Visitor safety is a high priority of all Gateway National Recreation Area and United States Park Police personnel.
Be alert for strong ocean currents, powerful waves and underwater obstacles. Swim only at lifeguard protected beaches. If you cannot swim, please do not go into the water. Before you go to the beach, learn how to deal with rip currents.
Always observe the rules of the road while riding your bike at Gateway. Please wear your bike helmet and respect the rights of others while using the roads and pathways.
Hypothermia and Heatstroke
While weather at Gateway National Recreation Area is typically moderate, we can have summer days with temperatures in the high 90s, and below freezing temperatures in the winter with significant accumulations of snow.
Hypothermia, a medical emergency in which you body loses heat faster than it can replace heat, can occur even at temperatures above freezing. Symptoms include uncontrolled shivering, slow or slurred speech, memory lapses and incoherence and exhaustion.
Heatstroke is caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures or by doing physical activity in hot weather. Symptoms include high body temperature, lack of sweating, flushed skin, rapid breathing and unconsciousness.
Ticks and Poison Ivy and Poison Oak
Both dog ticks and deer ticks can be found at Gateway. Please do a complete body check after you have enjoyed on of our many outdoor activities. Both of these types of ticks carry disease, so we recommend that if you do find a tick, note the date, and follow up with a doctor if you have any rashes, achy joints or a fever.
Wear sunscreen. Drink water, and bring water when walking around Gateway. Wear appropriate foot wear and clothing, depending on your activity. If you or someone you are with needs emergency help, please call 911 or if at Sandy Hook, 718-872-5900.
Read "Have a Safe Trip: Enjoying Your National Parks" to learn more about how you can enjoy your national park visit safely.
Read New York State Department of Health Downstate Fishing Advisories 2009 - 2010 to find out about eating the fish that you catch in the park's waters.
Safety For Kids
The Webrangers page has fun ways to learn about visiting your national parks safely! Check out the water safety game here!
Did You Know?
Did you know that Fort Hancock, unlike most Army posts during World War II, had a racially integrated unit? The 1225th Army Service Unit had African-American soldiers and in 1943 received a group from the Women's Army Corps. More...