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Recreational Use & Permits

Many New York City Water Supply reservoirs and lands are open to the public for low-impact recreational activities when compatible with Water Supply protection.

In order to responsibly provide recreation access to City property, DEP issues a free comprehensive permit—the Access Permit—that allows for fishing, hiking, and hunting on certain designated areas in the watershed.

Below is an application for an Access Permit, which once issued, is valid for up to five years. Please complete and mail it to: NYC DEP - Access Permits, 71 Smith Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401. Once a completed application is received and accepted by DEP, an Access Permit will be issued and mailed to the permit holder. This typically takes about two weeks, so please plan accordingly. Access Permit applications may also be submitted via the Internet for those 18 years of age and older by clicking on the Access Permit system page link below. Approved online applicants can print their Access Permits immediately and avoid mailing delays. Expired Access Permits can also be renewed online in most cases and printed immediately.

If you are not interested in obtaining an Access Permit and are interested in recreation on a City property for a term of less than seven days in the company of a valid Access Permit holder, please see the Guest Pass Application below. Please note: a Guest Pass cannot be used for boating purposes. An Access Permit is needed for that activity.

If you have questions about Access Permits, Guest Passes, or Boat tags, please refer to Access Permit Frequently Asked Questions, or e-mail DEP Access Permits or call 1-800-575-LAND (5263). Applications for use of City water supply lands are also available at some watershed Town Halls, watershed tackle/sports shops, DEP Land Management Offices in the watershed, and also at DEP Offices in Queens and Manhattan.

Access Permit System
Fishing by Boat
Expanded Recreational Boating Program
Hunting on Water Supply Lands
   (NEW - Hunt Tags no longer required)

Hiking on Water Supply Land
Frequently Asked Questions
Rules for the Recreational Use of Water Supply Lands and Waters
Public Access Areas - Maps

Access Permit/Guest Pass Application

Guest Passes are also available for those who would like to accompany an Access Permit holder onto Water Supply lands, but do not want to obtain their own Access Permit. Follow the instructions on the Access Permit/Guest Pass Application to obtain a Guest Pass.

Please report any suspicious or dangerous activity on City reservoirs or lands by calling DEP Police at 1-888-H2O-SHED (426-7433).

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