Laws & Policies

Where can you walk your (leashed) dog at Gateway? Find out in the annual Compendium.
When and where can you walk your (leashed) dog at Gateway? Our Pets page will tell you where and when this is allowed. Such rules and regulations can also be found in the park Compendium, which is updated annually.



Park and NPS Rules and Regulations

National Park Service laws and regulations are identified in the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 36: Parks, Forests and Public Property). In addition, each national park complies an annual Compendium of rules which are subject to the discretionary authority of the park superintendent. These rules have the force of law and protect visitors and wildlife, making sure that parks can be enjoyed while park resources are preserved and maintained.

What's in the Compendium?

The park Compendium includes:

  • what areas of the park are open to the public and the hours when they are open;
  • what areas may or may not be used for a specific activity such as where you can bring your leashed pet for a walk or where you may exercise specific First Amendment rights;
  • what activities require a permit, either from the park or from another government agency;
  • what resources must be preserved;
  • what rights and responsibilities visitors have when they visit Gateway.

Note: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic portions of the park have modified operations and may be closed as noted until further notice. Pubic notice regarding closures can be found on this website, Gateway's social media platforms, and via local news.


  • All Visitor Centers and Contact Stations are closed and all Ranger Programs have been cancelled.
  • Special event permits will not be issued until further notice.
  • Limited public restrooms are available.
  • 2020 NPS fishing/parking permits are on sale through Permits may not be picked up, you must chose to have permits mailed to you.

Sandy Hook Unit:

  • Hours of operations 5 am - 9 pm.
  • The Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Visitor Center, History House, Museum, and Gun Batteries and fortifications are closed to the public until further notice.
  • Coolers larger than 24 quarts are prohibited. Only one cooler is allowed per group..

Jamaica Bay Unit:

  • All areas of the unit will close at 9:00 pm until further notice.
  • Coolers larger than 24 quarts are prohibited. Only one cooler per group is allowed.
  • Riis Park Vehicle Parking has been reduced by 50%.

Staten Island Unit:

  • All areas within the unit will close at 9:00 pm until further notice.
  • Coolers larger than a 24 quarts are prohibited. Only one cooler per group is allowed.
  • Vehicle parking in Lot A and the Beach Center Parking Lot has been reduced by 50%

Other restrictions include the following:

Alcoholic beverages at Sandy Hook are now prohibited. This restriction does not affect visitors having weddings at the Sandy Hook Chapel or other permit holders.
Alcoholic beverages at the swimming beach at Great Kills Park in Staten Island are now prohibited.
Smoking is prohibited on the beaches at Sandy Hook, N.J. and Great Kills Park in Staten Island. Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas in all parking lots.

Only umbrellas with a diameter of 8' that require only one central station to support shade are allowed on the beaches. Small tents designed for infants/toddlers are allowed as long as an infant/toddler is present.

E-bike regulations

Class 1 and class 2 e-bikes are allowed on most routes open to traditional bicycles, including the Multi Use Paths (MUP). Class 1 and class 2 e-bikes provide assistance to the operator only up to 20 miles per hour. Speed limits of 10 mph will be posted on the MUP's. Class 3 e-bikes, which can provide assistance up to 28 miles per hour, are not allowed on any park trail or MUP. Additionally the park will maintain its prohibition of e-bikes on all trails where traditional bicycles are already banned. More information and frequently asked questions about e-bikes in national parks are available on the e-bike webpage.

Who owns Gateway? All 300 million U.S. citizens.
Who owns Gateway? The people of the United States, who entrust this property to the National Park Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior.


Federal laws and NPS management policies

Gateway National Recreation Area was created by an act of Congress. The enabling legislation that created the park in 1972 defines the original scope and vision for the park.

Since Gateway is part of the National Park Service, NPS Management Policies govern what this park can and cannot do, along with the rest of the national parks in the United States.

Historic reenactors at Fort Wadsworth.
Historic reenactors at Fort Wadsworth.


First and Second Amendment rights in national parks

Recent court rulings and changes in Congressional law have broadened how citizens may exercise their First Amendment (free speech) and Second Amendment (firearms) rights within national park boundaries.


Last updated: October 15, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305


(718) 354-4606

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