Watch Hill is the largest and most extensive of the Fire Island National Seashore visitor facilities and is certainly the destination for the more rugged retreat. East of Davis Park, it offers lifeguard monitored beaches, campgrounds, restroom and shower facilities, an array of nature trails, guided canoe tours, picnic area, grills, a marina with over 140 slips with water and electric hook-up service as well as an additional 29 day slips. There is a general store that sells snacks and souvenirs, a Tiki bar and the acclaimed Pier Restaurant.
It first opened to the public in 1967 and the facilities offered have gradually been enhanced and improved upon over the years. Watch Hill serves as gateway to the Otis Pike Wilderness Area, the only federal wilderness area in New York State and one of the last large tracts of undeveloped of barrier beach on the northeast coast. Established by act of U.S, Congress in 1980, the Wilderness Area was named in honor of U.S. Representative Otis Grey Pike, a champion of the cause to establish Fire Island National Seashore.
Accessible by private boat, lateral water taxi, or ferry out of Patchogue, NY, Watch Hill is a favorite day-tripper destination for Long Islanders or City dwellers via Long Island Railroad as well as the seasoned camper. 26 sand sites are available in the campgrounds and reservations strongly suggested. For camping reservations call 631-597-6664, the marina 631-597-3109, and for The Pier Restaurant call 631-597-9060. Sorry no roller-skates, scooters or bicycles on the boardwalks. However wheelchairs, baby strollers and wagons are permitted. Pets are also permitted, but must be kept leashed when in any Watch Hill public facility, lifeguarded beaches, or near any shorebird nesting areas. Please pick up and dispose of all pet waste properly so that the visiting experience remains enjoyable for all.
With the high cost of Fire Island Rentals is no surprise that every year we get more and more questions about camping on Fire Island. In fact, camping is one of the most frequently searched terms on our website. With that said we want to make sure you have all the information you need to plan your Fire Island camping trip.
There are 3 designated camping areas on Fire Island. Watch Hill camp ground, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness and Smith Point County Park. You can walk into the Otis Pike High Dune Wilderness area from both Watch Hill, which is accessible by Davis Park Ferry in Patchogue,, Long Island, and though Smith Point County Park which is accessible by car via the William Floyd Parkway.
Fire Island Camp Sites
Watch Hill, Fire Island
The most popular of all Fire Island camping, this spot is great for families, groups, boaters. It has 26 campsites and is by far the most popular of all the campsites.
Standard individual or small group camping.
1-5 adults with either two 2-man tents or one 5-man tent.
$25 per night: Two night minimum for Friday and Saturday night, one night minimum for Sunday through Thursday.
Individual campsite reservations can only be booked online and must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
Special Group Camping is exclusive for not-for-profit organizations (examples: scouting or church groups). These groups may reserve the group campsite for up to 40 people.
$35 per night with a two-night minimum.
- Bird watching
- Visitor center
- Nature trail
- Life-guarded beaches
- Running water
- Picnic tables
- Showers and Bathrooms
Smith Point County Park, Fire Island
Smith point camping lacks the all of the amenities that Watch Hill has but makes up for in beauty and the convenience of the Smith Point Bridge and William Floyd Parkway from the mainland, that puts you on the island without having to us the any of the Fire Island Ferries. It should also be noted that Smith Point is one of Fire Islands best surfing spots and is a popular fishing destination.
Outer beach access
Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness
At 1,380 acres, this federally protected area is one of the smallest wilderness areas managed by the National Park Service. You must have a Park ranger issues permit to camp here and it’s completely first come first serve. To get into the campsite you can walk from Watch Hill or From Smith Point Park.