Fire Island National Seashore on map
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Fire Island National Seashore
In southeastern New York, on Long Island's south shore
The seashore's 32-mi-long barrier island contains extensive salt marshes, a 300-year-old American holly forest, and the only federally protected wilderness in New York State. It includes the Fire Island Light Station; Sailors Haven; Watch Hill; the Wilderness Visitor Center at Smith Point; and the 612-acre estate of William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in Mastic Beach, Long Island. The seashore was authorized in 1964.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, house and tower touring, kayaking, picnicking, swimming. Facilities: 3 visitor centers: Watch Hill, Sailors Haven, Wilderness. Fire Island Lighthouse; William Floyd Estate (Mastic Beach); beaches, marinas, trails. Book sale areas, gift shops, grills, picnic tables. Programs & Events: Tower tours (Fire Island Lighthouse). Guided nature walks (Sailors Haven and Watch Hill, July and Aug.), canoe program (Watch Hill, July and Aug.), house tours (William Floyd Estate, Memorial Day-Oct.). Cultural programs Fire Island Light Station, William Floyd Estate (occasional). Tips & Hints: Island has no roads and is accessible only by boat or passenger ferry, or by driving to Robert Moses State Park or Smith Point County Park and walking in. Bring adequate food, water, and supplies for day trips. Go in late Apr., May, Sept., or Oct. for songbird migration; Sept. and Oct. for hawk migration; June-Aug. for wildflower blooms. Busiest July and Aug., least crowded Jan. and Feb.
FOOD & LODGING
Camping: Campground: Watch Hill (26 sites; $28 minimum includes two nights, reservations required, closed mid-Oct.-mid-May; flush toilets, drinking water, grills, picnic tables, public phone). Back-country camping available (permit required, see below). X Restaurants: At the seashore: snack bar and convenience store at Watch Hill (tel. 631/597-6655), snack bar and gift shop at Sailors Haven (tel. 631/ 597-6171).
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Free. Ferry fees vary. Fee charged for parking at Robert Moses State Park and at Smith Point County Park. Fire Island Lighthouse fee: $5 adults, $4 ages 62 and over, $3.50 ages 11 and under. Backcountry permits required (free). Leashed pets only. No skating, bicycling, or skateboarding. No mechanical equipment or metal detectors. Sailors Haven Visitor Center open mid-May-late June, weekends 10-2; late June-Labor Day, daily 9:30-3:30; Labor Day-mid-Oct., weekends 10-2. Watch Hill Visitor Center open mid-May-late June, Sat. 1-5, Sun. 8-1; late June-Labor Day, daily 9-11 and 1-5; Labor Day-mid-Oct., Sat. 1-5, Sun. 8-1. William Floyd Estate open Jan.-Memorial Day, weekends 9-4:30; Memorial Day-Labor Day, Fri.-Sun. and holiday Mon., 11-4:30. Fire Island Lighthouse open daily 9:30--5. Wilderness Visitor Center open mid-May-Dec., Wed.-Sun. 9-4.
HOW TO GET THERE
The seashore is accessible by ferry or boat off the south shore of Long Island in Bayshore, Patchogue, Sayville. You can also drive to Robert Moses State Park (via Robert Moses Pkwy.) or Smith Point County Park (via William Floyd Pkwy.) and walk to the island. Closest airport: MacArthur (Islip).
Fire Island National Seashore (120 Laurel St., Patchogue, NY 11772, tel. 631/289-4810; 631/289-9336 camping reservations, fax 631/289-4898). Watch Hill Visitor Center (tel. 631/475-1665). Sailors Haven Visitor Center (tel. 631/589-8980). Fire Island Tourism Bureau (40 Main St., Sayville, NY 11782, tel. 631/563-8448).
Fire Island National Seashore. Basic information for tourists visiting the Fire Island National Seashore In southeastern New York, on Long Island's south shore