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Jamaica Bay: A NYC Getaway

NYC History NYC Story

Jamaica Bay: Thousands fly over it every day and thousands more drive past it, but it’s rare a New Yorker actually explores the salt marshes and wildlife of Jamaica Bay. But we’re a unique brand of New Yorker!

Mark and his buddy David Grupper took the LUNYmobile, strapped that big canoe on it, and headed out to Jamaica Bay which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Those giant airlines screaming overhead every few minutes are a hint of what Jamaica Bay’s fate could have been if the 1878 plan to convert this bucolic patch of nature into NY’s major Seaport had been fully realized.

Much of the marsh areas had been filled in for docks, piers and for the Floyd Bennett Field: one of New York’s earliest airports and later Idlewild (now JFK Airport). However, the plans were never fully completed. In 1938, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses led the effort to maintain the area as a nature preserve.

Now, whether you’re biking through trails, canoeing through a stream or observing the wildlife, you’ll be sure to have a blast. We recommend paying a visit to historic Fort Tilden, or spending a day at Jacob Riis Park. Jamaica bay is one of three gateways that span 27,000 acres of beaches, historic forts, airports, and houses, and wildlife spread across four counties in two states and three boroughs of New York City. With millions visiting each year, isn’t it time you came through?