10th Day in Rockaway: Gateway National Recreation Area
In between the Rockaway Peninsula and the "mainland" of Brooklyn lies both land and water that are part of Gateway National Recreational Area which is operated by the National Parks Service (NPS). Many people are usually surprised to find out there is National Park area in NYC but Gateway is often among the top 10 most visited National Park areas annually. While this Brooklyn/Queens area is the largest swath of NPS area in NYC, Gateway extends to areas in Staten Island and New Jersey as well. The full list of Gateway Parks includes:
As a National Park area, most of Gateways areas and activities are low cost or free and open to the public.
Here are a few "must-dos" if you want to get out to a National Park on a Saturday afternoon (or evening):
There are a number of free paddling opportunities throughout Gateway operating throughout the summer. Pro-tip: show up early to make sure you get a spot.
4) Go for a bike ride
5) Birding & Beaching
Mix a beach day with bird watching at Breezy Point in Queens.
By Sarah Knapp, this is part of the 30 Days in the Rockaways series.