Fire Island National Seashore | WATCH HILL

Beach at Watch Hill in Fire Island National Seashore

Beach at Watch Hill in Fire Island National Seashore

Watch Hill is located near the center of Fire Island National Seashore and is most easily reached by private boat or ferry. The only option for those terrified of the water is a 13-mile walk from the Fire Island Lighthouse near Robert Moses State Park. Due to a breach in the island about two miles from the Otis Pike Wilderness Visitor Center on the eastern end of park, it is no longer possible to walk through the Otis Pike Wilderness to reach Watch Hill, a 7-mile trek.

Satellite view of the breach in Fire Island

Satellite view of the breach in Fire Island

Watch Hill is a seasonal destination, with both the ferry and the Watch Hill Marina operating from mid-May through mid-October. Up to eighteen slips can be booked for the entire season, otherwise boaters can stay overnight for up to 14 consecutive days at the marina. Those on foot can stay the same number of days at the tents-only Watch Hill Campground. On summer weekends the 163 slips at the marina will all be taken, and despite a mosquito population on par with the Everglades, so will the campsites. Boaters also have the option to anchor offshore and take a dinghy or wade to the island—the water is only waist deep. For those who don’t want to bring food and drinks with them, there is a general store, a snack bar, and a restaurant and bar. All of these attractions make Watch Hill the most popular destination in the park.

The mosquitoes at Watch Hill are horrendous from July through the fall. A Ranger told me that he’s seen people get off the ferry and get right back on the next one returning to Long Island. You’ll need to apply mosquito repellent full time, and if you plan to camp, a hat and mosquito net for your head, long pants, and a long sleeve shirt are a must. Or better yet, DO NOT CAMP IN THE SUMMER. If you don’t believe me, just search the Internet for Watch Hill Campground Reviews.

See the following web pages for more information on Sailors Haven:

Watch Hill Beaches

Watch Hill Campground

Watch Hill Ferry

Watch Hill Marina

Watch Hill Nature Trail

Watch Hill Visitor Center

Food and Beverage Service

Ranger-led Canoe Trip

Boaters hang out at the Watch Hill Marina in Fire Island National Seashore

Boaters hang out at the Watch Hill Marina in Fire Island National Seashore

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Last updated on January 19, 2024
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