Robert Moses Beach

Robert Moses Beach
Robert Moses Beach is in the state park of the same name at the west end of Fire Island below Long Island, New York. The park is outside of Fire Island National Seashore, reachable by the Robert Moses Causeway, with parking available in lots provided by New York Parks and Recreation. There is a long boardwalk where abundant scenery can be observed on route to historic Fire Island Lighthouse. The location is one of the most favored in New York for locals and visitors looking to fulfill beach needs, just 25 minutes southwest is popular Jones Beach with Lido Beach and Long Beach close by.

There are roughly five miles of oceanfront beach where surf fishing, surfing, and swimming are ideal. The beach is lauded as having a very natural feel without the major crowds found at other popular New York beaches. There are several piers, creating ample chances to reel in numerous fish. Almost 50 boats are accommodated by the boating basin located within Robert Moses State Park, offered on a first-come-first-served basis, providing convenience for boat tours and fishing excursions. For a change of pace, there’s also an 18-hole pitch and putt golf course near Robert Moses Beach.

The historic lighthouse on Fire Island is one of the biggest attractions. The high frequency of piracy and ship wrecks along the island’s coastline created the need for a lighthouse along the west end, erected in 1825, (rebuilt in 1858 due to weather and erosion) and today marks one of the most interesting areas of Fire Island. After a devastating hurricane in 1938, the barrier island was restructured and part of it was re-purposed as Robert Moses State Park. The Fire Island Lighthouse stands as an interesting marker and is perhaps the most popular attraction on the barrier island. It is situated near the tidal delta west of Robert Moses State Park and has been there since construction in 1825.

Today, taking the boardwalk route from the parking lot at the eastern edge of the beach leads way through a maritime forest set behind the beach to the lighthouse, making an interesting hike with great scenery. A circular hiking path is available via a hike along the waterfront where Robert Moses Beach and the surrounding dunes can be examined more closely. In the winter months, serious erosion makes the hike nearly impossible but come spring and summer, the sand resettles on the beach. Guided lighthouse tours are also available. They take the 192 stairs to the lighthouse observatory, offering a spectacular view of Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island, and the beach and ocean. These tours also recount many of the important events marking island history.

Another popular attraction in the summer, and a fun way to reach Robert Moses Beach, are the ferries departing from Sayville, NY and arriving at Sailors Haven Visitor Center, Fire Island. Most visitors that take the ferry also pt in for a tour of the Sunken Forest, an ancient Old growth wildwood with hardwoods and other tree species up to two centuries old. Here, the forest and dunes rely wholly on each other for survival: the trees secure the sand so the dunes can rebuild after the winter while the sand dunes offer the trees protection from harsh ocean winds.

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