Frequently Asked Questions- Gateway

Gateway is a large, diverse urban park with 27,000 acres spanning Sandy Hook in N.J. and Jamaica Bay and Staten Island in N.Y. It offers green spaces, beaches, wildlife and outdoor recreation, all alongside historic structures and cultural landscapes. It is the fourth most visited visited unit in the National Park Service system with more than nine million visitors annually.

Whether you are looking for information on where you can get a fishing permit, when Gateway is is open, or directions to any part of Gateway, this is the place to start.

Visiting

How will COVID-19 affect my visit?

We've made many operational changes due to the pandemic, including closing some areas, and limiting hours of operation. Find all of the changes due to COVID-19 here.

Do I need a mask?

Masks are required in all Gateway buildings. The National Park Service is using the CDC's COVID-19 community level tool, for decision making.


When is the park open?

The three units of Gateway are generally open daily. .
The Sandy Hook Unit is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
Jamaica Bay - all areas except Canarsie Pier and Jacob Riis Park are open from 6 am to 9 pm. Canarsie Pier and Jacob Riis Park are open from 6 am to 10 pm.
Staten Island - all areas are open from 6 am to 9 pm.

The Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center is open on weekends from 10 am to 4 pm. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is open Friday-Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm. The Sandy Hook Visitor Center is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily and the Sandy Hook History House is open daily from 1 pm to 5 pm. The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is open to tours daily from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. The Fort Hancock Museum is open to the public on Sundays from 1 pm to 5 pm. Hangar B (in Floyd Bennett Field) is open on Sundays from 10 am to 1 pm.

Are there any fees to visit?

We do not have an entrance fee, but we charge a beach parking fee between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day at Jacob Riis Beach (Queens, NY) and Sandy Hook (NJ). Credit cards are the preferred method of payment for beach parking.

Jacob Riis Park, Queens: For most vehicles, beach parking is $20 per day or $100 per season. For oversized vehicles (more than 20 feet), charge is $50 per day or $200 per season. Hours of collection are 7 am to 5 pm.

Sandy Hook, N.J.: For most vehicles, beach parking is $20 per day or $100 per season. For oversized vehicles (more than 20 feet), charge is $50 per day or $200 per season. Hours of collection are 7 am to 5 pm.

Are there Beach Parking discounts?

Yes. Access Pass and Senior Passes holders receive a 50% discount.

Can I obtain an "America the Beautiful" Pass?

No. "America the Beautiful" interagency passes are only sold at parks with entrance fees. Gateway does not charge an entrance fee, so this pass is not sold at any unit of Gateway.

How can I get a senior pass or access pass?

Access and senior passes are available at the Sandy Hook Visitor Center or online. Use this link.

How do I get to Gateway?

Some parts of Gateway area accessible by public transportation, both bus and subway, others are accessible by ferry (at least in the summer).
Please visit the following pages to for specific directions to each unit of Gateway.

Jamaica Bay

Sandy Hook

Staten Island

How do I get a job at Gateway?
Applications for jobs with the National Park Service are accepted via USAJOBS, the federal government's official source for job listings and employment information. Our current jobs are listed here. Work With Us - Gateway National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)



 

Rules and Regulations

What are the things I need to do to go fishing at Gateway?

Permits for parking/fishing are required in some parts of Gateway. Some areas, such as Crooke's Point in Staten Island, require these parking permits at all times. Other areas, such as Sandy Hook, only require these parking permits after-hours.
These parking/fishing permits are $50 per year. They can be purchased online through recreation.gov through April 30, 2022. More information can be found here. The purchase period for 2022 permits has ended.

I am interested in using your archery field. What do I need? Do you provide lessons or bows and arrows?

Archery permits are for use at the Floyd Bennett Field Archery Range. Annual permits are $75. The archery range is open daily from February 1 through November 30, and closed December 1 through January 31. 2022 permits are available through April 30 online at www.recreation.gov. More information can also be found here. The purchase period for 2022 permits has ended.

We do not provide lessons or equipment for the archery field.

Are there any discounts for the fishing/parking permit or the archery permit?

No

I want to host a special event. Do I need a permit?

Yes. Special events in the park require a permit. You can find out more information about permits and how to apply here.

I want to have a picnic. Where can I have a picnic? Do I need a permit?

There are picnic areas in all units of the park. Permits are required for picnics at Miller Field (Staten Island) and Fort Tilden (Jamaica Bay). Permits are not required for picnics at Canarsie Pier, Jacob Riis Park, or Sandy Hook.The picnic areas at Fort Tilden, Miller Field, and Sandy Hook are currently closed for the season.

I want to film at Gateway. What do I need to do?

The process for filming has changed in the NPS. Please visit the NPS Permits and Reservation Page to find out more.

I am a photographer, do I need a permit?

Commercial photography requires a permit at Gateway. Please visit our Permits & Reservations Page to find out how to obtain a permit for each unit.

Is alcohol allowed at the park?

Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at Sandy Hook (This restriction does not affect visitors having weddings at the Sandy Hook Chapel or other permit holders), the Great Kills Park swimming beach, the Jacob Riis Park swimming beach, Fort Tilden, and the campgrounds.

Is smoking allowed in the park?

Smoking is prohibited on the beaches at Sandy Hook, N.J., Jacob Riis Beach and Fort Tilden in Queens, and Great Kills Park in Staten Island. Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas in all parking lots.
Gateway National Recreation Area would like to provide clarification regarding the use and/or possession of marijuana on Federal lands and waters. The New York State and New Jersey State laws, which allow for regulated possession and use of marijuana under certain conditions, has no bearing on Federal laws which continue to identify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, and prohibit its use. Possession of marijuana or use of any amount of marijuana is still prohibited in Gateway National Recreation Area lands, waters, its facilities, concessions, beaches, and campgrounds. Violations are punishable by a fine as provided by law, or by imprisonment, or both.

Are pets allowed in the park?

Pets are allowed in some areas of the park, but always must be on a leash.
Pets are not allowed Gateway's three campgrounds or the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at any time of the year.
Pets are not allowed at Sandy Hook's ocean-side beaches, Jacob Riis Park, Fort Tilden or Breezy Point Tip from March 15 through September 15.
Pets are also not allowed at Gateway's swimming beaches between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.

Where are the First Amendment areas?

The National Park System has traditionally offered visitors the opportunity to engage in First Amendment activities, through demonstration activities and the sale and distribution of printed matter. These are fundamental rights that we all share and respect. Areas in all three units of Gateway National Recreation Area have been delineated for free expression by groups of 25 people or fewer and for distribution of printed matter. Please visit our First Amendment Areas page to find out more.

Are there other rules and regulations that I should know about?

Only umbrellas with a diameter of 8' that require only one central station to support shade are allowed on the beaches. Small tents designed for infants/toddlers are allowed as long as an infant/toddler is present.
For a list of all of our rules and regulations, please read Gateway's compendium.

 

Other Information

Are there visitor centers in the park?

Yes. The Sandy Hook visitor center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is open Friday-Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm and the Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center is open on weekends from 10 am to 4 pm.

I heard that there are contaminated sites at Gateway. Can I find out more?

The National Park Service (NPS) is currently pursuing cleanup at Great Kills Park, Spring Creek and Dead Horse Bay as lead agency under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Here's more information about each site:

Dead Horse Bay

Great Kills Park

Spring Creek Park

 

Last updated: July 8, 2022

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