Sandy Hook is a barrier spit, approximately 9.7 kilometers (between 6 and 7 miles) in length and 800 meters (0.5 miles) (varying between 0.10 and 1 miles) wide, in Middletown Township in Monmouth County, along the Atlantic Ocean coast of eastern New Jersey in the United States. The barrier spit encloses the southern entrance of Lower New York Bay south of New York City. The Dutch called the area “Sant Hoek;” with the English “Hook” deriving from the Dutch “Hoek,” meaning “spit of land”.
Geologically, Sandy Hook is a large sand spit or barrier spit, the extension of a barrier peninsula along the coast of New Jersey, separated from the mainland by the estuary of the Shrewsbury River. On its western side, the peninsula encloses Sandy Hook Bay, a triangular arm of Raritan Bay. The community of Highlands overlooks the southern part of the hook. Sandy Hook is legally part of Middletown Township, New Jersey, although not contiguous with the rest of the Township. The peninsula being a federal reservation, this technicality is essentially moot.