The swimming beach at Wright Park in Dunkirk, NY
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Location / Directions / Maps

Location: On the east end of Lake Erie; in the city of Dunkirk; town of Dunkirk; Chautauqua County; New York.

Maps: Google mapTopographic; Interactive map

GPS Coordinates: Ramp down to beach: N 42.49741 / W 79.32057

Directions: From east and west:

  1. Follow NY-5 to Dunkirk.
  2. Turn north onto N Serval St and follow it to the lake.
  3. N Serval St ends at the parking area.

Use Google Maps.

Parking: A parking area along Lake Front Blvd at the end of Serval St has space for about 12 cars. Additional parking can be found along Lake Front Blvd west of here and Wright Park Dr to the east.  There are 3 lots within the park. One is off of N Serval Street, near the Beach House Bar and Grille, usually reserved for patrons. Another is by the skate park off of N Warsaw St. The third is near the basketball courts on N Warsaw St. If all of those lots are full, street parking is your next best option.

YouTube video



Dunkirk Harbor on Lake Erie as seen from the beach at Wright Park.

Information / Accessibility / Accommodations

Seasons/Hours: Open daily, from dawn until dusk.

Admission: Free.

Best time to visit: Spring through summer.

Time: A few hours to enjoy the beach & swim. Longer to grab a bite to eat, down a drink at the Beach House Bar & Grille, and enjoy the skate or splash parks. Take the whole day and walk the entire Dunkirk waterfront from this park to Point Gratiot Park.

Handicap accessibility: The beach is sandy and not very accessible. There’s a level concrete walkway along the lake paralleling Lake Front Blvd. The rest of the park is surrounded by level concrete or asphalt walkways and is pretty accessible.

Pets: Allowed, on a leash, with proof of vaccination. Not allowed in the lake. Not allowed in the splash park or skate park.

Swimming: Swimming is allowed in the guarded swimming area when a lifeguard is on duty. (usually Memorial Day through Labor Day)

Boat launch: No trailer boat launching here. If you need to launch, head east to Dunkirk City Pier or west to Barcelona Harbor. You can hand launch easily from the west side of the beach.

Accommodations: Aside from views of the lake:

  • Picnic tables & grills can be found in the wooded area.
  • Swimming when a lifeguard is on duty. (Memorial Day through Labor Day)
  • 3 Baseball diamonds, 2 volleyball courts, 2 basketball courts, 2 pickleball courts, 1 futsal court
  • Playground, splash park, skate park
  • Canoeing/Kayaking (hand launch from the shore)
  • Restrooms
  • Bar & restaurant
  • Watercraft and Tandem Bike rentals via

There are several restaurants and shops to the west, just down Lake Shore Dr.

Swimming area buoys hanging on a lifeguard char at Wright Beach Park on Lake Erie at Dunkirk, NY
An overlook near the ramp down to the beach at Wright Park at Dunkirk. Lake Erie is in the background.


One of the park’s main attractions is its expansive beach, where visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking with a picturesque view of the lake and Dunkirk harbor. The beach area extends about 1,000 feet from Lake Front Blvd northeast, where the clean sands turn into explorable driftwood amongst a mix of flat slippery rocks and old concrete retaining wall ruins. The northern reaches of the shoreline are below the city’s wastewater treatment plant. While it does discharge far offshore and past the waters carried by the lake currents out of the way of the beach, when we visited in late summer, there was a runoff water discharge at the southern end of the beach, by the road, that led to a very unpleasant aroma in that vicinity. Once past that, it was quite pleasant.

In addition to the beach, Wright Park features well-maintained picnic areas, playgrounds for children, and ample green space for sports and outdoor games. These facilities make it an ideal location for family picnics, gatherings, and community events. A few recent additions, the skate park, pickleball courts, and a small kids splash park have proven to bring in the summer crowds. The park’s walking and biking paths offer beautiful lakefront views and opportunities for exercise and exploration in a tranquil setting. The Beach House Bar & Grille serves American fare and ice cold beverages.  The park serves as the perfect starting point for walking Dunkirk’s waterfront, via Lakefront Blvd, which is a wonderful way to fill a few hours.

Wright Park also hosts a variety of seasonal activities and events, including concerts, festivals, and community gatherings, which add to the vibrant atmosphere of the area.  Its location near downtown Dunkirk, just a 15 min walk west, makes it easily accessible and a popular spot for both spontaneous visits and planned outings.

Overall, Wright Park and Beach stands out as a welcoming, family-friendly destination that combines the natural beauty of Lake Erie with the comforts and conveniences of a well-equipped public park. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, enjoy a picnic with friends, or participate in recreational activities, Wright Park offers a memorable experience against the backdrop of one of New York’s Great Lakes.

Flat limestone rocks and shale cliffs on the north end of the beach at Wright Park (Lake Erie) in Dunkirk, NY


The park is likely named after Judson S. Wright, an Assemblyman and President of the NYS Teachers Association, who was a Dunkirk, NY native.

The city purchased the land to the north, known as Battery Point, to turn into a park, but as of 2023, no movement toward that goal has been made. Some unofficial trails leading from Wright Park Dr and the Water Treatment Plant cut through the woods, leading to 100-ft cliffs over Lake Erie. Battery Point got its name from a series of cannon batteries that were positioned there during the War of 1812 to protect the city from British attacks.

the beach on the north end of Wright Park (Lake Erie) in Dunkirk is littered with concrete structures, likely the remains of old retaining walls.

Hiking / Walking Trails

Difficulty: Easy (along the paved park pathway) to moderate (if you walk along the sand/stone beach).

Distance: It really depends on the direction you set off in. If you walk up and down the beach, the furthest you can go is about a thousand feet. A walk around the park is going to be about 2/3rds of a mile. For a longer walk, head west along Lake Front Blvd to the City Pier, which is about 1.5 miles one way.

Markings: Paved pathways and the beach.

Description: From the intersection of Lake Front Blvd, Wright Park Dr, and N Serval St, find the sand ramp leading north to the beach on the lake. Follow the beach north. At some point the sand will end and the beach will become rock. You won’t be able to go any further after about 1,000 ft or so. See the yellow trail on the map below.

Green trail through the park:
Back at the intersection, you can walk around the park by heading south on N Serval St. Pass the Little League field and turn left on E Pine St.
Make another left onto N Warsaw St. Pass the basketball courts, then the skate park.  At the intersection of N Warsaw and Wright Park Dr use the footpath on the left to cut through the wooded picnic area. On the other side, turn left onto Wright Park Drive and follow that back to where you started.

Blue trail along the city waterfront:
From the intersection of Lake Front Blvd, Wright Park Dr, and N Serval St, walk west on the sidewalk along the shoreline. Near N Roberts Rd, Lake Front Blvd will end and you will pass another small sandy beach. Here is a small path leading up the breakwall of the marina. If you continue westward on the walkway you will pass the marina and then arrive at the City Pier. To the west of the pier is another small park (Memorial Park).

Map: Check out the interactive map.

Looking north along the beach at Wright Park in Dunkirk, NY

Wright Park & Beach Interactive Map


Fishing is allowed in the park. Fish Lake Erie from the beach north of the swimming area or west of the beach, on the walkway down Lake Front Blvd.

Looking south towards the swimming area at Wright Beach Park in Dunkirk, NY

Interesting Stuff

Lakeshore Grillworks

  • Located on the corner of NY-5 and Ounce St, this family-run roadside grill just blew our minds with flavor. Amazing poutine and chicken sandwiches! Link.

Dunkirk Lighthouse

  • Also known as Point Gratiot Lighthouse, this historic beacon is located north of the park at the apex of Point Gratiot. This venerable structure has been guiding mariners since the first tower was built in 1826, with the current tower constructed in 1875-1876. The lighthouse stands approximately 61 feet tall and is constructed of hand-carved ashlar limestone, making it a striking architectural feature against the backdrop of the lake. The Victorian-style keeper’s house, which was built in 1875, has been meticulously preserved and now serves as a museum.
Old concrete retaining wall pieces along Dunkirk, NY's Wright Park

Photography Tips

Driftwood and stones

  • The north end of the beach has a variety of sun-bleached driftwood and interesting rock formations. Try to include them in the foreground of your shots.

Skate Park

  • The skate park may be a tempting spot to shoot. Just be sure to avoid photographing children without their parent’s consent.

More tips

Clear waters at Wright Beach Park on Lake Erie in Dunkirk, NY
A tree growing over the lake erie beach at wright park in dunkirk, ny

Nearby Waterfalls

Lake Erie Parks and Beaches Guide

More Lake Erie Parks & Beaches

Find a new summer hangout spot or place to swim in our comprehensive guide to Lake Erie Parks and Beaches in New York State.

Who to Contact

City of Dunkirk Parks
[email protected]