MIDDLETOWN, N.J. – The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Gateway National Recreation Area will increase its beach parking fees at Sandy Hook. The additional revenue will fund infrastructure and maintenance needs and help enhance the visitor experience.
Effective Saturday, May 29, 2021, the beach parking fee will be $20 per vehicle. Season passes will be $100. In 2020, it was $15 per vehicle and $75 for a season pass.
Civic engagement was conducted in 2020, and the increase was approved earlier this year. This is Gateway’s first parking fee increase since 2012.
Beach parking fees charged at Gateway are authorized under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 (FLREA), which allows 80% of the revenue collected at Gateway to remain in the park. In the past five years this money has been used to rehabilitate the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Fort Hancock Post Museum. Future projects include increasing visitor access to the historic Mortar Battery, improvements to the potable water system, replacing street lighting, and removing hazardous trees and replacing them with new plantings.
Visitors who arrive by foot, bicycle, or public transportation will still be allowed to enter the site for free. Non-beach services, such as access to the lighthouse and Fort Hancock post area at Sandy Hook, will remain free. Visitors with senior and access passes will continue to receive a 50% discount for parking. Active service members and veterans, as well as visitors with Every Kid Outdoors vouchers will receive free beach parking.
Visitors will be able to purchase season passes online this year at www.recreation.gov. Season passes will also be available for purchase at the entrance gate.
“We are committed to keeping the park affordable but also want to provide visitors with the best possible experience,” said Gateway Superintendent Jen Nersesian. “The money from the beach parking fees will help improve our visitor facilities and services.”
More information on parking fees can be found on the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/gate/planyourvisit/beach-parking-at-gateway.htm.
About Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway is a large diverse urban park with 27,000 acres spanning Sandy Hook in N.J. and Jamaica Bay and Staten Island in N.Y. It offers green spaces, beaches, wildlife, and outdoor recreation, all alongside historic structures and cultural landscapes. It is the 4th most visited National Park Service unit with more than 9.2 million annual visitors. For more information about Gateway, visit www.nps.gov/gate.