Gateway National Recreation, Sandy Hook

4.5
#2 of 10 in Nature in Jersey Shore
Must see · State Park · Wildlife Area
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Explore coastal landscapes and lush wilderness at Gateway National Recreation, a conglomeration of several different protected regions full of opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors. Visit the park, spanning 10,767 hectares (26,607 acres), and delve into its range of landscapes, from sand dunes and marshland to historical military forts. You can hit the network of trails for cyclists, roller-bladers, skaters, and hikers to traverse the area efficiently and move from point to point. Keep your eyes open for the abundant wildlife in the area, including a wide array of bird species that call the region home. Be sure to check the Park Service's website for information about special talks, programs, events, and activities held on park grounds. To visit Gateway National Recreation and other attractions in Sandy Hook, use our Sandy Hook attractions planner.
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Gateway National Recreation reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
452 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Incredible birdwatching and beaches. Plenty of wide-open beaches on the bayside and oceanside. Check out McFly's On the Hook for a cold drink, a cup of coffee and a delicious milkshake. 
    Incredible birdwatching and beaches. Plenty of wide-open beaches on the bayside and oceanside. Check out McFly's On the Hook for a cold drink, a cup of coffee and a delicious milkshake.  more »
  • I've been coming here since I was a kid and its the closest beach exit for me from Northern Jersey. I like the rawness about this place. wish it was cleaner but then again its Jersey and as clean as.....  more
    I've been coming here since I was a kid and its the closest beach exit for me from Northern Jersey. I like the rawness about this place. wish it was cleaner but then again its Jersey and as clean as.....  more »
Google
  • Lovely beaches, amazing walking/biking paths, definitely a new favorite to visit in New Jersey. We visited on a Saturday after Memorial Day, it was $20 to enter the park. The beaches to the west of the hook are fairly calm, much more calm and easier to stand in than most of New Jersey's beaches. The water was definitely warmer there as well. We went mostly for the walking path and enjoying walking around the beaches. Parking was easy to find for us, but we were told that sometimes parking can be extremely backed up on packed weekends. We parked further from the main beaches, which was maybe why it was so easy. The tip offers a good view of NYC, not the best for photography, but beautiful to see at this angle anyways. It's quite the trek to the tip through the sand, so I'd recommend just doing it barefoot if you can. There are potty's placed strategically around the park, but no water fountains or access to water towards the tip that I saw. Bring plenty of water with you. We'd love to come back for the beaches. The north tip also had a great amount of wildlife like birds, plovers, horseshoe crabs, etc.
  • The nude, or clothing optional beach is a great place to enjoy the sun. Early morning may be overcast but usually burns off to a glorious sunny day. Always a friendly group here. Bring your own lunch, snacks, sunscreen, etc. There is a long walk from the parking area to the beach, and a wide balloon tire cart is a good idea if you have one, else plan on carrying everything about a mile. There is a food truck at the restroom area, but not always open during the week. Check the tides before you go. The beach is a steep sloping one, so it's better at low tide because you can go farther out before the drop off. Sand is finer to the left of the lifeguard station. And arrive early as you can, definitely before 9:00 a.m. is a must, or you might not get in.

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