Paddling Our Wild Shores

Fire Island National Seashore, New York
  |  Gorp.com

Fire Island, just off Long Island, is a surprise, because it lies almost in view of New York City and yet has dunes, beaches, shorebirds, and wind-twisted forests. It is a 32-mile barrier island (it also includes a state and county park) that has been created by the waves of the open Atlantic. Two major roads reach Fire Island from neighboring Long Island, and ferry service to various points runs from May to October. (The ferry terminal at Watch Hill will take you to the center of the island.) Roads are few and short, so many stretches of shore are quiet and secluded, especially when you consider the surroundings.

Several designated campsites are available, and the inner shore is an intriguing mix of sand beach, inlet, dune, and forest. The eight miles of shore designated as wilderness is particularly interesting terrain for day trips. Perhaps the biggest hazard to paddlers, besides the power of the Atlantic along the ocean side, is the heavy ferry and boat traffic in the area. So, if you live near New York the good news is that great paddling is nearby.


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