The Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area is a park that attracts more than two million people each year to enjoy its historic sites, natural areas, and recreational amenities. The park is situated on a slender peninsula that protrudes into lower New York Harbor.
Swimming, fishing, picnicking, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, and biking are just some of the activities that may be enjoyed at Sandy Hook’s enormous ocean and bay beaches.
The park is a haven for nature enthusiasts with its large network of hiking trails, bike routes, salt marshes, and a breathtaking holly forest, as well as its collection of over 300 different kinds of birds.
After Fort Hancock was decommissioned by the United States Army in 1975, the majority of the 1,665-acre peninsula was transferred to the care of the National Park Service. The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is located within the fort, which was used as an operational military station beginning in 1874 and continuing until 1975.
It was constructed in 1764 with the purpose of preventing shipwrecks, and now it is the oldest lighthouse in the United States that is still in operation. It is also a National Historic Landmark. The protection of New York Harbor was one of the most important functions of the fort.
Throughout the years, a variety of armaments, including huge mortars and artillery, as well as, in later years, Nike Anti-Aircraft Missiles, they’re deployed to provide protection for the broader metropolitan area. These missiles were positioned to ward off the aerial attacks.
In addition, the United States Army used Sandy Hook between the years 1874 and 1919 as its first testing area for various types of weaponry and munitions.
The beaches on the Atlantic side of Sandy Hook—North Beach, Gunnison Beach, and the Southern Beaches, A, B, C, D, and E—have parking lots, lifeguards, bathrooms, and seasonal food stands. Every year after March 15, they don’t let pets on the beaches. Gunnison Beach is a place where people can sunbathe without clothes or with only some clothes on.  On the other hand, the western shore has a lot of sand, trails, and a paved path, but there are no lifeguards or rest rooms there. People like to ride bikes and kite surf on these stretches, and dogs on leashes are allowed.
Don’t miss: During the summer, there will be mobile food vendors selling a variety of delicacies to the patrons that attend.
Insider secret: Get ready to explore Sandy Hook’s five-mile Multi-Use Pathway, a 12-foot-wide roadway that is far more picturesque than its name would lead one to believe it would be. Grab your bike, rollerblades, or running shoes, and get ready to go.
The well-kept and easy-to-navigate route begins at the entrance to the park and travels through a holly forest as well as through the salt marsh that borders the coastline. Along the way, it passes by a number of historic monuments, including the two Nike missile sites.
There are lots of things to do in Sandy Hook.
You may walk among some ruins, bird-watch, see the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, or learn the history of Fort Hancock. Kayaking, kite surfing, and bike rental establishments are spread around the park. Beach B provides everything from a relaxed day at the beach to an action-packed day. View more articles.