Great Kills Park

Quick Facts

Great Kills Park

New York

(718) 987-6790

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Located on a peninsula in Staten Island that features an inlet harbor and barrier ocean beach, Great Kills Park - part of Gateway National Recreation Area - is 580 acres of open space where visitors can enjoy many recreational amenities or explore the wildlife still thriving in New York City.

Great Kills has always been an area known for its ecological resources. Before European settlement, Native Americans gathered food and made medicine from the region's plants and animals. The name Great Kills originates from a Dutch name meaning "many creeks." Up until World War II oysters were plentiful in its waters.

In 1860, John J. Crooke, a businessman and pioneering naturalist, purchased the peninsula's point. While living in a log cabin on its sandy shore, he spent time photographing the beautiful natural space and collecting plant and animal specimens. In 1929, the City of New York bought Crooke's Point and the surrounding properties to develop into a park. Work was delayed however due to the Great Depression, and it was not until 1949 that Great Kills Park opened to the public. This precious wildlife haven became a national park in 1973.

A Model Airplane Field is located at Great Kills Park, under the supervision of the Richmond Model Flying Club.

Map of Great Kills Park

Latitude, Longitude: 40.550207, -74.126930

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Activities

  • Boating

    Nichols Marina at Great Kills Park serves boaters visiting Great Kills Harbor. Their number is 718-351-8476. A Boat Launch Ramp parking permit is available at Great Kills Park (718) 987-6790.

  • Bird Watching

    Excellent birding is available at Crooke's Point and along the shoreline at Great Kills Park.

  • Bicycling

    Biking is allowed at all Staten Island park sites, including the Multi-use Path at Great Kills Park.

  • Fishing

    Surf and shore fishing are available at Great Kills Park (718)987-6790). An annual Parking Permit for fishing is required.

  • Hiking

    A paved and wheelchair-accessible Multi-Use Path begins at the entrance to Great Kills Park and extends 1.5 miles to the Beach Center, and is an excellent choice for walking, jogging and rollerblading.

  • Historic Sites

    Check the Staten Island Unit Program Guide for listings of Ranger-led programs, or call 718-987-6790.

  • Water Sports

    Great Kills Park offers a seasonal swimming beach, with a Beach Center and Lifeguards on duty from from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Seasonality/Weather

Gateway National Recreation Area includes several separate land areas spread throughout the New York metropolitan area. The New York area experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures are moderate in the spring and fall, but range from the high 90's during the summer to snow and sleet in winter.

Directions

Driving

Verrrazano Narrows Bridge from Brooklyn or the Goethals or Bayonne Bridges from New Jersey to the Staten Island Expressway (Interstate 278). Take the Hylan Boulevard exit. Proceed south on Hylan Boulevard. Turn left at the entrance to Great Kills Park.

Public Transportation

Bus: Take the S78 from Staten Island Ferry Terminal or the S79 from 95th Street at 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, to the park entrance.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(718) 987-6790

Links