AAA Editor Notes
Sandy Hook Unit is entered by bridge from SR 36 at Highlands, N.J. The barrier beach peninsula extends into the entrance of Lower New York Harbor. Recreational activities include bird-watching (approximately 340 bird species migrate through Sandy Hook during spring and fall), hiking, kite-boarding, swimming and windsurfing. Bicyclists, inline skaters and pedestrians are afforded a 5-mile multipurpose trail.
The 1764 Sandy Hook Lighthouse is reputedly the oldest working light tower in the nation. During the American Revolution the site was occupied by British Loyalists. Today the keeper's quarters houses exhibits about New Jersey's lighthouses and maritime, military, and natural history. The History House, an 1898 former lieutenant's home, is furnished with period pieces.
A visitor center is housed in a former U.S. Life-Saving Service station at Spermaceti Cove which offers exhibits, programs and park information. Also housing displays is Fort Hancock, established in 1895. It is still largely intact, as are gun emplacements that defended the harbor during the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II.
Note: Sandy Hook Lighthouse is closed for renovations until spring 2018.Pets on leash are allowed only in designated areas mid-September through mid-March.
Guided tours are available. Pet friendly (call for restrictions/fees.). Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.