Swimming in the Raritan

News | Water Quality

NY Beach from nycgovparks.org

Did you know you can swim in the Raritan Bay? NYC Parks offers four public beaches on the Raritan Bay, while New Jersey offers a number of prime spots along the southern Raritan bayshore.

New York

It’s a bit of a drive from our home in New Brunswick, but Wolfe’s Pond Beach, which is part of one of Staten Island’s largest parks, is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The beach is accessible by public transportation and you can explore the Wolfe’s Pond Park nature preserve and wetlands while you are there.

During beach season, lifeguards are on duty daily, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swimming is prohibited when lifeguards are not on duty and in closed sections. Closed sections are marked with signs and/or red flags.

Visit the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s New York City Area Beaches page for water quality advisories or closures before you head to the beach at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/environmental/beach.shtml.

You can get to the beach on public transportation: from the St. George Ferry Terminal, take the S78 bus to Seguine Avenue. Wolfe’s Pond Beach is on Raritan Bay and Prince’s Bay, and runs from Holton to Cornelia Avenues. Free parking is available. Call (718) 984-8266 for more information.

Find out about the other Raritan Bay beaches on Staten Island on the NYC Parks website at http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/beaches.

New Jersey

Travel along the south shore’s Route 36 from Keansburg to Highlands for three terrific beaches.

Keansburg Beach offers secluded free beach areas with great views of the New York City skyline and a fishing pier. Swimming is permitted daily from daybreak ‘til dusk (or 7pm – whichever is earlier), but there is no lifeguard on duty. A metered municipal parking lot is adjacent to the Bay Walks. Keansburg also offers nearby amusement and water parks.

Leonardo Beach in Middleton (off Beach Ave.) is a Township park. There is a lifeguard on duty and fishing is permitted. Don’t miss the Leonardo Beach Party on August 14 from 5 to 8pm. See the Township’s website for more information.

The Highlands beach (Highlands Borough) offers an amazing shore view and less populated beach. The Henry Hudson Trail and Sandy Hook Bay Marina are nearby.

Several other beaches in the area include Ideal Beach in Middleton, Bayshore Waterfront Park in Port Monmouth, Thompson Beach in Middleton, and Union Beach in Union Borough.

The State of New Jersey’s Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP) works with the local health departments to monitor recreational beach water quality from mid-May to mid-September. You will find current beach status, water quality sample results, reports of beach advisories and beach closings, information on other events that affect beaches and daily updates from coastal surveillance flights on the NJDEP CCMP website at https://njbeaches.org.

Beach information for New Jersey is from the State Division of Travel and Tourism: Guide to All Beaches.

(Photo from http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/wolfes-pond-park/facilities/beaches)