Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Norton Basin Natural Resource Area

Norton Basin locator map

hikingfishingbird viewingicon key

View from Norton Basin Natural Resource Area

The 11-acre Norton Basin Natural Resource Area is located at the eastern end of the Rockaway Peninsula. The site is bounded to the west by Norton Basin (a tributary of Jamaica Bay), to the east by a new development of multi-family homes facing Bay 32nd Street, to the north by the western end of Healy Avenue, and to the south by Bayswater Park (leaves DEC website), which is operated by New York City Parks.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

More than 1,700 feet of winding trails run through the property. The primary trail route begins near Bayswater Park and runs northward towards Healy Avenue. The trails are somewhat primitive in nature.

Fishing

fishing

General information on marine fishing includes links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Shore fishing is allowed on the property. Look for striped bass, weakfish, bluefish, flounder and fluke.

Wildlife

bird viewing

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

View from Norton Basin Natural Resource Area

As a result of the wetland and dune creation and subsequent restoration, many varieties of birds, fish, and other plant and wildlife have flourished within Norton Basin Natural Resource Area.

The area has become an excellent foraging ground for the American black duck, brant goose, red-tail hawk, shorebirds and many species of egret. The marsh is a protective nursery for many young fish spawned in Jamaica Bay, such as winter flounder and fluke. Many varieties of crabs, such as the blue-claw, fiddler, and horseshoe, can also be spotted along the shoreline.

Along with incredible opportunities for nature viewing and photography, the area allows visitors to enjoy hours of hiking through the many trails or fishing from shore.

Directions

Take Rockaway Blvd. to Bay 32nd St. and turn left onto Healy Ave. The Norton Basin Natural Resource Area entrance is located at the end of Healy Ave (40.603163°N, 73.770031°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website). There are no designated parking areas but roadside parking is available.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Norton Basin Natural Resource Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

For your safety and protection of the property, the following regulations are in place:

  • All state forests are carry in - carry out facilities.
  • Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited.
  • No hunting is allowed on any Region 2 NYSDEC properties.
  • Fishing is allowed in compliance with State regulations.
  • No camping is allowed.
  • Keep pets under control and on leash while other forest users are around.
  • Unauthorized use of off-road motorized vehicles is prohibited. This includes cars, trucks, ATVs, and motorcycles.

***Stay Safe- Bring a Friend When Visiting the Property ***

Illegal activities are strictly prohibited on state property.

How We Manage Norton Basin Natural Resource Area

DEC is developing a unit management plan (UMP) which will describe the management activities for these lands. In addition to management objectives, the UMP will contain detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at r2.ump@dec.ny.gov.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands & Facilities

Queens County Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.


More about Norton Basin Natural Resource Area:

  • Important Links
  • Links Leaving DEC's Website
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 718-482-4942.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Region 2
    Lands and Forests
    Hunter's Point Plaza
    47-40 21st Street
    Long Island City, NY 11101
    718-482-4942
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 2