Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook is a barrier spit in Middletown Township,[3] Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The barrier spit, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) in length and varying from 0.1 to 1.0 mile (0.16 to 1.61 km) wide, is located at the north end of the Jersey Shore. It encloses the southern entrance of Lower New York Bay south of New York City, protecting it from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The Dutch called the area "Sant Hoek", with the English "Hook" deriving from the Dutch "Hoek" (corner, angle), meaning "spit of land".[4]

Most of Sandy Hook is owned and managed by the National Park Service as the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.

Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Sandy Hook NJ aerial
Sandy Hook seen from an airplane (looking west) on its approach to JFK
Map showing the location of Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Map showing the location of Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Sandy Hook
Coordinates40°27′11″N 73°59′42″W / 40.4530°N 73.9950°WCoordinates: 40°27′11″N 73°59′42″W / 40.4530°N 73.9950°W
Offshore water bodiesAtlantic Ocean (to the east)
Shrewsbury River (to the west)
Elevation7 feet (2 m)[1]
Length6 miles (9.7 km)
Width0.1 to 1.0 mile (0.16 to 1.61 km)
Area2,044 acres (827 ha)
Depth250 to 300 feet (76 to 91 m)[2]
Formed byWisconsin glaciation period
AgeLast Glacial Maximum ("LGM"; ≈25,000 years old)
OperatorNational Park Service
DesignationBarrier spit
Wpdms usgs photo sandy hook
Sandy Hook, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area


Sandy hook from north tower crop
Sandy Hook as seen from the top of Navesink Twin Lights, Highlands, New Jersey

Geologically, Sandy Hook is a large sand spit or barrier spit, the extension of a barrier peninsula along the coast of New Jersey, separated from the mainland by the estuary of the Shrewsbury River. On its western side, the peninsula encloses Sandy Hook Bay, a triangular arm of Raritan Bay. The 2,044-acre (8.27 km2) peninsula was discovered by Henry Hudson,[5] and, historically, Sandy Hook has been a convenient anchorage for ships before proceeding into Upper New York Harbor.

Sandy Hook is part of Middletown Township, although not contiguous with the rest of the Township. Because the peninsula is also federal enclave, Middletown and the federal government have a Concurrent jurisdiction. The community of Highlands overlooks the southern part of the hook.

Sandy Hook is owned by the federal government. Most of it is managed by the National Park Service and U.S. National Park Service rangers as the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. The eastern shoreline consists of public beaches: North Beach, Gunnison Beach, and South Beach. The southern part of the spit consists of public beaches, fishing areas. The peninsula's ocean-facing beaches are considered among the finest in New Jersey and are a popular destination for recreation in summer when seasonal ferries[6] bring beachgoers from it's various docking points including NYC. Gunnison Beach is one of the largest clothing optional beaches on the East Coast.[7][8]

Sandy Hook Lighthouse is located within the fort grounds, as is the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), a magnet high school, part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. At the entrance to Fort Hancock is Guardian Park, a plaza dominated by two Nike missiles. Some of the buildings of Fort Hancock are closed to the public because their structural integrity in decay, and to preserve it's profile for future visitors (in line with U.S. NPS mission statement [1]). A proposal was recently accepted to allow adaptive reuse of some of the buildings in Fort Hancock for private use. This partnership will hopefully help these historic structures to be maintained more effectively.

There is a vocational school that is located further north on the peninsula abbreviated as M.A.S.T., The Marine Academy of Science and Technology. The school was greatly damaged by Hurricane Sandy late 2012, and restored the subsequent year.

Military history

The defunct U.S. Army post Fort Hancock at the north end of the peninsula is open to visitation by the National Park Service. The Sandy Hook Proving Ground was used by for many years—beginning after the Civil War until 1919, when the facility was moved to Aberdeen, Maryland—and was later the site of a Nike missile defense installation. The Sandy Hook Nike station is one of a very few stations that are still intact. Almost all of the fort's gun batteries are closed to the public due to their hazardous condition. The exceptions to this are Battery Potter and Battery Gunnison. Battery Potter is open frequently for tours on the weekends, as well as Battery Gunnison which is being restored by volunteers and has two six-inch (152 mm) M1900 guns installed; the weapons were placed there in 1976. Guided tours show visitors a Nike missile, the missile firing platforms, and a radar station with 1960s-era computers. A Civil War-era 20-inch Rodman gun is also in the park; this was an experimental gun that was the largest type produced by either side of that war.

North of Fort Hancock on the western part of the "hook" is an active station of the United States Coast Guard. This is one of the original Life Saving Stations built in 1848 at a site "on bay side, one-half mile south of point of Hook." The site was changed several times through the years due to a change in land or at the request of the War Department, which owned the land.[9] This area is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and is closed to the general public.

Tourism and recreation

The beaches along the Atlantic shore of Sandy Hook—North Beach, Gunnison Beach and the Southern Beaches, A, B, C, D, E—feature parking lots, lifeguards, rest rooms and seasonal concession stands. They do not permit pets on the beaches yearly after March 15th. Nude or partially nude sunbathers may be encountered at Gunnison Beach, again it is clothing optional.[5] In contrast, the western shore includes vast acres of sand and trails and a paved path without life guards or rest rooms. These stretches are favored by cyclists and kite surfers, and leashed dogs are permitted.

While within Sandy Hook some laws and regulations are different. Day trippers need be aware of the jurisdictional differences; Sandy Hook falls under 36 CFR (code of federal regulations) , United States Code, as well as New Jersey State Code in instances where federal laws do not pertain. In Sandy Hook a misdemeanor could be a federal crime while outside the park it was a minor infraction.

All of Sandy Hook's regulations can be reviewed inside of the Park's Compendium.

Accommodations near Sandy Hook include bed and breakfasts such as the Sandy Hook Cottage and Seascape Manor, as well as Grand Lady by the Sea, and Nauvoo at Sandy Hook, which are all located in Highlands. Dining options have changed drastically since Superstorm Sandy, which destroyed the island's only eating location, the Sea Gulls' Nest Deck Restaurant. On the peninsula, various food trucks can be found and nearby is the locally known Bahr's Landing, Moby's and Something Fishy.[5]

Local activities include the Sandy Hook All Woman Lifeguard Tournament in July, boat rentals for fishing, parties and tours, and paved path for biking, rollerblading, and walking. The Henry Hudson Trail accessible from Highlands, NJ., which stretches nine miles (14 km) from Aberdeen to Atlantic Highlands and is wheelchair accessible.[5]

The northern tip of Sandy Hook is the traditional finish of the 16.1 mile Ederle, now Ederle-Burke, Swim, which runs from the Battery at the tip of Manhattan Island through the Narrows and into Lower New York Bay. The first successful swim occurred in 1913, when New York lifeguard Alfred Brown came ashore in 13 hours, 38 minutes. As a prelude to her English Channel triumph, Gertrude Ederle swam the same course in 1925, finishing in 7 hours, 11 minutes.


The road that connects to Sandy Hook is Route 36. The road to the peninsula branches from Route 36 at the northern end of Sea Bright becoming Hartshorne Drive within the park. The Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge crosses the Shrewsbury River and carries the road traffic of Route 36 from Highlands in the west to Sea Bright in the east, near the entrance to Sandy Hook.

A bicycle path parallels the motor road. The SeaStreak ferry serves Sandy Hook from Manhattan in summertime.[5][10][11]


1981 - 2010 monthly climatic averages for Sandy Hook Beach, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Elevation 5 feet. Humid subtropical climate (Cfa).

Sandy Hook Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Ann
Avg High Temp 39 °F 42 °F 49 °F 58 °F 68 °F 78 °F 83 °F 82 °F 75 °F 64 °F 54 °F 44 °F 61 °F
Avg Low Temp 26 °F 28 °F 34 °F 43 °F 53 °F 62 °F 68 °F 68 °F 61 °F 50 °F 41 °F 32 °F 47 °F
Avg Dew Point 23 °F 24 °F 29 °F 38 °F 49 °F 60 °F 65 °F 65 °F 59 °F 47 °F 38 °F 28 °F 44 °F
Avg Precip 3.4" 2.6" 3.7" 4.0" 3.7" 3.9" 4.6" 4.0" 3.6" 3.7" 3.4" 3.8" 44.4"
Estimated Average Seasonal Snowfall (Nov - Apr) ≈ 20"

Dew Point / Humidity Chart

Dew Point Humidity
≥ 75 °F Extreme
70 °F - 74 °F High
65 °F - 69 °F Moderate
60 °F - 64 °F Slight
≤ 59 °F Comfortable


Jsj-380-Light Ship Sandy Hook

Lightship #51 at Sandy Hook as it appeared in the 1890s.

Historic Gun, Sandy Hook, NJ - panoramio

20-inch Rodman gun with shells

Sandy Hook gun platforms 3

Abandoned gun platforms of the Sandy Hook Proving Ground

Abandoned mortar battery Sandy Hook 2

Part of a mortar battery installation near Sandy Hook Light

Sponge Bob No Pants (200768094)

Among the many beaches on Sandy Hook, Gunnison Beach is clothing optional.

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sandy Hook
  2. ^ "Coreholes Reveal Glacial and Postglacial History at Sandy Hook" (PDF). Unearthing New Jersey. Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 11 (1): 3. 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  3. ^ Greenfield, Beth (5 August 2005). "Sandy Hook, So Close to Manhattan, So Far Away in Spirit". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  4. ^ "The Atlantic World: Dutch Place Names / De Atlantische Wereld: Plaatsnamen". Dutch Place Names. Library of Congress. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Rounds, Kate, ed. (2010). "The Shore Next Door". Palisade - Hoboken & Beyond. Hudson Reporter Assoc., LP. 4 (3): 38–39. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Sea Streak". Sea Streak. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  7. ^ Trebay, Guy (September 2, 2001). "All Undressed and So Many Places to Go". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-21. Crowds are also increasing these final summer days at Blacks Beach near San Diego, at Mazo Beach on the lower Wisconsin River and at Gunnison Beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, a dress optional sand strip run by the National Park Service that was recently deemed by the Clean Beaches Council, an environmental group, one of the top 10 beaches in the United States.
  8. ^ Flam, Faye. "Clothing optional may not be way of historical human", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 17, 2006. Accessed June 17, 2007. "Sandy Hook boasts the biggest nude beach along the Atlantic. The clothing-optional part is called Gunnison Beach ...."
  9. ^ "Station Sandy Hook, New Jersey" (PDF). U.S. Coast Guard History Program. United States Coast. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  10. ^ "Sea Streak". Sea Streak. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  11. ^ "American Princess Cruises". Retrieved 2012-12-17.

External links

Preceded by
Beaches of New Jersey Succeeded by
Blue Riband

The Blue Riband () is an unofficial accolade given to the single hull passenger liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean in regular service with the record highest speed in a westbound direction, i.e. against the Gulf Stream. The term was borrowed from horse racing and was not widely used until after 1910. Traditionally, the record is based on average speed rather than passage time because ships follow different routes.. Unofficial records could be set on eastbound salings, but they would not officially earn the Blue Riband.

Of the 35 Atlantic liners to hold the Blue Riband, 25 were British, followed by five German, three American, as well as one each from Italy and France. Thirteen were Cunarders (plus Queen Mary of Cunard White Star), 5 by White Star, with 4 owned by Norddeutscher Lloyd, 2 by Collins, 2 by Inman and 2 by Guion, and one each by British American, Great Western, Hamburg-America, the Italian Line, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and finally the United States Lines.

The record set by United States in 1952 remains unbroken by any passenger liner. The next-longest period through which the Blue Riband was retained was 19 years, held from 1909 to 1929 by Mauretania. The shortest period was 6 weeks, by Bremen from July to August 1933.

Many of these ships were built with substantial government subsidies and were designed with military considerations in mind. Winston Churchill estimated that the two Cunard Queens helped shorten the Second World War by a year. The last Atlantic liner to hold the Blue Riband, the SS United States, was designed for her potential use as a troopship as well as her service as a commercial passenger liner.There was no tangible award until 1935, when Harold K. Hales donated the Hales Trophy; though the rules for the Hales Trophy were different from the traditional rules for the Blue Riband (for example, the Hales Trophy could be awarded for both eastbound and westbound records) and it changed several times in the years to come. It was awarded to just three Blue Riband holders during the express liner era. The trophy continues to be awarded, albeit most recently in 1998 to a catamaran express ferry carrying no passengers, but many people believe the United States remains as the true holder of the original Blue Riband because no subsequent record breaker was in traditional Atlantic passenger service and a single hull liner.There is no ship capable of winning the original Blue Riband today, because the contestant must be a mono-hull passenger liner, and the large cruise ships of our time and age have neither the hull shapes nor the propulsion necessary to achieve the speeds of which the last great liners were capable. The new Queen Mary II comes close, being constructed in the sleek form of a liner, but cannot quite reach the maximum speed of the last winner, the United States.

The Ocean Rowing Society inspired by The Blue Riband concept created Blue Riband Trophy of Ocean Rowing awarded to the fastest crew to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an unsupported row boat. Presently it is the most sought after trophy of ocean rowing.

Fort Hancock, New Jersey

Fort Hancock is a former United States Army fort at Sandy Hook in Middletown Township New Jersey. The coastal artillery base defended the Atlantic coast and the entrance to New York Harbor, with its first gun batteries operational in 1896. Between 1874 and 1919, the adjacent US Army Sandy Hook Proving Ground was operated in conjunction with Fort Hancock. It is now part of Fort Hancock Memorial Park. It was preceded by the Fort at Sandy Hook, built 1857–1867 and demolished beginning in 1885.

The Sandy Hook Light, built in 1764 and the oldest working lighthouse in the United States, is located on the grounds of Fort Hancock.

Gun control after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, multiple gun laws were proposed in the United States at the federal and state levels. The shooting renewed debate about gun control. The debates focused on requiring background checks on all firearm sales (called universal background checks), and on passing new and expanded assault weapon and high-capacity magazine bans.

Lightship Ambrose

Lightship Ambrose was the name given to multiple lightships that served as the sentinel beacon marking Ambrose Channel, New York Harbor's main shipping channel.

The first lightstation was established south of the Ambrose Channel off of Sandy Hook, NJ in 1823. From 1823 through 1967, several ships served the Ambrose Channel station; each was referred to as Lightship Ambrose and bore the station's name being painted on its side. In 1906, the lighship serving this station was relocated closer to the center of the Ambrose Channel. On 24 August 1967, the Ambrose station lightship was replaced by a Texas Tower, the Ambrose Light.

Newtown Public Schools

Newtown Public Schools is a school district in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of 2013 it contained seven schools, with a total enrollment of 5298, an increase of 1663 since 1994. It comprises 2.64% of Fairfield county (0.53% of the state). Teachers in the school district are paid more than average for the area, which has in the past led to complaints from neighbouring districts of staff being poached from them.

Raritan Bayshore

The Raritan Bayshore region of New Jersey is a subregion of the larger Jersey Shore. It is the area around Raritan Bay from The Amboys to Sandy Hook, in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, including the towns of Perth Amboy, Keyport, "Pearl of the Bayshore", Keansburg, and Highlands, New Jersey. It is the northernmost part of the Jersey Shore, located just south of New York City. At Keansburg is a traditional amusement park while at Sandy Hook are found ocean beaches. The Sadowski Parkway beach area in Perth Amboy, which lies at the mouth of the Raritan River, was deemed the "Riviera of New Jersey" by local government. In the last years many of the beaches on the Bayshore area have been rediscovered and upgraded as the quality of the water continues to improve.

Reactions to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

The December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting—in which the perpetrator shot and killed his mother, 20 school children, 6 teachers, and then himself—received international attention. Governments and world leaders offered their condolences, while tributes and vigils by people were made in honor of the victims. U.S. President Barack Obama gave a televised address at 3:16 p.m. EST on the day of the shootings, saying, "We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics." Obama paused twice during the address to compose himself and wipe away tears, and expressed "enormous sympathy for families that are affected". He also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and other U.S. federal government facilities worldwide in respect for the victims. Within 15 hours of the massacre, 100,000 Americans signed up at the Obama administration's We the People petitioning website in support of a renewed national debate on gun control. Obama attended and spoke at an interfaith vigil on December 16 in Newtown, Connecticut.

Remington Outdoor Company

Remington Outdoor Company (ROC) is an American firearms manufacturer holding company which has acquired notable brands such as Bushmaster, DPMS, Remington and Marlin.

Sandy Hook, Connecticut

Sandy Hook is a village in the town of Newtown, Connecticut. Sandy Hook was founded in 1711.

It borders the Botsford section of town, Newtown borough, and also the towns of Monroe, Southbury and Oxford along the Housatonic River. The village of Sandy Hook includes the communities of Berkshire, Riverside, Walnut Tree Hill, and Zoar, which also extends for a short distance into the Town of Monroe along Old Zoar Road and Bagburn Hill/Jordan Hill Road.

Sandy Hook, Indiana

Sandy Hook is an unincorporated community in Daviess County, Indiana, in the United States.

Sandy Hook, Kentucky

Sandy Hook is a home rule-class city beside the Little Sandy River in Elliott County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 675 at the 2010 census.

Sandy Hook, Maryland

Sandy Hook is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Washington County, Maryland, United States. Its population was 188 as of the 2010 census.

Sandy Hook, Wisconsin

Sandy Hook is a census-designated place in the town of Jamestown, Grant County, Wisconsin, United States. Its population was 185 as of the 2010 census.

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, United States, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. Before driving to the school, he shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the school, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

The incident was the deadliest mass shooting at either a high school or grade school in U.S. history and the fourth-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history. The shooting prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States, including proposals to make the background-check system universal, and for new federal and state gun legislation banning the sale and manufacture of certain types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition.

A November 2013 report issued by the Connecticut State Attorney's office concluded that Lanza acted alone and planned his actions, but provided no indication why he did so, or why he targeted the school. A report issued by the Office of the Child Advocate in November 2014 said that Lanza had Asperger's syndrome and as a teenager suffered from depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but concluded that they had "neither caused nor led to his murderous acts." The report went on to say, "his severe and deteriorating internalized mental health problems ... combined with an atypical preoccupation with violence ... (and) access to

deadly weapons ... proved a recipe for mass murder".

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting conspiracy theories

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut. The perpetrator, Adam Lanza, fatally shot his mother before murdering 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and later committing suicide. A number of fringe figures have promoted conspiracy theories that doubt or dispute what occurred at Sandy Hook. Various conspiracy theorists have claimed, for example, that the massacre was actually orchestrated by the U.S. government as part of an elaborate plot to promote stricter gun control laws. Other conspiracy theorists, such as Alex Jones, have denied that the massacre actually occurred, asserting that it was "completely fake."No evidence supports these conspiracy theories, which make a number of implausible claims. Moreover, many Sandy Hook conspiracy theories contradict one another. A number of sources have published articles debunking various claims put forward by conspiracy theorists. In 2018, the parents of several children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting launched a lawsuit against Alex Jones and other authors of conspiracy videos for defamation, accusing them of engaging in a campaign of "false, cruel, and dangerous assertions".

Sandy Hook Light

The Sandy Hook Lighthouse, located about one and a half statute miles (2.4 km) inland from the tip of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. It was designed and built on June 11, 1764 by Isaac Conro. At that time, it stood only 500 feet (150 metres) from the tip of Sandy Hook; however, today, due to growth caused by littoral drift, it is almost one and a half miles (2.4 km) inland from the tip.

Sandy Hook Proving Ground

The Sandy Hook Proving Ground was a military facility along the Atlantic coast of New Jersey established by the Secretary of War on August 7, 1874, to serve as the United States Army's first proving ground for the testing of ordnance and materiel. The facility was located at Sandy Hook, a narrow coastal spit of land, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) in length and 0.5 miles (varying between 0.1 and 1 miles) wide, in Middletown Township in Monmouth County. The facility was operated in conjunction with the adjoining Fort Hancock. Essentially abandoned in 1919 for a larger facility, the area was left to degrade and most of the structures still remain today. The proving ground and parts of Fort Hancock are now property of the National Park Service and mostly closed to the public.

U.S. Route 340

U.S. Route 340 (US 340) is a part of the U.S. Highway System that runs from Greenville, Virginia to Frederick, Maryland. In Virginia, it runs north–south, parallel and east of U.S. Route 11, from US 11 north of Greenville via Waynesboro, Grottoes, Elkton, Luray, Front Royal, and Berryville to the West Virginia state line. A short separate piece crosses northern Loudoun County on its way from West Virginia to Maryland.

In West Virginia, it runs north–south in Jefferson County, between Clarke County, Virginia and Loudoun County, Virginia. It is the main route between Charles Town and Harpers Ferry, and it is known as the William L. Wilson Freeway through that stretch. The southern portion of the highway, between the Virginia state line and Charles Town, is known as Berryville Pike.

In Maryland, the U.S. highway runs 17.01 miles (27.37 km) from the Virginia state line at the Potomac River at Sandy Hook east to its northern terminus at US 15 and US 40 (the Frederick Freeway) in Frederick. US 340, which is known for most of its length as Jefferson National Pike, connects Frederick with the communities of Jefferson, Brunswick, and Knoxville in the southern part of the Middletown Valley of western Frederick County and Weverton in far southern Washington County. The U.S. highway also links Frederick with Harpers Ferry and Charles Town in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. US 340 is a part of the National Highway System for its entire length in Maryland.US 340 was one of the original state roads designated by the Maryland State Roads Commission. The state road was constructed from Frederick to Knoxville in the early 1910s and completed to Harpers Ferry in 1919. The highway was designated Maryland's portion of US 340 in 1926. US 340 originally crossed the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry; however, the U.S. highway's bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1936. The modern US 340 Bridge was constructed at Sandy Hook between 1940 and 1947, with a long interruption due to World War II. The U.S. highway's freeway between Weverton and Frederick was constructed in the 1960s. Old sections of US 340 became part of Maryland Route 180 (MD 180).

Uxbridge, Ontario

Uxbridge is a township in the Regional Municipality of Durham in south-central Ontario, Canada.

Municipalities and communities of Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States

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