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.


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.

When is the park open?

The three units of Gateway are generally open daily from sunrise to sunset. Specific buildings and areas may be open seasonally or on weekends only.
Please visit the following pages to find out more.

Jamaica Bay

Sandy Hook

Staten Island

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

Does Gateway have an entrance fee?

No, but we do charge for beach parking at Jacob Riis Park and Sandy Hook from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. It is $10 per day per car at Jacob Riis Park and $15 per day per car at Sandy Hook. You can learn more on our Fees & Passes page.

What can I do at Gateway?

There are so many things to do at Gateway. You can camp, swim, fish, and learn about our nation's history. But there's also more.

Please visit Things To Do to find out more.

You can also see what is happening on any specific date with our event calendar.

Can I camp at Gateway?

Yes! Camping is available at Floyd Bennett Field (Jamaica Bay), Sandy Hook, and Fort Wadsworth (Staten Island). Most camping is "primitive" tent camping, but different areas offer different amenities.

Camping is $30 a night, ($15 per night with the Senior or Access Pass) and reservations are available at under Camp Gateway.


Rules and Regulations

Are permits required for fishing?

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 at the Ryan Visitor Center in Brooklyn, the Sandy Hook Visitor Center, and at the Miller Field and Great Kills Park Ranger Stations in Staten Island. Vehicle registration and a fishing pole need to be shown at purchase time.

Are permits required for other activities?

Commercial filming and photography, special uses, and some sports fields require permits at Gateway. Please visit our Permits & Reservations Page to find out what requires a permit and how to obtain one for each unit.

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 at all three of Gateway's campground 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?

Alcoholic beverages at Sandy Hook are prohibited. This restriction does not affect visitors having weddings at the Sandy Hook Chapel or other permit holders.
Alcoholic beverages at the swimming beach at Great Kills Park in Staten Island are prohibited.
Smoking is prohibited on the beaches at Sandy Hook, N.J. and Great Kills Park in Staten Island. Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas in all parking lots.
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?

There are multiple visitor centers and ranger stations in the park. They are listed below along with operating hours and phone numbers. Please note that all visitor centers are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamaica Bay Unit
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center 718-318-4340
Summer hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Winter and spring hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ryan Visitor Center (Floyd Bennett Field) 718-338-3799
Open Wednesday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sandy Hook Unit
Sandy Hook Lighthouse Visitor Center 732-872-5970
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between May 1 and October 31; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. between November 1 and April 30.

Staten Island Unit
Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center 718-354-4500
Summer Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Winter and spring hours: Friday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Great Kills Park Ranger Station 718-819-7574
Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Miller Field Ranger Station 718-351-6970
Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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/access pass/military pass?

Access, Senior and military passes are available at the following locations.
Senior passes are $80.

Ryan Visitor Center (Floyd Bennett Field) 718-338-3799
Open Wednesday- Sunday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge 718-318-4340
Open daily (in the summer) 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse Keepers Quarters 732-872-5970
Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Miller Field (Staten Island) 718-819-7574
Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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 Kiils 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: August 11, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305


(718) 354-4606

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