Sandy Hook Beach
Sandy Hook Gateway National Park
Sandy hook beach is a beautiful 2,044-acre peninsula that is part of Middletown Township but owned by the federal government and managed by the national park service. It was discovered by Henry Hudson in the early 1600’s and the western shoreline includes acres of sandy coves, beaches and trails that have been an attraction to cyclists and kite surfers. The Western shore is also a safe haven anchorage for ships resting before heading north into the New York harbor.
The Atlantic Ocean facing shoreline is approximately 7 miles long consisting of public beaches, parking lots snack bars, and fishing areas that have been considered some of the finest in the garden state. Its also home to gunnison beach which happens to be one of the largest clothing optional beaches on the east coast. The Marine Academy of Science and Technology also known as M.A.S.T is a vocational high school that calls the peninsula home and located on fort hancock. M.A.S.T was almost completely destroyed from hurricane sandy in 2012 but has since been rebuilt. America’s oldest working lighthouse also resides on fort hancock, built in 1764 and is open to the public for tours. Fort hancock was built in 1857 and owned by the united states army. It was used as a coastal artillery base that defended New York harbor and the atlantic coast for many years.
- 5am-10pm Daily (April 1st-October 31st)
- 5am-8pm Daily (November 1st-March 31st)
- All navigable waters are open 24/7
- Visitor centers are open everyday except thanksgiving, christmas and new years day
Beach Badge & Parking Fee:
- $15 per day for beach parking (memorial day weekend – labor day weekend)
- Fort hancock parking is always free
- Children must be at least 48inches tall to climb lighthouse tower
- Reservations must be made prior to the group’s visit to the lighthouse
- Reservations must be made three weeks in advance of the requested tour date
- Maximum group size is 35 participants
- Email sandy hook national park service to set group tour date
Lighthouse Visitor Center:
- 10am-4pm daily
- Visitor center phone number is (732) 872-5970
- Pets must be with thier owners at all times and only on the bay side (All Year)
- Oceanside (September 15 – March 15)
Things To Do…
The sandy hook bike trial consists of two lanes running up and down the 7 mile stretch going right through many of the national parks abandoned military housing, armories and forts. If you dont have a bike of your own we recommend heading into highlands to rent one from our friends over at kranky cycles. Visit Website Here!
How To Get Here
From North Jersey and New York: – South on the New Jersey Turnpike – Exit 11 onto the Garden State Parkway (South) – Exit 117 (Keyport/Hazlet) – After toll, bear left and follow Route 36 East – 12 miles to park entrance (after crossing the Highlands Bridge)-Stay right to enter the park.
From South Jersey: – North on Garden State Parkway – Exit 105 (Eatontown), bear left for Route 36 East – Continue on Route 36 East, pass Monmouth Mall and across Route 35 through Eatontown and Long Branch (Route 36 is called Joline Avenue here). – Continue on Route 36, which turns left and follows north along ocean. (Route 36 is called Ocean Blvd. here) – North for six miles through the towns of Long Branch, Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright to park.
From Philadelphia & Camden, New Jersey: – New Jersey Turnpike north to Exit 7A (Shore Points) onto I-195 – East on I-195, to Garden State Parkway north. – GSP north to Exit 105 (Eatontown). – Then follow “From South Jersey” directions above.
Sea Streak Ferry
NYC To Sandy Hook Beach