At the easterly point of Fire Island, Smith Point is accessible from the mainland by the Smith Point Bridge and William Floyd Parkway. Smith Point offers campgrounds at one of the most spacious areas of the island. Vast beaches and high sand dunes characterize this end of the island. Smith Point boasts Fire Island’s only surfing competition. Smith Point is the only parcel that is under the jurisdiction of Suffolk County Parks System and it is home to the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial.
The name is in tribute to Col. William “Tangier” Smith, a British settler who in the late 1600’s was the titled owner of the entire barrier beach that is Fire Island as well as a considerable swath of eastern greater Long Island. Smith led an interesting life. He was one-time Mayor of British Colonial Tangier, but soon ousted from his office by a local uprising led by Ismail Ibn Sharif in 1683. He then came to America and soon rose through the ranks of the British colony of New York to the extent that he was briefly acting Governor.
At the turn of a 20th Century Smith Point was connected to Long Island by a wooden footbridge known as the Tangier Bridge. Plans were in the works to construct lavish hotel at Smith Point, not unlike the Surf Hotel to the west end of Fire Island, but these lofty goals never materialized and the footbridge was destroyed by ice flows in 1927. In 1955 the Shirley-Mastic Chamber of Commerce began the construction of the Smith Point Bridge we know today.
All campground stays at Smith Point County Park are made reservations basis only. Calling 631-244-7275. All have water and most have electric and sewer hook-ups. The County Parks schedules special events throughout the summer and is also home to the Smith Point Beach Hut, a seafood and raw bar restaurant which features live music and other festivities.
New York Travel Guide | Fire Island
Fire Island is one of New York’s top travel destinations, its close proximity to New York City makes Fire Island an easy day trip as well as a sought out summer vacation spot, New York Travel Guide ranks this spot as #1. There are not many beaches in the United States that can boast such pristine beauty and isolation from the mainland yet is just a stone’s throw away from a major city. In fact it’s almost a paradox that one can spend the morning in the hustle of New York City and be barefoot and carefree watching white tail deer climb the velvety sands on the Fire Island National Seashores dunes by early afternoon.
New York Travel Guide has provided visitors with information on Fire Island since 1996! We have seen the island grow and we are astonished at how amazing the integrity and soul of this New York gem has been preserved. Over the past few years Fire Island has over taken the Hamptons as the New York Travel Guide favorite summer vacation spot and has not only been ranked New York’s best beach but one of the best beaches in the world, not just in New York Travel Guide but Forbes, and Coastal Living to name just a few. What started as a small bohemian getaway has turned into one of the most desirable beach towns in the United States. Despite the soaring Real Estate market and inflow of top Restaurants Fire Island has been able to maintain a much more rustic laid back vibe, a stark contradiction to summer in the Hamptons. Simple put Fire Island is flip flops and bongo’s its Matthew Mcconaughey’s kind of place. The Hamptons is the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and P-Diddy , need we say more?
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. Features:
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. Features:
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.