Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (Gateway National Recreation Area)

Park Overview:

A very large wildlife refuge primarily for migratory birds that is entirely within NYC limits, spanning Brooklyn and Queens.

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:No dogs
Trail Miles:
Park Acreage:9155 acres
New York City/Queens/NY
Park Description:

Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the refuge encompasses open bay and islands, fresh and saltwater ponds, fields, woods and marsh. It is an important stop for migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway. Over 300 different species have been spotted here. Visitors to the wildlife refuge must stop at the visitor center to obtain a free permit. 

Trails Overview:

To the west of the visitor center is West Pond, which is encircled by 1.8-mile long West Trail. The Terrapin Trail, which branches off and then rejoins West Trail, is closed during the summer nesting season. To the east of the visitor center, across Cross Bay Blvd., is East Pond. The waterlevel in this pond is lowered in summer and those with waterproof boots and insect repellent can walk its perimeter. There are other short trails in this part of the refuge.


By car, take the Belt Parkway to Exit 17 Cross Bay Blvd. Continue south for 3 miles to reach the visitor center. By subway the closest stop is Broad Channel station on the A line. Upon exiting the station walk west to Cross Bay Blvd. and turn north, proceeding ½ mile to the visitor center. 

Contact Information:National Park Service -Gateway National Recreation Area
Region:New York City

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Hurricane Sandy Impact

Click for official information concerning what is closed and what is open at Gateway National Recreation Area.

Also see "Gateway Recreation Area, Most of It Still Closed After Storm, Faces Long Recovery," New York Times, December 11, 2012 (p. A28).