North 40 Natural Area in New York City

naturist 0003 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

Do you dream of having a naturist area in the Big Apple to have an easy escape from the hustle and bustle? I think we’ve found a perfect candidate place –  North 40 Natural Area, a part of historic Floyd Bennett Field in Jamaica Bay. It is on the federal land and is a part of Gateway National Recreation Area, just like Gunnison Beach in Sandy Hook, so technically, no change in legislation would be necessary to allow nudity there… (Another possible location would be Fort Tilden, as was suggested by one of our readers.) Well, that’s if this place remains a park at all, as there is a controversial plan to build a massive gas pipeline going through this territory! How is this legal?

view 0000 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

It will be a big shame for New York City to lose one of the few relatively untouched pockets of nature within its boundaries.

berries 0000 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

We were lucky to enjoy this place on a warm weekend in late September, and it seemed like not many people knew about this place. 

naturist 0000 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

It felt liberating to disrobe and walk in the buff.

naturist 0001 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

Buns and bunnies seemed equally natural to us 😉

rabbit 0000 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

We went through a couple of winding trails, and it was nice to see that the forest was actually untouched besides the trails. The only other destruction was probably due to storms like Sandy. It’s hard to imagine what else could have made a tree to fall like that with its roots lifting all the soil under it.

naturist 0002 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

One of the smaller trails brought us to the beach. It was full of trash, unfortunately, and we almost left disappointed.

view 0001 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

But then we just tried to see what was behind the tall reeds and found a beautiful meadow!

view 0002 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

It was a true hidden gem, perfect to relax and sunbathe.

naturist 0004 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

Well, apparently our timing was perfect too. Just after we finished our snack break and were ready to leave, the water started soaking from beneath the grass. So, in high tide, this meadow must be filled with water.

view 0004 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

Before leaving, we spent a couple of minutes to enjoy the view of the particularly bright moon.

view 0003 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

We were not sure if passers by on the bridge behind could see us fully, but we could only wonder why this kind of mooning would be frowned upon.

naturist 0006 North 40 Natural Area, Floyd Bennett Field, New York City, NY, USA

18 thoughts on “North 40 Natural Area in New York City

  1. I agree with philippe, that first picture is fantastic. Here’s hoping that place stays under-used…I think that may be better for the wildlife and better for those of us who go au naturel. (Really? They want to put a pipeline through that? Yuck.)

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    1. Yes, I hope it’ll stay under-used, or better used for the purpose of just spending quiet times within NYC. I guess we cannot even dream to have it clothing-optional officially….

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  2. Like Vinny, I was nearly arrested by Police at Ft. Tilden in 2011, but they were not able to prove that I had actually been nude. I had been, but at the point the police arrived I was clothed and leaving. They were going by a report from some woman who lives at Breezy Point. I was told by another beach goer that this woman has been known to walk by and tip police off to nude sunbathers. Get a life lady! Any suggestions for the 2014 season?

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  3. If New York nudists would organise a beach clean-up drive or something we might get attention. We really ought to appeal to the City Council; make a proposal to the mayor or activate public attention – What’s wrong with Riis Beach being “Our Zone”?

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    1. it’s a good idea. We should do a beach clean up this spring. This didn’t help in case of the Lighthouse Beach in Long Island though, but we should try nevertheless!

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  4. Such nice pictures 😉 you did some good research there, didn’t know it was federal. How have you been , did you make some extra keys?

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  5. Great article and interesting potential, especially if it’s an under-used area. And a beach!

    You could seek support from TNS, AANR, AANR Northeast, NAC, YNA and maybe a couple more to see if it could be possible. NAC especially might be able to advise about legality of nudity on federal lands.

    As far as a pipeline is concerned, it could be a blessing disguise if it further makes the are undesirable for heavy Textile use!

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  6. Nice photos, as always. I like the apple in the first one. It’s a poignant little touch. A little apple in your hand, in the big apple.

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  7. I am not a city chica but this venue looks awesome and thanks for sharing your photographs! The state does have it’s clubs of course, but outdoors is real fkk!

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    1. well, some clubs provide outdoors too, but they are all pretty far from the city – Upstate or New Jersey – and are quite expensive too. I dream of having a public park, comfortable and accepting enough for people to get naked, and within the city boundaries. I mean, ideally, there should be a place like that in Central Park (why not, it’s like Tiergarten in Berlin!), but this Natural Area is also possible to reach by public transport and bike, so it could a good start…

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  8. Where else in NYC can we go to let it all hang out and meet other naturists– without getting busted? Would like to relax naked and not have to keep looking over my shoulder and worry about getting introuble.

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  9. I commented on this post a while ago that I was arrested at Fort Tilden 3yrs ago.
    That too is federal land but the park police are enforcing NYS penal law on federal land with it’s own law.
    What we do now Kemosabe?.

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      1. There may not be hope for new york.We stand a better chance in a fight versus GODZILLA. This can all be blamed on the political machine in this state. I’m 63 and by the time anything changes there’ll be a #1 in front of 63.But, I will keep em crossed.

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