Jones Beach State Park
Wantagh, Nassau County
Located on a barrier island, Jones Beach State Park is internationally known for its white, sandy beaches. Yet more than half of the park is in a natural state with ephemeral pools, interdunal environments and salt marshes. Many species of fish come into the estuary, including bluefish, striped bass and even exotic tropical species such as butterfly fish and puffers from the south.
The spring provides opportunities to view a wide variety of migrating songbirds and shorebirds, passing through on their way to northern nesting grounds. Summer is the time to view horseshoe crabs, diamondback terrapins and the New York State endangered Piping plover, all species that utilize the beach environment for nesting. Hundreds of hawks, kestrels, falcons and osprey fly over during the peak fall migration. Each fall thousands of monarch butterflies continue their southward journey through Jones Beach State Park where visitors delight in their beauty. The winter brings harbor seals, which can be seen in the surrounding waters or hauled out on a marsh island. The snowy owl often frequents the beach during the winter months.
Wildlife to Watch
- Diamondback terrapin
- Piping plover
- Harbor seals
- Monarch butterfly
- Fiddler crabs
- Horseshoe crab
- Striped bass
Where to Watch
- Interpretive trails
- Ocean and bay shoreline
- Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center (leaves DEC website)
- Environmental boardwalk
- Viewing platform
- Swimming beaches (ocean and bay) and pools
- Surf fishing
- Picnic facilities
- Boardwalk, miniature golf and beach volleyball
This Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation site has accessible features that include fishing, visitors center, beach and recreation programs. A full list of DEC's accessible recreation destinations is available on the DEC website.
2,413-acre barrier island with 6.5 miles of ocean coastline
See Google Maps and enter your address for step by step directions to Jones Beach State Park (leaves DEC website).
Address: 1 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, NY 11793
Website: Jones Beach State Park (leaves DEC website)
Photo credits: NOAA, NYS Parks and Recreation, USFWS