Things to Do -- Jamaica Bay

Changes Due To COVID-19

All Visitor Centers and Ranger Stations are closed until further notice. All ranger programs and events have been cancelled until further notice. 2020 fishing/parking permits are not being sold at this time, but we are honoring 2019 permits. We are also honoring 2019 boat ramp permits.

 
One of the best ways to enjoy the wonders of Jamaica Bay is in a canoe or kayak, at your oewn pace.
One of the best ways to enjoy the wonders of Jamaica Bay is from the water.  Look for boating programs offered by the park in the spring, summer and autumn.

NPS PHOTO

The Jamaica Bay Unit is one of the largest expanses of open space in the region, consisting of over 19,000 acres of land, bay, and ocean waters in Brooklyn and Queens.

Comprising an area almost equal to the size of Manhattan, Jamaica Bay consists of numerous islands, a labyrinth of waterways, meadowlands, and two fresh water ponds.

Enclosed by the Rockaway Peninsula and protected from the Atlantic Ocean, the region hosts over 325 species of birds, 50 species of butterflies and 100 species of fish. A favorite stop of migratory waterfowl, the area is an integral part of the larger regional ecosystem.

 

The Jamaica Bay Unit includes locations in Brooklyn and Queens.


In Brooklyn:

  • Bergen Beach;
  • Canarsie Pier;
  • Floyd Bennett Field;
  • Ryan Visit Center;
  • Plumb Beach;
  • Shirley Chisolm State Park
  • Spring Creek

In Queens:

  • Breezy Point Tip;
  • Fort Tilden;
  • Frank Charles Memorial Park;
  • Hamilton Beach Park;
  • Jacob Riis Park;
  • Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Telephone Numbers

Ryan Visitor Center: (718) 338-3799.
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: (718) 318-4340.

Operating hours
 

Activities Available

Archery

Please note that the archery range is closed until further notice as we do our part to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Biking

Bike along the historic runways of Floyd Bennett Field, or along trails at Fort Tilden. The Rockaway Gateway Greenway, a paved multi-use pathway adjacent to both Floyd Bennett Field and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, offers a unique way to see the park.

Birding

Birding is great at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, as well as the back fort area of Fort Tilden, and the North Forty area of Floyd Bennett Field.
Please remember that in order to provide food for wildlife, the removal of any plant materials, including fruits, berries, nuts and seeds is prohibited from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Boating

  • Hand-launched privately-owned small boats (canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) may be launched from various sites around the Jamaica Bay Unit. For information on launch sites call (718) 338-3799.
  • For larger boats Gateway Marina, located on Flatbush Avenue across from Floyd Bennett Field, offers slips and a full range of boating services. Call (718) 252-8761.
Note:In order to protect wildlife and sensitive marsh habitat, entry into salt marshes or onto any islandsin Jamaica Bay is not permitted.

Cross Country Skiing

When the snow falls, Floyd Bennett Field's North Forty Natural Area is available for cross country skiing. Park rangers will cut a trail through the snow for visitors to follow.

Ecology Village Summer Camping

Closed until further notice.

Exhibits

Curated art exhibits are shown throughout the year in the gallery space at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Find out more here. Artists interested in having a showing of their work can go to this link for more information: Exhibitors: Gateway Seeks Artists to Exhibit

Fishing

Floyd Bennett Field, Fort Tilden, and Canarsie Pier offer great fishing opportunities. 2019 Fishing/Parking Permits will be honored in 2020 season until further notice.

Gardening

Enjoy Brooklyn's largest Community Garden at Floyd Bennett Field. Find out more by visiting the Floyd Bennett Field Garden Association's website.

Golf

The Driving Range and Miniature Golf Course is located at 3200 Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn, approximately 1 mile off of Exit 11S on the Belt Parkway. The 18-hole Pitch and Putt course is located just off the boardwalk at Riis Park Beach. It is just minutes from the Marine Park Bridge.

History

Discover Jamaica Bay's historic sites, including Fort Tilden, a former U.S. Army post and Floyd Bennett Field, a former municipal airport and U.S. Naval Air Station.

Hangar B, home to Floyd Bennett Field's Historic Aircraft Restoration Project (HARP), is closed until further notice. For more information, click here.

Horseback Riding

Contact the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy at (718) 531-8949. Boarding only at this time.

Junior Ranger Program

Aspiring Junior Rangers can explore Gateway from home. Become Virtual Junior Rangers by visiting our Virtual Junior Ranger Page.

Model Airplane Flying

Call (718) 338-3799 for information on the Radio Controlled Flying Field at Floyd Bennett Field.

Passport to Your National Parks

For the collectors, passport stamps are available at Floyd Bennett Field, Jacob Riis Park, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Passport to Your National Parks books are sold through the Eastern National bookstores at Floyd Bennett Field and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The bookstores are closed until further notice.

Picnicking

All designated picnic-barbecuing areas, including Fort Tilden, Canarsie Pier, and Jacob Riis Park,are temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Public Camping

Camping is not available until further notice.

Public Programs - Free

Check our events calendar to see what opportunities there are for Ranger-led and partner-led programs.

Public Recreation and Sports Fitness Facilities

Aviator Sports and Events Center , Gateway's newest and largest sports concessionaire, offers indoor ice skating, hockey, a climbing wall, gymnastics, basketball, and outdoor sports fields. Call (718) 758-7500, or click on the link above. Aviator is closed until further notice.

Walking & Hiking

Take a self-guided walk at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Try the improved gravel trail of the West Pond or the more natural trails of the East Pond, North Garden or South Garden. Or hike in the back fort area of Fort Tilden. Please note that some of these activities have been impacted by COVID-19. To find out more, please visit this page for more information.
 

Last updated: July 1, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305

Phone:

(718) 354-4606

Contact Us