National Park Service LogoU.S. Department of the InteriorNational Park ServiceNational Park Service
National Park Service:  U.S. Department of the InteriorNational Park Service Arrowhead
Gateway National Recreation Area GMP_map_100
view map
text size: largest larger normal
printer friendly
Gateway National Recreation Area
Things To Do - Jamaica Bay
One of the best ways to enjoy the wonders of Jamaica Bay is in a canoe or kayak, at your oewn pace.


One of the best ways to enjoy the wonders of Jamaica Bay is from the water.  Look for boating programs offered by the park in the spring, summer and autumn.

Looking for something to do This Week at Jamaica Bay Unit?

Archery (Year - round)

Call 718-338-3799 for archery permits for Floyd Bennett Field.

Beach Recreation (Summer)

Go swimming at Jacob Riis Park in summer. Build a sand castle and look for endangered Piping Plovers. Dover Gourmet provides food, drinks and beach supplies at Jacob Riis Park, Rockaway, Queens, New York. The concessions are open daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

Rip currents are powerful currents of water flowing away from shore. Before you go to the beach, learn what you need to do to "Break the Grip of the Rip!"®

Breezy Point Surf Club  provides sale of seasonal and day-use passes for beach club facilities, rental of day-use beach cabanas, cabanettes, bath cabins and use of swimming pool. They also have family recreational facilities, food and beverage sales and catering services are available in the restaurant and bar. Call 718-634-7200, or click on the link above.

Silver Gull Club provides sale of seasonal and day-use facilities, rental of day use beach cabanas, cabanettes, bath cabins and use of swimming pool. Family recreational facilities, food and beverage sales and catering services are available in the restaurant and bar.

Biking (Year - round)

Bike along the historic runways of Floyd Bennett Field, or along trails at Fort Tilden. The Rockaway Gateway Greenway, a paved multi-use pathway adjacent to Floyd Bennett Field and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, offers a unique way to see the park.

Birding & Nature Study (Year - round)

Birding is great at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, as well as the back fort area of Fort Tilden and the North Forty area of Floyd Bennett Field.

Please remember that in order to provide food for wildlife, the removal of any plant materials, including fruits, berries, nuts and seeds is prohibited from Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Boating (Park programs for small boat sailing, canoeing and kayaking are offered in Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Call (718)338-3799 or email us for reservations.)

Hand - launched boating permits for privately owned small, hand launched boats (canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) are sold for $50 at the Floyd Bennett Field Ranger Station, and are valid for the calendar year in which they are purchased. For information on launch sites, call 718-338-3799.

During summer, basic sailboat instruction is offered by the park. Call 718-338-3799.

For larger boats Gateway Marina, located on Flatbush Avenue across from Floyd Bennett Field, offers slips and a full range of boating services. Call 718-252-8761.

Note: In order to protect wildlife and sensitive marsh habitat, entry into salt marshes or onto any islands in Jamaica Bay is not permitted.

Cross Country Skiing When the snow falls, Floyd Bennett Field's North Forty Natural Area is available for cross country skiing. Park rangers will cut a trail through the snow for you to follow.

Ecology Village Summer Camping

Ecology Village, located at Floyd Bennett Field, offers a two day camping experience to students, ages 8-14. The program is available to non-profit and organized groups during the months of July and August. Participants camp on platform tents and receive all the necessary equipment for their overnight visit. Rangers present a variety of programs related to topics of environmental protection, conservation and awareness. New leaders must attend the 30 hour workshop presented by the rangers, prior to their trip. Returning leaders must attend a 2 hour refresher workshop annually before their scheduled trip.

A $50.00 fee is required for the camping permit. For more information and schedule of workshops, please call the rangers at (718) 338-4306.

Ecology Village also conducts school camping programs during the school year. Teachers must attend a workshop prior to scheduling their class trip.

Fishing (Year - round)

Floyd Bennett Field, Fort Tilden and Canarsie Pier offer great fishing opportunities. Call 718-338-3799 for permit and other information.

Health Advice on Eating Fish You Catch: New York City Area (from the State of New York)

Gardening (Spring, Summer, and Autumn)

Enjoy Brooklyn's largest Community Garden at Floyd Bennett Field. Call the Floyd Bennett Garden Association at 718-338-4255.

Golf (Year - round)

The Brooklyn Golf Center, located on Flatbush Avenue adjacent to Floyd Bennett Field, offers a driving range, pro shop and golf instruction. Call 718-253-6816. The Riis Park Pitch and Putt Golf Course offers an 18 hole par 3 executive course in a links - style setting. Call 718-474-1623.

History (Year - round)

Discover Jamaica Bay's historic sites, including Fort Tilden, a former U.S. Army post and Floyd Bennett Field, a former municipal airport and U.S. Naval Air Station.

Horseback Riding (Year - round)

Contact the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy at 718-531-8949.  Horseback riding and lessons are available to the general public.

Junior Ranger Program (Year - round)

Aspiring Junior Rangers can pick up the Junior Ranger activity booklet, and earn the Junior Ranger badge and patch at Floyd Bennett Field, Jacob Riis Park, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Model Airplane Flying (Year - round, weather permitting)

Call 718-338-3799 for information on the Radio Controlled Flying Field at Floyd Bennett Field.

Passport to Your National Parks (Year - round)

For the collectors, passport stamps are available at Floyd Bennett Field, Jacob Riis Park, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Passport to Your National Parks books are sold through the Eastern National bookstores at Floyd Bennett Field and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Picnicking (Year - round)

Individuals can picnic at Jacob Riis Park; barbeque grills are available. Group picnic facilities are available by permit at Fort Tilden.

Public Camping (Year - round)

Floyd Bennett Field has four public campsites available for a unique urban, yet rustic camping experience. There is a fee of $50 for three nights. For more information, call 718-338-3799.

Public Programs (Year - round)

Check the schedule of events to see what opportunities there are for Ranger-led and partner-led programs.

Public Recreation and Sports Fitness Facilities (Year - round)

Aviator Sports and Events Center, Gateway's newest and largest sports concessioner, offers indoor ice skating, hockey, a climbing wall, gymnastics, basketball, and outdoor sports fields. Call 718-758-7500, or click on the link above.

Walking & Hiking (Year - round)

Take a self guided trail at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Try the Upland, East Pond and West Pond trails. Or hike in the back fort area of Fort Tilden. Pets are not permitted anywhere within the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge District. 

Ecology Village Teacher Camping Course
2011 Ecology Village Teacher Camping Course
New York City's only curriculum-based overnight camping program at Floyd Bennett Field
Have fun while staying safe on Gateway's beaches. Take this quiz to see what you know about water safety!
Water safety is fun!
Kids: Do you know how to have fun while staying safe on Gateway's beaches? Test yourself!
Pets must be kept on a leash at all times at Gateway's three units.
Pets MUST be kept on a leash!
Some areas of Gateway allow pets at certain times of year; others do not.

The Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition connects people to Jamaica Bay. Get the user-friendly guide and find out more.

You are exiting the National Park Service website

Thank you for visiting our site.

You will now be redirected to:

We hope your visit was informative and enjoyable.

Jacob Riis

Did You Know?
Journalist Jacob Riis was called "New York's most useful citizen," by Theodore Roosevelt. As police commissioner, Roosevelt often accompanied Riis in raids exposing the hardship of life for New York City's poor and immigrant populations.

Last Updated: November 27, 2011 at 08:39 MST