At the easterly point of Fire Island, Smith Point is accessible from the mainland by the Smith Point Bridge and William Floyd Parkway. Smith Point offers campgrounds at one of the most spacious areas of the island. Vast beaches and high sand dunes characterize this end of the island. Smith Point boasts Fire Island’s only surfing competition. Smith Point is the only parcel that is under the jurisdiction of Suffolk County Parks System and it is home to the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial.
The name is in tribute to Col. William “Tangier” Smith, a British settler who in the late 1600’s was the titled owner of the entire barrier beach that is Fire Island as well as a considerable swath of eastern greater Long Island. Smith led an interesting life. He was one-time Mayor of British Colonial Tangier, but soon ousted from his office by a local uprising led by Ismail Ibn Sharif in 1683. He then came to America and soon rose through the ranks of the British colony of New York to the extent that he was briefly acting Governor.
At the turn of a 20th Century Smith Point was connected to Long Island by a wooden footbridge known as the Tangier Bridge. Plans were in the works to construct lavish hotel at Smith Point, not unlike the Surf Hotel to the west end of Fire Island, but these lofty goals never materialized and the footbridge was destroyed by ice flows in 1927. In 1955 the Shirley-Mastic Chamber of Commerce began the construction of the Smith Point Bridge we know today.
All campground stays at Smith Point County Park are made reservations basis only. Calling 631-244-7275. All have water and most have electric and sewer hook-ups. The County Parks schedules special events throughout the summer and is also home to the Smith Point Beach Hut, a seafood and raw bar restaurant which features live music and other festivities.