Must-See Jamaica Bay: Camping and Hiking

by Staff

(Updated 06/03/2015)

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. There are plenty of other sights and activities on offer: you'll also discover an archery range, sailboating opportunities and the 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 activities:

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

May 30–August 29 (Saturdays)
Campfire Safety Program at Floyd Bennett Field, Wiley Post Group Campfire Ring
Learn best practices for enjoying a campfire safely. No reservation required; groups welcome.

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