Fire Island National Seashore

Our view of the Fire Island lighthouse on a foggy morning from the platform just outside of Robert Moses Parking Field 5

There are several reasons that you should hike Fire Island in the Winter. First, Fire Island is a great place to visit anytime. A light house, a unique and quirky neighborhood, miles of beaches and animals are just a few offerings from this small island. Fire Island, a bustling beach town during the summer, was a quiet, peaceful place on the cold day we visited. So if you are looking for some social distancing, now is the time to head out. We were able to visit and climb the lighthouse all by ourselves. We weren’t sweating from the longer stretches of the hike, like the road from the lighthouse to Kismet, we weren’t attacked by bugs, and one of the best perks, there was no beach traffic, no busy parking lot, and no fee to park.

The island is very long, 26 miles so unless you are a cross country hiker, you will only see a portion of the island. My suggestion is to park at Robert Moses Field 5 parking lot. From there the light house is a short walk on a raised boardwalk. You may very well see deer as you walk along this path, as we have. Before you start your walk, I suggest climbing to the top of the small raised platform you will see before you enter and taking in the view. It really is a great spot to catch a sunrise or sunset if you time it right. There are also bathrooms between the parking lot and the boardwalk to the lighthouse, but I would hold off and wait for the gift shop which is regularly cleaned and has sinks.

The Fire Island Light Station

On your way to the lighthouse you will pass the Fire Island Light Station. This has been home to the light that lit this lighthouse between 1858-1933 since it’s return in 2007. You can read more about that here. You can enter and view this light, and if you are lucky, they will give you some interesting history about storm rescues off the coast. Then you are almost at the light house. If you enjoy photo ops, there is an anchor in front of the lighthouse you can take your photo with before going in.

I highly suggest climbing the lighthouse, at 182 steps up, the view is spectacular. I’ve climbed these steps on both a foggy day and a clear day and I enjoyed the experience both times. You can buy your tickets in the gift shop, and while you wait, there is a small museum worth checking out. I really liked checking out the smaller replica of the lighthouse on display.

Once you leave the lighthouse, you can take the road down to Kismet. I believe it is about a mile. You could also walk the beach, but the road is much easier to navigate. It is not as scenic as the rest of the Island, but it is worth the walk. This is an active road for people who live on Fire Island, so even though you cannot drive there, there may be cars on the road. Once you get to Kismet you can simply wander and take in the sights. The houses are all different, some cozy, some showy, others simply artistic. You can walk to the beach side and check out the beach if you didn’t already by field 5. I prefer the side with the docks and restaurants, but we did tend to weave from side to side of this small town.

Most of these pictures are from one house, but be on the look out, there are a lot of cool sights.

Even though they are closed, the restaurants and stores all seem to have their own charm.

Make sure you check out the docks. The views are incredible.

And make sure you visit the beach before you leave. We found some treasures there as well.

But all in all, I think our favorite thing was seeing this little guy and his family.

If you do venture over to Fire Island, let me know what your favorite part was. Did you make it further than Kismet? Let me know if I missed anything. There is definitely a lot going on in Fire Island and plenty to miss.

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