Gateway National Recreation Area is the fourth most visited national park area in the United States. More than 9.2 million visitors travel to the region each year to explore the unique urban area that covers 27,000 acres. The boundary covers two states, New Jersey and New York, and takes in the towns of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and Jamaica Bay and Staten Island, New York.
The large area offers guests a diverse landscape of open green spaces, forests, and beaches. It also features a variety of activities from outdoor recreation to tours of historic structures and revolutionary-war era forts.
During the summer months, guests can swim at a multitude of oceanside and bayside beaches. Kayaking, canoeing, and sailing are popular pastimes. Shore and surf fishing are available as well.
Hikers and bikers will find ample opportunities for exploring the great outdoors, historical sites, and some of America’s most beautiful urban areas. An extensive trail system offers paved and unpaved paths.
Floyd Bennett Field Campground is located in Brooklyn, New York. It features 12 RV camping sites without hookups for public use open from mid-May through late October. Each campsite offers a picnic table, charcoal grill, and fire ring. Guests have access to restrooms and showers.
Gateway National Recreation Area covers 27,000 acres and crosses over two states, New Jersey and New York. It takes in the towns of Sandy Hook, New Jersey; Jamaica Bay, New York; and Staten Island, New York.
Visitors can reach Gateway National Recreation Area by car, ferry, bus, or train.
Because of its urban setting, all roads within the area’s boundary and the campground are paved. However, some roads may be easier to navigate by RV or while towing a trailer than others.
Parking is available at each site in the campground. Additional parking can be found in the day use areas, at the historic sites, and at most of the smaller park areas. Park only in designated areas, and do not park along roadways.
Campers can access public transportation from the campground to Manhattan and other parts of New York City.
The area features several multi-use paved paths that are wheelchair accessible and a variety of additional trails that connect guests with other areas of the cities.
Biking is allowed on roads and trails. All bicyclists must wear a helmet.
Floyd Bennett Field Campground is located in Brooklyn, New York. It features 12 RV camping sites without hookups for public use open from mid-May through late October. Each campsite offers a picnic table, charcoal grill, and fire ring. Guests have access to restrooms and showers. The camp store sells essential items and firewood, coffee, water, and snacks. Campers can access public transportation from the campground to Manhattan and other parts of New York City.
Gateway National Recreation Area offers a unique opportunity for campers to participate in archery. An open air range located near the campground is open to campers. Equipment is available for guest use, or guests may bring their own. Only arrows with practice tips are allowed on the range. Crossbows are prohibited. The range is handicapped accessible. A permit is required to participate in archery within the park, but the permit is included with your camping reservation.
Biking is allowed at all park sites on Staten Island. Guests can enjoy a multi-use path at Great Kills Park as well as a bike path at Miller Field. Fort Wadsworth also features many options for those traveling by bike. In Jamaica Bay, several bike trails are located at Fort Tilden. On the Sandy Hook, New Jersey, side of the area, a seven-mile long multi-use trail takes guests from the entrance of the park through historic Fort Hancock. Bike rentals are available at various locations.
Gateway National Recreation Area offers visitors access to both bay and ocean front fishing areas. Shore fishing is allowed on Staten Island at Great Kills Park and Miller field. Overnight fishing is also allowed on the island with a permit at Crooke’s Point. Surf fishing is allowed at all beaches except for when lifeguards are on duty and the beaches are open for swimming. All fishermen need a New York State Saltwater Fishing Registration, which is available for free at select park offices.
The park’s proximity to many waterways makes it a popular destination for boating enthusiasts. The most popular modes of water travel are kayaking, sailing, and canoeing. The park offers free kayaking programs each weekend during the summer months. A boat launch is available at the Nichols Marina in Great Kills Park on Staten Island. Additional boat launches are available along the Jamaica Bay shoreline and at the Gateway Marina near the campground. Non-motorized boats can also be launched on the New Jersey side at Beach Area C and Horseshoe Cove.
Swimming is available at Jacob Riis Park in Staten Island from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. On the New Jersey side of the park, all ocean side beaches have lifeguards on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day as well. Guests are only allowed to swim at designated beaches when lifeguards are on duty. Rip currents are common in the area, so visitors are encouraged to learn how to spot and evade them. Always swim with caution.
On the Staten Island side of the area, the paved Rockaway Gateway Greenway trail guides visitors through several parks and various parts of the city. Additional trails are available at Dead Horse Bay and the North Forty Natural Trail. Self-guided trails take visitors through the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and around historic Fort Tilden. The New Jersey side of the park features trails that begin at Spermaceti Cove Lifesaving Station and the Nine Gun Battery and take guests along the ocean and through scenic green space. Trail maps are available at the park visitor centers.