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Sandy Pond Beach Unique Area

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Sandy Pond Beach Natural Area is a serene and relaxing area located in the town of Sandy Creek in the northwestern tip of Oswego County.


Sandy Pond Beach lies at the heart of a 17 mile long barrier system which stretches from the Salmon River north to Eldorado Beach along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. In 1995, the New York State DEC, The Nature Conservancy, and The Friends of Sandy Pond Beach joined together to establish and manage the area for nature and people. Prior to that time, the beach was being compromised by improper usage and disturbance to the natural habitats.

Today, the area is being managed in order to preserve and restore the dunes, protect feeding, resting, and nesting habitats for migrating and breeding birds, and provide public access that is compatible with this fragile area.

Field Notes

Possessing outstanding environmental qualities, as well as spectacular scenery, Sandy Pond Beach Natural Area is an incredible asset to the community. There is over a mile of beach front and a walkover and walk through which allow access from t he North Sandy Pond Shore with the Lake Ontario shore line.

A bird sanctuary, located on the south side of the channel, provides critical nesting habitat for numerous rare and common birds. While this area is restricted to the public, many birds can still be observed from just a short distance away.

Sandy Pond Beach Natural Area, part of the barrier system, encompasses a diverse matrix of landscape including sand beach, coastal sand dunes, sand flats, marshes and wetlands that are highly unique in New York State. This dynamic system supports a mosaic of plant and animal communities, many of which are evident at Sandy Pond Beach.

Extremely secluded, this beach is best accessed by boat. The alternative is to park at neighboring Sandy Island Beach and walk. As this is seldom what visitors do, those who venture into this area experience a unique ecosystem.

***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend***


Take NY I-81 to Exit 37 (the Sandy Creek/ Lacona exit). West off the ramp, on Oswego County Route 15 (Lake Road) to NY 3. Follow signs to Sandy Pond Beach.
Boat Access- Trailer your boat to one of the marinas located on NY 3 north of the Route 15 intersection, or west on County Route 15.

State Forest Regulations

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

  • DO NOT MOVE FIREWOOD! You could be spreading pests and diseases that kill our forests! A firewood regulation is in place to protect our forests and prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases. Do not bring firewood from home. Buy it from a source near your destination.
  • All State Lands are Carry-In-Carry-Out facilities.
  • Stay on the beach. No trespassing on the dunes or other protected areas. Walking over dunes damages stabilizing vegetation and accelerates dune erosion, defeating the protective function dunes provide.
  • Use designated dune walkovers to cross over dunes.
  • Camping, open fires, and glass containers are strictly prohibited. Self contained heaters are permitted.
  • No vehicles of any kind.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash.
  • Respect private property. Note locations of private property on the map of the Area.

Important Numbers:

State Forest Office (M-F 8 am-4 pm): 315-298-7467
Emergencies: 911

  • Page applies to Region 7
  • PDF Help:
  • For assistance with PDFs on this page, please call 315-426-7403.
  • Contact for this Page:
  • Division of Lands and Forests
    Region 7
    1285 Fisher Avenue
    Cortland, NY 13045
    email us