Fact Sheet: Gateway NRA - Sandy Hook Unit

Established: October 27, 1972 as a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area

Location: Situated along the northern end of the New Jersey Atlantic shoreline

Overview: Sandy Hook features ocean beaches, salt marshes, historic Fort Hanock, Sandy Hook Lighthouse,and some of the best bird habitat in New Jersey. Sandy Hook offers a range of recreational and educational opportunities throughout the year.

Fort Hancock provided coastal defense for New York harbor from 1895 until 1974; more than 100 buildings and fortifications remain.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse is America’s oldest operating lighthouse and it has guided ships into New York harbor since 1764.

Spermaceti Cove Visitor Center is a former U.S. Lifesaving Service Station, houses exhibits and a bookstore.

Sandy Hook Museum and History House, a restored 1898 lieutenant’s residence along “Officers Row,” features exhibits and historic displays.

Battery Potter is the oldest gun battery built on Sandy Hook.

There is also a holly forest that extends 64 acres along the east coast. This is the only holly forest in Gateway National Recreation Area.

Visitor Centers/Exhibits/Tours:

The 1894 Spermaceti Cove Life-Saving Station serves as the park visitor center. Trails lead to salt marshes and a maritime holly forest. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. it features exhibits and a bookstore.

Fort Hancock: Visit the Fort Hancock Museum, Battery Potter, parade ground, and History House, a restored officer’s home. Seasonal hours call general visitor information number below for details.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse: Lighthouse tours offered on weekends from April through September.

Sandy Hook Bird Observatory: New Jersey Audubon Society operates a center on Officers Row for birding information. Open Tuesday – Sunday year-round. Closed Monday.

Superintendent: Barry Sullivan

Media Contact: Jane Ahern (718) 354-4607

Visitor Information: (732) 872-5970

Last updated: February 26, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26 Wall Street
New York, NY 10007


(212) 668-5180

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