50 Wilderness Sites Across America
Twilight, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness (Courtesy of Andrew Mace via Flickr)
Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness (Courtesy of Wilderness Institute)
Sandpipers and plovers, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness (Courtesy of Andrew Mace via Flickr)
Deer in Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness (Courtesy of Wilderness Institute)
Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness (Courtesy of Andrew Mace via Flickr)

Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness

White beaches, grassy wetlands and waterfowl

smithsonian.com

Location: New York
Size: 1,380 acres
Year Designated: 1980
Fast Fact: New York’s only federally designated wilderness area.

Just a short drive from the concrete jungles of Manhattan lies the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, a series of barrier islands that help shield Long Island from the churning Atlantic waves. Designated as wilderness in 1980, it is the only wilderness area in the entire state of New York. The island itself is 32-miles long, but only a seven-mile stretch on its eastern side is designated as wilderness. Here, visitors can walk along pristine beaches and dunes while observing waterfowl, which come to the island’s mainland side in the springtime.

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