Another slice of the GATEWAY NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, this shoreline was created by sand fill from rockaway channel to ease erosion. somehow a honeymoon haven for horseshoe crabs was created, and every spring they arrive in droves to lay millions of eggs, so be prepared, and look out for the poison ivy.
Plumb Beach, Brooklyn is an easy accessible portion of the Gateway National Recreation Area. It is not a place I would chose as a sole destination for my family, but it is certainly a place I would go to as part as a sightseeing excursion of the general area. Plum Beach is a small beach located along the shore of Raritan Bay. It was heavily polluted in the 50’s through the 80’s, but a continuing effort has been made to clean it up-with mixed success. There is an old closed down bathhouse on the property, built by the mega builder, Robert Moses. The bathhouse is a beautiful example of the emphasis that Moses put upon aesthetics, with the smooth flowing curves of art deco architecture and sea themed window grills. Unfortunately the accommodations that have been placed to service the public in place of the bathhouse are dirty and unsanitary.
While the beach is not a place that I would take my family swimming, it is certainly worth the trip to watch the kiteboarders and windsurfers skim across the water powered by the fairly strong winds blowing across Rockaway inlet. Plumb Beach is a lovely little nature spot where you can easily launch a kayak and cruise through some incredible scenery. Bring a camera and binoculars as the beach is home to a variety of shore birds-cormorants, herons, seagulls and egrets. In addition, in May and June, it is the largest spawning ground for horseshoe crabs in the greater New York area. Because it is a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, there are many scheduled events during the year that are geared to introduce families to some of the most beautiful marine environments in New York State.
Plumb beach is reached either by car, just east of the Knapp Street exit off of the Belt Parkway, or, better yet by hiking or biking the pathway that winds along the edge of the shore and emerges onto Emmons Ave, Sheepshead Bay. Follow the Avenue down past the piers and watch as the party boats come in, blowing their horns in tandem with the cacophony of the seagulls’ raucous cries. If you have time left, bike down to Manhattan Bridge, a wooden footbridge that will bring you into Manhattan Beach, an upscale neighborhood with beautiful old period houses lining the streets. Wander the neighbor, traveling Southeast and you will eventually come upon the wooden boardwalk that officially starts the all famous Coney Island Boardwalk. If you feel particularly ambitious, bike on down to Coney Island. It would be well worth the trip.