how to find the famous authur kill ship graveyard in staten island new 03

How to Find The Staten Island Boat Graveyard

I’ve personally explored what is known as the Staten Island Boat Graveyard and it is a place that is difficult to reach unless you know specific instructions on where to go, and fortunately that is exactly what this post is going to be showing you. 


  • Name: Staten Island Boat Graveyard (aka Arthur Kill Ship Gravyard)
  • Location: Staten Island
  • Easy to find? No
  • Reviews: 4.5 out of 5

Things to know:

The bad news is that you won’t actually find an official entrance or trail to it but there is one spot where it’s possible to get close and I’ll be talking about that shortly and so far that is the only spot I have seen where it’s possible to truly explore this place, although it is limited.

I regularly explore nature places (mostly near NYC) with a buddy and that same buddy is the one who discovered this place. We had planned on going here together but because he was always busy, I decided to one day find it myself. At first I figured it would be easy to find but as I was exploring the area, I quickly learned a few things:

  1. There is no official Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard sign, Google listing or anything like that.
  2. Any official spot that is close to where this place actually is ended up being a private business/land that I couldn’t go to.

Now I’m mentioning this because when you come here, you may also see the nearby places and think that the most obvious spots must be the “entrance to it”, but it isn’t. You will have to find this place using the directions I’m about to give you.

How to find it:

where to find arthur kill ship graveyard in staten island

As you can see there is actually a Google listing for it, but it is located in the water and again you won’t find any trail, official sign or anything when you get there. But this is what you need to do:

  1. Drive toward Outerbridge Crossing on Interstate 278.
  2. Take exit 3B.
  3. It will put you on Arthur Kill Road.
  4. Drive along Arthur Kill Road for about 10 minutes.
  5. Look for a very small and old cemetery by the bay (this is the entrance to the Ship Graveyard).
  6. Once you find the cemetery, find parking nearby.
  7. Walk past the cemetery and onto the bay itself.
  8. You’ll find the ship graveyard there.
  9. I recommend going here when there’s low tide so you can get closer to the ships.

Your first time going here might be a little bit confusing, and the locals may also be clueless on where to find this place (believe me I asked a few and most of them either didn’t know or perhaps pretended that they never heard about the Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard).

But your main goal is to find the old cemetery by Arthur Kill Road. That is what will lead you to the ship graveyard and when I say old cemetery, I really mean it. This place is several 100 years old. Obviously make sure not to litter in this area and respect the property. But past it is where you will find a small hill descending into the bay.

staten island ship graveyard photo 03

From there you can walk around for a little bit and get pretty close to the ships. I’ve even heard of people kayaking there too, but I can’t comment on that nor recommend it either because of the rusty and dirty water. I’ve personally seen this ship graveyard twice and while it’s nice to look at the first few times, it can get a little bit boring quickly which is why if you’re unfamiliar with Staten Island, you should know that there’s many scenic areas to see nearby.


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    1. There is no official trail in the area to my knowledge Kim. The only area that resembles a shoreline right by the ship graveyard is on private property. As I mentioned in the post, there is a cemetary nearby which may provide access to a dirty beach (during low tide only).

  1. When I worked in New Jersey, I never heard of this place. I bet my co-workers from Brooklyn and Long Island never heard of it either. Sounds like a cool place to check out on Staten Island. Based on what you said here, unless you know about it, you would never find it. If I ever get back to New York City, I’ll have to look for it.

    1. I’ve lived in NYC for 25 years Kevin and I only heard about it this year! So it’s no surprise that this place isn’t exactly known, even to locals.

  2. Wow, a ship graveyard? That sounds fascinated and creepy at the same time! Thanks for sharing this rather weird, yet cool piece of info.

    I live in EU and have never heard about graveyards specifically for ships, but visiting one would definitely be a novel experience.

    However, isn’t it dangerous there with all the rust and what not?

  3. Hi, Vitaliy. A ship graveyard! If I were staying nearby, I would definitely go visit because of how unique the attraction is. That is so cool of you to take your grandfather to visit the place. Did he enjoy it? Before this post, the only way I knew how to visit an abandoned ship is by doing a shipwreck dive. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ah a dive to see shipwrecks, I actually forgot about that option Cindy! I would imagine that is probably more fun, but with regards to my grandfather, he loves these adventures we take. I always enjoy seeing his reactions whenever we go somewhere new like this.

  4. OK…I read the title and I never ever thought of visiting a ship graveyard….never, ever!

    But, being a New Yorker, I absolutely relish finding “new” things to discover. The photo really does give it a haunting yet beautiful look, almost serine. Do they have any signs that share about the history of the boats? 

    It’s amazing how we can be quick to buy a plane ticket seeking adventure, when often times, we can find something just as interesting in our backyard.

    I’ve only been to Staten Island once in my life. This could give me a reason to visit it again.

    1. I don’t really know if they have a history memo on each ship, maybe at the best, the location itself Veronica. But as far as I know, this is an open area people are free to visit. I also don’t recall there being any mention of a tour guide which leads me to believe there is little info on this place and that, again, it’s just an open “park” people can visit.

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