Feature #184 > June 22nd, 2013 Journal Entry
Smith Point County Park is a park located fronting on the Atlantic Ocean on the east end of Fire Island, New York, United States, in central Long Island by Shirley. It is the largest park owned by Suffolk County, New York.
The park derives its name from Smith Point, a peninsula on the Long Island mainland that extends into Bellport Bay. The peninsula was named for William “Tangier” Smith, who in the 17th century owned 50 miles (80 km) of ocean-front property in the Manor of St. George. The park does not own the Smith Point peninsula.
Smith Point Park, located on the barrier island of Fire Island, is a haven for sportsmen, surfers and beach lovers. An extremely popular facility, the park has white sands, rolling Atlantic surf and an adjoining camping facility that attract both Suffolk County residents and tourists each summer.
Reservations are required for all the sites in the campground. All sites have water, and many have electric hookups and sewers. Outer beach camping is available on first come, first served basis, beach conditions permitting.
A nationally recognized team of lifeguards makes Smith Point its home base, providing ocean visitors with safety protection. With permits, people may drive off-road vehicles on the western portion of the outer beach. All beach-goers are advised to respect the protective fencing that marks nest sites of endangered shorebirds inhabiting the ocean and bay beaches.
Special events are scheduled throughout the summer months at Smith Point County Park.
William Floyd Parkway provides access to the beach and rest of the park. It crosses Narrow Bay on the two-lane Smith Point Bridge. Large parking fields with tunnels to the seashore are available at the end of the Parkway.
A jeep road (with access by permit only) extends to the end of the island. This road as well as the main road along the beach(Suffolk CR 75) was originally intended to be part of the Ocean Parkway Extension. Suffolk Transit’s 7E route also serves the beach on a seasonal basis, connecting it with points in Mastic, Mastic Beach, and Shirley, and the Mastic–Shirley Long Island Rail Road station on the Montauk Branch. From 1983-Late 1990s Suffolk Transit also ran a bus during the summer from Smith Haven Mall to Smith Point called the S74.
The park extends from the east end of the Fire Island Wilderness portion of the National Seashore to a strip of Town of Brookhaven parkland running between this park and the west side of Cupsogue Beach County Park which occupies both ends of Moriches Inlet. Smith Point is a great starting point to explore Fire Island National Seashore and its wilderness areas. A favorite hike is to walk a mile or so behind the dunes on Burma Road and back on the ocean side. The old road leads up to Old Inlet. You can return with an ocean-side walk. Along the way you can spot deer, pick beach plums during the right season, listen to birds and explore several pine groves.
The Fire Island Wilderness Visitor Center is located at the southernmost end of William Floyd Parkway, adjacent to Smith Point County Park. This is Fire Island National Seashore’s eastern gateway to the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, the only federally designated wilderness area in New York State.Read more