Gateway National Recreation Area
Fantastic beaches, old military forts, and wildlife are the big draws to this unexpectedly diverse park with an assortment of activities from beachcombing to aviation history. The concept of the urban natural park emerged in the United States in the 1960s.
One of the first in the country to be set up by the National Park System, Gateway National Recreation Area protects wilderness along the city's south shore, combining native wildlife, public beaches, and historic structures. There is seasonal ferry service (to be expanded) from Manhattan to Gateway's Sandy Hook Unit, in NJ.
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