Things to Do-Sandy Hook

View of Fort Hancock from the Sandy Hook Lighthouse at sunset.
View of Fort Hancock from the Sandy Hook Lighthouse at sunset.


Looking for fun this week?

Gateway's calendar includes nature walks, fitness activities, and historic tours and programs for the Sandy Hook unit.

Listed are some of the many activities that are available at Sandy Hook.

Beach recreation

Lifeguards are on duty from 10 am to 6 PM from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day at ocean side beaches. Please swim only on guarded beaches and only when lifeguards are on duty. When wading, be aware of sudden drop-offs. If you can't swim, don't go in.

Rip currents
are powerful currents flowing away from the shore. Before you go to the beach, learn what you need to do to Break the Grip of the Rip.


For a great way to see Sandy Hook, the seven-mile long Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) starts at the park entrance and loops around Fort Hancock. It is shared by walkers, bicyclists and in-line skaters. Bring your own bicycle or you can rent a bike during your visit. Bike rentals are available during peaks season as weather permits. Always call ahead for the best service.

The MUP is for everyone, so please use it with courtesy. Whether you walk, bike or rollerblade, stay on your side of the yellow line. Keep an ear out for people who wish to pass. Keep animals on a short enough lease that they stay with you on your side of the trail.


Sandy Hook is a prime spot for birding. Try Plum Island, the Spermaceti Cove boardwalk, the Horseshoe Cove salt marsh, North Pond or the fields at the main post area. Birding is not permitted in the campground for the duration of the camping season. In summertime you can join a park ranger on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the Lot M Observation Deck from 9:30 am to 11:30 am to learn more about birds in the area. A scope will be set up to view raptors, marsh birds, and migrating song birds.


Non-motorized car top boats can be launched from Beach Area C and Horseshoe Cove. Windsurfing and kite-boarding is best on the bay across from Beach Area C. Horseshoe Cove is popular with recreational boaters. Landing on the beach with a motorized boat is prohibited.


Overnight tent camping is available at Sandy Hook. Reservations are available at under "Camp Gateway".

Canoe Cruises

This ranger led water program will resume in the summer of 2019. Rangers lead a two-mile paddle for visitors 14 and up to explore Sandy Hook from the ideal vantage point of the water. This two and a half hour tour is of the bayside waters of Sandy Hook and Skeleton Hill Island. Reservations are necessary. Please reserve by visiting or calling 1-877-444-6777.


Trails begin at the Spermaceti Cove Lifesaving Station (This visitor center is currently closed du to damage from Hurricane Sandy)and at Area M near Nine Gun Battery. Walking along the ocean beaches is permitted, but some areas are closed during the spring and summer due to shorebird nesting.


Pets are not permitted on ocean side beaches from March 15- September 15. Pets are allowed on bay side beaches year round, but always must be leashed.


The North Beach Observation Deck has tables and a view of the New York Harbor. Guardian Park has picnic tables, shelters and grills. Grilling is only permitted in Guardian Park.

Last updated: December 17, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305


(718) 354-4606

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