To reach Point Gratiot, follow Rt. 5 west about ¾ mile from Chadwick Bay Harbor and turn right at Point Drive (2nd traffic light). Continue to the Dunkirk Lighthouse at the bend in the road and park on the opposite side in the Department of Environmental Conservation lot.
The small woods has an entrance leading to a circular trail. The "Point" is one of the most visited regions in western New York by birders for spring migrants. Significant sightings include Orchard Oriole, Whip-poor-will, and over 30 species of warblers, including Prothonotary, Prairie and Worm-eating. Red-headed Woodpeckers nest here.
Point Gratiot park has ample parking, a playground, picnic shelter, and restroom facilities. The sandy/gravelly beach gives way to a series of cliffs and wave-carved coves composed of the Dunkirk Shale, a black oil-bearing shale. Crack a thin piece of this brittle rock in your hand and you can smell the petroleum.