From the NPS 


Gateway National Recreation Area: 

Your local National Park!


When was the last time you visited a national park? Did you know you have one right in your own backyard? Allow me to introduce you to Gateway National Recreation Area. Established in 1972, Gateway was the first federally protected urban park. The Park is comprised of sites in New Jersey and three of New York City's boroughs: Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens.

Whether or not Gateway is familiar to you, let us delve a little deeper into the local sites of the Park:

Fort Tilden, now known for its beach, was once a U.S Army Coast Artillery Post that was responsible for protecting New York Harbor during both World Wars. Next to it is Jacob Riis Park, named after the famous journalist who shed light on the plight of the poor at the turn of the century. In Broad Channel, you have the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This 9,155-acre preserve was set aside for migratory birds, horseshoe crabs, monarch butterflies and more. Not just a “refuge” for wildlife, the park trails offer humans an escape from the hectic lifestyle of New York City. On the other side of the bay, you have Floyd Bennett Field, which is known for being New York City’s first municipal airport. In the 1930s, Floyd Bennett Field was the site of many record-breaking flights. Famous pilots such as Amelia Earhart have made voyages from here.

Has your interest been piqued yet? Are you itching to explore? Check out some of the Park's amazing (and free!) recreational opportunities that are offered this summer!

Guardian of the Gateway

Fort Tilden, Building 1

Sundays throughout the summer, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Learn about historic Fort Tilden with a park ranger. Learn about the Fort's role in defending New York Harbor through two World Wars and the Cold War.


Summer Campfires at Riis Beach

Riis Beach Bathhouse Bay 5

Fridays through August 31, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Join the National Park Service and the Riis Beach Bazaar for a weekly campfire program. Alternates weekly between Campfire Songs & Stories and Trivia Nights. All campfires are B.Y.O.S. (bring your own s’mores, roasting sticks provided).


Birding by the Bay

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Explore the wildlife refuge on a guided bird walk as you take in the sights and sounds of Jamaica Bay!


Tour of Historic Hangar B

Floyd Bennett Field -

Hanger B

Sundays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Join a park ranger for a tour of Hangar B, and the aircraft, which are part of Floyd Bennet Field’s aviation history!


Riis Landing Walk-up and Paddle

Riis Landing, Queens

Sundays through August 26, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Kayak tryouts for those who have never done it before. Open to the public, ages 6 and up with an adult. No reservation required.


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