This is a guarded beach. Lifeguards are on duty 10 am - 6 pm daily between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day..Gunnison Beach is a clothing optional beach. To access the beach plaza and beach use the trail at the east end of the parking lot. Please swim only at lifeguarded beaches while lifeguards are on duty. During the peak season restrooms and showers are available at this location. Pets are not permitted on ocean side beaches March 15- September 15 to protect the nesting shore birds. Pets on a leash are permitted on bay side beaches any time of year.
Rules and Regualtions
- Alcohol is not allowed at Sandy Hook.
- Swimming Beaches are open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. 36 CFR 3.17(a)
- Swimming Beaches are lifeguarded 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. At the Sandy Hook Unit, Areas C, D, E, G (Gunnison) & North Beach. Wherever park lifeguards are on duty, that area is designated as a swimming beach. 36 CFR 3.17(a)
- The following activities or items on swimming beaches are prohibited: glass containers fishing, kite flying, scuba diving and snorkeling. 36 CFR 3.17(c)
- Ball playing and Frisbee on swimming beaches may be restricted to less populated areas with the swimming beach or restricted to areas outside the designated swimming beach. 36 CFR 3.17(c)
- Float suits and personal flotation devices (PFDs) that incorporate 3 points of retention into their design may be used for swimming in park waters. These items typically fit over or around both shoulders and have a retention strap or part of the garment or device that fits between the legs in the groin area. 36 CFR 3.17(c)
- Additional flotation devices are allowed at Sandy Hook Areas C, D, and E. These devices are limited to soft Boogie boards and canvas covered surf mats. 36 CFR 3.17(c)
- Swimming from vessels to ocean side beaches or swimming from ocean side beaches to vessels is prohibited within the view shed of on-duty lifeguards. 36 CFR 3.16
- Swimming from vessels to beaches that are closed for the protection of shorebirds, other park resources, or for public safety is prohibited. 36 CFR 3.16
- No balls, Frisbees, or similar objects are allowed in the water. 36 CFR 3.17(c)
- Vessels are prohibited at all designated swimming beaches. 36 CFR 3.17(c)
- The distance visitors may swim from shore is at the discretion of lifeguards based on existing conditions. 36 CFR 3.17(c)
- The use of temporary shade structures, such as canopies, umbrellas, tarps is permitted during daylight hours and only in the following areas: 1) Park Beaches 2) Designated picnic areas 3) Designated campgrounds (see section on Campgrounds for additional restrictions) 4) Any area designated in accordance with the provisions of a valid permit. These structures cannot be enclosed or modified or combined with any other structure or material to construct an enclosure. The use of driftwood to construct on enclosure is prohibited. Windscreens may be used on ocean beaches. However, on swimming beaches (lifeguarded), no windscreens are permitted within 35 feet of the high tide (wrack) line. No physical structure or combination of such may exceed twenty-five (25) feet in uninterrupted length. An obstructionfree corridor measuring at least fifteen (15) feet must be maintained between the barriers specified above to ensure free access. The construction of windscreens from driftwood is prohibited. 36 CFR 1.5(a)(2)
- A portion of Area "G" (South Gunnison) on Sandy Hook is used by visitors as a clothing optional area. While this area is not designated as clothing optional, there is no prohibition against this activity. The Park acknowledges the popularity and history of the use and advises unfamiliar visitors of this activity through signs. Nudity, outside the traditional use area, may be considered Disorderly Conduct. 36 CFR 2.34(a)(2)
See the Superintendent's Compendium for a complete list of park regulations. A copy is located at the Sandy Hook Visitor Center and online.