Suffolk County, NY

875 acres


It is reachable by car across causeway and bridge.  

Wantagh State Parkway south to Ocean Parkway east to Robert Moses Bridge south to Robert Moses State Park.  

Robert Moses State park is the westernmost beach on Fire Island.  


1693 -- the area of Fire Island that is now Robert Moses State Park was part of a land grant to William Smith by the English Crown.

1825 -- lighthouse built at the western tip of the island.

1865 -- the lighthouse built. (It replaced the 1825 light house.)

1908 -- it became Fire Island State Park, Long Island's first state park.

1938 -- a devastating hurricane in 1938, a new 875-acre Fire Island State Park with five miles of ocean beach was created.

1964 -- the new Robert Moses bridge spans Fire Island Inlet.

Robert Moses was Long Island State Parks' first commissioner and the man responsible for the creation of Jones Beach and many of Long Island's highways.

(Cynthia Blair, Newsday Names of Long Island;


7/16/02  From Gerry Moore:

A couple of notes about this week's trip. I have been relaying this info to recent people who registered but noticed that early registrants have not been notified.

1. The trip description as an inconsistency regarding where to meet. At first it says meet at parking lot 3 but later it says meet at field 2. We need to meet at FIELD 2. Furthermore, within Field 2 we should congregate at the far western end of this lot. There will be a $7 fee to park in the lot.

2. The trip's meeting time is 10:00 AM. However, I strongly recommend that attendants get there earlier than that. The traffic out to LI on Saturday can be horrendous and the parking lots fill up fast! I plan to arrive there fairly early around 8:00AM.

I was out there yesterday and the botanizing was great. I saw the following:

Amaranthus pumilus

Polygonum glaucum (in bloom)

Spiranthes vernalis (in bloom!; must check species id)

Ophioglossum pusillum (fertile fronds present!)

The wildlife at the end of the island is also great (piping plovers, least terns, white-tailed deer in dunal swales). Prepare for a fair amount of walking. Bring sunglasses and sun block and any other items needed to combat the intense sunlight we will be exposed to.

Please pass this message on to other individuals who may be coming.

Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel)

Hudsonia tomentosa (beach heather)

Amaranthus pumilis (sea-beach amaranth) hopefully in here

Lathyrus japonicus var. maritimus (beach pea)

Polygonum glaucum (sea-beach knotweed)

Spiranthes vernalis (grass-leaved ladies' tresses)

May 31, 1986

One Torreyite joined the field trip leader on a hot dry May morning to observe the vegetation of Robert Moses State park, Fire island, New York.

Ammophila breviligulata was the most common plant on the primary dune. Other primary dune associates included Artemisia stellariana, Lathyrus maritima, and Solidago sempervirens.

We walked east to the board walk constructed by the National Park Service in 1985 and observed the above species and Hudsonia tomentosa, Lechea maritima, Prunus maritima, Rhus radicans, Myrica pensylvanica, Rosa rugosa, Panicum virgatum, Panicum sp., and the Artemisia caudatum in the swale behind the primary dune.

Our next stop was a bog southwest of the Fire island Light. Here were observed Vaccinium macrocarpon, Ptilimnion capillaceum, Drosera intermedia, Lycopodium inundatum var. Bigelovii and several additional species. This bog is a sea of pink in late August when Sabatia stellaris is in bloom. Thousand of Polygala cruciata also grow here, but like Sabatia, are best observed when in flower in late summer.

We traveled along the board walk north of the road and observed Thelypteris palustris, Phragmites australis, Viola lanceolata and other species in boggy areas. Dry areas were populated by Lyonia sp., Vaccinium corymbosum, Aronia spp., Ilex opaca, Pinus rigida and an occasional Juniperus virginiana. Was pleased to find Honkenia peploides growing in the wrack line of the bay along with Bassia hirsuta. I observed H peploides at Democrat Point, Fire island in 1985, but could not find it elsewhere. Just east of the lighthouse we observed Sisyrinchium atlanticum in flower. Mosquitoes were only a problem in the wettest areas, their scarcity a reflection of the dry weather Fire island has experienced this May.

Attendance was 2, leader Richard Stalter.

Long Island Botanical Society field trip. July 20,2002.

Amaranthus pumilus (seabeach amaranth)
Ophioglossum pusillum (Adder's tongue fern)
Polygonum glaucum (seabeach knotweed)
Ptilimnium capillaceum (mock bishop's weed)
Spiranthes vernalis (spring lady's tresses)

Total attendance was 9. The trip leader was Dr. Gerry Moore.

 Steve Young found Spiranthes vernalis. (LIBS Newsletter, Winter 2004, Vol. 14, No. 1. )