29 Jun Fire Island Sites
There are four major sites on Fire Island that I have gotten to visit:
This is the first site I got to visit on Fire Island. Even though it’s a long ferry ride, it’s worth it. Watch Hill is home to an expansive salt marsh that is bursting with wildlife. You can can see Snowy Egrets, Osprey, deer, Gray Catbirds, and much more. The waves on the beach are huge and the sand dunes surrounding the beach are fairly untouched. At this location I got to observe Ranger Pat lead a tour for a class field trip, and I even got to help out.
Even though this location is on the same island as the other sites, its ecosystem is very different. It is home to a special type of forest. Specifically, the “Sunken Forest” at Sailor’s Haven is a maritime forest. In this particular forest there are holly, sassafras, red cedar, and juneberry trees. A lot of deer, squirrels, and foxes make a home here.
Wilderness Visitor Center
This location is right on the beach. It is also only about 1.7 miles away from the beach that recently emerged during Hurricane Sandy. The location is very scenic, and it is also one of my favorite visitor centers. The upstairs of the center operates as a museum and has an amazing view of the open ocean. The mini museum consists of whale bones that have washed up on shore, a deer skeleton, and an old life saver.
The lighthouse is a major staple for Fire Island. Fortunately, I get to live right by it and see it shine its light all day and night. It is about 168’ feet tall and has black and white stripes. Once you reach the top of the lighthouse, you can see all of Fire Island. And on a clear day, you can even see the Empire State Building! Even though it has a lot of stairs, the view is definitely worth the climb.