with a motorized boat is prohibited.
Enjoy a blanket picnics on the beach. The North Beach Observation Deck has tables and a view of New York Harbor. Grilling is permitted only at Guardian Park in Fort Hancock.
Take a stroll around Fort Hancock, a National Historic Landmark. Visit the Fort Hancock Museum, Battery Potter, Battery Gunnison and History House, a restored home on Officer' Row. The Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Keepers' Quarters and Barn tell the story of the lonely life of a sentinel of the sea. Most sites are open weekends with extended summer hours.
Check the seasonal program guide at the top of the page to see what opportunities there are for ranger-led and partner-led programs. From history to birding, Sandy Hook has variety of offerings.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the Sandy Hook Light was dimmed in World War II and painted in camoflague? Homes and businesses within five miles of the ocean were required to use blackout curtains in order to protect ships from attacks by German U-Boats. More...