Sandy Hook

More popularly know as “The Hook”, Gateway National Park offers some of the best windsurfing conditions north of Hatteras.

Windsurfing and kite-boarding is best on the bay across from Beach Area C. Horseshoe Cove is popular with recreational boaters. Landing on beach with a motorized boat is prohibited.

Other things to do while you’re there:


For a great way to see Sandy Hook, the 5-mile long Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) starts at the park entrance and ends in Fort Hancock. It is shared by walkers, bicyclists and in-line skaters.


Trails begin at the Sandy Hook Visitor Center and at Area M near Nine Gun Battery. Walking ocean beaches is permitted but in spring and summer shorebird nesting season some areas are closed.


Sandy Hook is a prime spot for birding. Try Plum Island, the Spermaceti Cove boardwalk, the Horseshoe Cove salt marsh, North Pond or the fields at Fort Hancock. The NJ Audubon Society’s Sandy Hook Bird Observatory has the latest birding information.


Enjoy a blanket picnic on the beach. The North Beach Observation Deck has tables and a view of New York Harbor. Grilling is permitted only at Guardian Park in Fort Hancock. History

Take a stroll around Fort Hancock, a National Historic Landmark. Visit the Fort Hancock Museum, Battery Potter, and History House, a restored home on Officer’ Row. The Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Keepers’ Quarters and Barn tell the story of the lonely life of a sentinel of the sea. Most sites are open weekends with extended summer hours.

Concession Services. HS Concessions provides food, drinks and beach supplies at Beach Area B, C, D, E, Gunnison and North Beach. The Sea Gull’s Nest Restaurant is at Beach Area D. Concessions are open daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, with limited services in spring and fall. Phone 732-872-0025.


Warning:  The Rt. 36 Highland Bridge is under construction. There is access to the Hook from both the north and south from Rt. 36, however, there is No South Bound Exit For Rt. 36. You detour North over the bridge (one lane for all traffic), turn right at the end of the bridge to flip around to go south on the bridge. The Sandy Hook hand out says “up to 3 hour delays were experienced during the 2008 season”. From parking lot “C”, it usually took approx. 30 to 50 min to exit last year with a south bound exit. Project scheduled to be completed December 2010.

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)-Turn left at traffic light into 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, NJ: – 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.

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