Sandy Hook Hiking Trail

#1 of 3 trails in Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook Hiking Trail is a 6.5 mile out and back trail located near Highlands, NJ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until March. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.5 miles 59 feet Out & Back
dogs on leash wheelchair friendly kid friendly birding fishing hiking mountain biking nature trips road biking walking beach forest views wild flowers wildlife
Hide Map
Sign up now to see this map!

Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 117, and continue on NJ 36 East for 13.5 miles, following signs to the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Paula Kopcho

2 Completed1 Reviews

Easy flat trail. Well marked. We went early and had a great day! I had no idea Fort Hancock was there so we took our time exploring. Beautiful scenery, ocean views, I think this will become our favorite "go to" trail!

Ken Huang

1 Completed2 Reviews

Ed R.

Ken Huang

1 Completed2 Reviews

Loving it

Ana García Muñoz

4 Completed2 Reviews

Beautiful but not a mountain bike trail. Just an easy flat trail.

Gabriel Hazzi

10 Completed4 Reviews

Perfect trail and had so much fun. We biked the full length of the trail and felt great. The trail is paved which is awesome and the scenery is gorgeous. The trail is parallel to the ocean at most times so you constantly have a water view. Sandy Hook is a narrow island like which really help ensure that you have constant water views. Also the old military base and fort Hancock were great to visit and taking pictures. Definitely recommended.

Michael Lesser

6 Completed1 Reviews

We biked the full length of the trail from the visitors' center to North Beach, through Fort Hancock. There's one main trail running up the peninsula, with additional branches on the northern side. Lots of beautiful scenery, sand, beaches, bay views, ocean views toward NY harbor, some forested areas. As expected on a beach trail it's very flat, just a few slight rises as it passes over some dunes. Very easy biking on any type of bike. A few of the brach trails dead end at roads which you need to share with cars to reconnect with the trail, but on our weekend ride in September, these roads were not very trafficked. This is a mixed use trail and is very popular with walkers, joggers and bicyclists. So in season it may be a bit congested. After we rode the full length of the trail and most (if not all of the branches) and got back to the visitors center (about 12 miles) we continued a few miles south into Sea Bright. Here the trail goes past a high stone jetty, blocking the sea view. There was also a lot of loose sand on parts. Overall we had a great day. Recommended for any level bicyclist (or walker) who wants an easy, flat route with great beach scenery. Except for the few forested areas, you'll be in direct sun, so don't forget the sunblock. Off season especially, the shore will be a bit cooler and windier, so bring a long sleeve shirt.

Patricia E Rubio

6 Completed5 Reviews

Got there early 8am and finished by 11am and we stopped frequently to take pictures. Beautiful old military structures and houses that I didn't know existed. Paved and well marked path for bikes, you can't possible get lost.

Alfred Pfingstl

7 Completed7 Reviews

I've walked the trails, fished the beaches, surfed/swam the waters of this National Park every year.
My weirdest(?) encounter was taking a side trail off of Atlantic Drive, before Gunnison beach, and seeing all these wind breaks set up in the sand.
Curiousity got the best of me to see what was going on and as I walked towards the surf was greeted by a male nudist colony.
Needless to say I avoid that trail.

Rui Rodrigues

4 Completed2 Reviews

Been here numerous times over the decades. There are dune trails, abandoned military structures, and there is a long paved pathway for runners, rollerbladers, and bicycling. Plenty of beach to walk, ocean and bay side. There's a lookout 'tower' near the tip, but even if you just sit on the beach you can watch boats of all sizes as they come up the chanel into the bay or into NY harbor. Unfortunately the tides always leave a lot of debris at the tip though. But it's still worth a visit if you're already hiking/biking on the hook anyway.