A Wilderness in Your Backyard
The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness is the only federally designated wilderness in the State of New York, and it is just a short drive or train ride from New York City.
The Magic of Wilderness
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine wilderness. You may envision an icy crag reaching skyward, a lush green mountain meadow, or a deep, dark forest. The magic of wilderness is that each of us conjures a different landscape, and a different experience.
From March 15 through Labor Day, pets are not permitted in the Fire Island Wilderness area or on the beach in front of the wilderness to ensure that threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds are protected.
Watch as three young poets from New York City discover wilderness on Fire Island.
The Wilderness Act was signed into law on September 3, 1964. In 1975, what became known as the "Eastern Wilderness Areas Act" provided for the addition of areas that had been severely modified, including the authority to condemn and remove structures, to create designated wilderness in the East.
The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness Act, signed on December 23, 1980, designated approximately 1,363 acres as wilderness in Fire Island National Seashore, and identified 18 more acres as potential wilderness.
In October, 1999, a Federal Register notice announced that 17 acres of potential wilderness by that time fully complied with wilderness standards, and were officially designated as wilderness.
In 2015, the NPS added the last acre of the 18 acres of potential wilderness identified in 1980. Hurricane Sandy destroyed structures on the land, making it eligible for designation and addition to the Seashore’s wilderness area.
Words on Fire
Three teen poets from New York City take an adventure to the Fire Island Wilderness. These young city dwellers discover a natural sanctuary sheltered from the fast paced frenzy of urban life.
Last updated: August 14, 2019