Must-See Jamaica Bay: Camping and Hiking

Outdoors & Recreation

by nycgo.com staff, 05/27/2014

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Summer is the ideal time to camp in Jamaica Bay. One of the most popular places to spend a night outdoors is the Floyd Bennett campgrounds, Camp Gateway. Just steps from Aviator Sports & Events Center, you'll find 1,358 acres of land—a majority of which is accessible to the public—providing an ideal location to watch planes take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport by day and a clear spot to stargaze at night. With all of the activities offered here, it's easy to spend several days exploring Floyd Bennett alone. You'll also find an archery range, sailboating opportunities and the recently renovated William Fitts Ryan Visitor Center. Marine Park is another wonderful place to camp out in Jamaica Bay. Family programs throughout the summer are led by an Urban Park Ranger and include plenty of nighttime activities.

Embrace the great outdoors even further with a hike around one of the area's many trails. Options span all ability levels and interests and include nature exploration, fitness and night hikes. If you'd rather explore on your own, a great place to get started is Marine Park, where waterfront views combine with flora, fauna and wildlife for a nature-filled outing. Trail maps are available at the Salt Marsh Nature Center. 

Have a wilderness experience without leaving New York City by checking out these events and activities:

Year-round (closed October)
Camping at Floyd Bennett Field
Spend up to 14 days surrounded by nature. Visit recreation.gov to reserve your spot.

May 31–August 30 (Saturdays)
Campfire Safety Program at Floyd Bennett Field, Wiley Post Group Campfire Ring
2–3pm
Learn best practices for enjoying a campfire safely. No reservation required; groups welcome.

June 1–August 31 (Saturdays and Sundays)
Camp Gateway Ranger Adventure at Floyd Bennett Field, Wiley Post Group Campfire Ring
9:30–11:30am
Join a park ranger for a nature walk and exploration on this program for children from 6 to 12 years old. Call 718-338-3799 for information and to make a reservation, which is required for this event.

June 7 
Family Camping at Marine Park 
6pm
Participants in this night of camping are chosen by lottery. To enter your name in the lottery, visit nyc.gov on Wednesday, May 28th. 

Dates and times are subject to change. Check online or by phone for advance confirmation.

related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Marine Park
    2880 Flatbush Ave
    Brooklyn
    NY 11234
  2. 2
    Floyd Bennett Field
    50 Aviation Road
    Brooklyn
    NY 11234
  3. 3
    Plumb Beach
    East Bound Belt Pkwy, just east of Exit 9, Knapp St.
    Brooklyn
    NY

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