Walk past the concessions stand, through the parking lot, keep going down the beach, then you will find nature.
On the western edge of Fire Island, within the Robert Moses State Park, where the waves, tides and winds have continued the migration of sands adding length to Fire Island, is where one can escape to the tranquility of coastal nature.
Many beach-goers that park at the Field 2 beach access will walk west on the beach towards the open beaches and dunes. Most stop short of the rock jetty of Democrat Point one mile from Field 2, but it’s here that starts getting way from it all.
Democrat Point is well known by local surfers, surfcasters and many 4x4 beach access drivers. Beyond Democrat Point and west onto the open sand beaches has no 4x4 access and the dunes are roped off and restricted due to a habitat sanctuary for coastal birds.
Although there are deterrents from exploring the dunes, by hiking along the 4x4 access road can bring one into a place that is nearly isolated from suburban Long Island with salt pond, dunes and bayside beaches.
Wildlife of seabirds, deer, rabbits and foxes abound in the dunes and coastal shrubs. During the day these local animals go unseen with tracks up and over the dunes as proof that this is their habitat. The salt pond at low tide offers sights of crabs, small minnows and bait fish. As the tide comes in and out, it erodes the dunes uncovering what sand and storms have buried over time.
(Photos: Democrat Point, restricted access, dunes and seagrass, salt pond at low tide, buried deck chair)