Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Overview

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge -- part of Gateway National Recreation Area -- is the only wildlife refuge in the national park system.

Located in Queens, New York City, the refuge contains diverse habitats including salt marsh, upland field and woods, several fresh and brackish water ponds and an open expanse of bay available for exploration. The park offers opportunities for bird watching, strolling quiet trails or just experiencing the outdoors. At the visitor center, learn about Jamaica Bay's remarkable plant and animal life, history, and how people continue to shape the nature of the bay. Ranger and volunteer-led programs are offered year-round, and include presentations on seasonal wildlife, sunset tours, family programs and an annual lecture series.

At approximately 32 square miles and over 13,000 acres, Jamaica Bay is the largest natural open space in New York City.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

The New York metropolitan area experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures are moderate in the spring and fall, but range into the 90s during the summer to below freezing in winter.

Directions

Driving: 

From North, East, and West:

* Belt Parkway to Exit 17 S, Cross Bay Boulevard.
* Proceed south on Cross Bay Boulevard across the Joseph Addabbo - North Channel Bridge.
* The Visitor Contact Station is approximately 1.5 miles past the bridge on the right.
* Turn right at traffic light for Visitor Contact Station parking.

From the South (and alternate route from other directions):

* Beach Channel Drive to the Cross Bay - Veterans Memorial Bridge.
* Cross the bridge toward Broad Channel.
* Follow Cross Bay Boulevard through Broad Channel, about 1 mile.
* Turn left at traffic light into the Visitor Contact Station parking lot.

Public Transport: 

Subway:

* Take the Rockaway bound A to Broad Channel Station.
* Walk along Noel Road to Cross Bay Boulevard.
* Turn right and walk about three quarters of a mile to the Refuge Visitor Center.

Bus:

* Take the Q21 from Liberty Avenue (Queens) or 116th Street (Rockaway) to the Refuge.
* Alternate: take the Q53 bus from 61st Street & Roosevelt Avenue (Queens) to the Refuge.