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Camping at Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway National Recreation Area
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Overview of Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway National Recreation Area is a 26,000-acre recreation area located in the greater New York City area. It consists of three geographically separate units: Jamaica Bay and Staten Island in New York City, and Sandy Hook in New Jersey. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, swimming, bird watching, and fishing.

Camping in Gateway National Recreation Area

Campground Options:

  • Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York: Here, you can experience urban camping with tent and RV sites available. This is a part of the Jamaica Bay unit.
  • Sandy Hook, New Jersey: While Sandy Hook primarily offers beaches and historical sites, there are no campgrounds directly within the Gateway National Recreation Area. However, nearby state parks and private campgrounds offer camping facilities.

Reservations and Fees:

  • Camping reservations at Floyd Bennett Field can be made in advance online through the National Recreation Reservation System or by phone.
  • There are fees associated with camping, and these may vary based on the campsite type and time of year. Be sure to check the latest fees and reservation details on the official website or reservation system.

Rules and Regulations

Fire Regulations:

  • Floyd Bennett Field: Open fires are not permitted; however, grills may be available for cooking at certain campsites. Always check current fire regulations before your trip.

Wildlife and Environment:

  • As with all natural areas, it's important to respect wildlife. Do not feed animals, and keep a safe distance.
  • Leave no trace principles should be followed to minimize your impact on the environment.


  • Certain activities may require permits, such as fishing; check the current regulations for the latest information.

Safety Tips

Weather Considerations:

  • Be prepared for the local weather conditions; this can include hot summers and cold winters in this region.
  • Check the weather forecast before arriving and plan your clothing and equipment accordingly.

Water Safety:

  • When near water bodies or participating in water-related activities, always exercise caution and follow posted safety guidelines.

Additional Activities

Hiking and Biking:

  • Various trails are available for hiking and biking. These range from leisurely walks to more challenging paths.

Historical and Cultural Sites:

  • Discover the area's rich history by visiting military forts, historic aircraft, and lighthouses.

Visitor Facilities and Services


  • Depending on your camping location, basic amenities like water, restrooms, and showers may be available.
  • Some areas offer visitor centers with educational exhibits and information.


  • Efforts are made to provide accessibility for all visitors. Check ahead if you require special accommodations.

Protecting the Park


  • The park is a critical habitat for various species. Abide by all rules to protect plant life and wildlife.
  • Participate in or support conservation efforts and clean-up activities if possible.

Cultural Respect:

  • Respect any cultural or historical sites you visit. These are preserved for education and remembrance.

For the most current and detailed information, always refer to the National Park Service’s official Gateway National Recreation Area website or contact the park directly before planning your camping trip.

Map of Campgrounds in Gateway National Recreation Area
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