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Shelter Island hike for families featured in new book

Shelter Island's Mashomack Preserve is featured in

Shelter Island's Mashomack Preserve is featured in "Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers." Credit: Globe Pequot|a division of Rowman & Littlefield

A Long Island hiking trail is featured in a new book called “Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers” (Falcon Guides, $24.95).

Page 226 of the 376-page, illustrated, softcover book features Mashomack Preserve’s yellow trail, a 3-mile loop on Shelter Island. “What makes this hike a winner is that there are no steep inclines, so it’s perfect for young walkers,” the book says.

Lindsay Sousa, 30, who grew up in Wading River and graduated from Riverhead High School, suggested the hike to the book’s creator, Shanti Hodges. Hodges is the founder of Hike It Baby, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to helping families get outdoors; Sousa, who now lives in Maryland, was a founding member of Hike It Baby’s Long Island chapter before moving to Maryland. She’s got two children, Henry, 3, and Bennett, 8 months.

“My boyfriend and I used to hike Mashomack Preserve before having kids,” Sousa says. “It’s so random and dreamy.” Hikers pass small ponds, an open field and views of a bay beach, all on one hike.

Cindy Belt, education and outreach coordinator at Mashomack Preserve, which is owned by the nonprofit Nature Conservancy, says she’s happy the wildlife refuge is included in the book. “The more people who learn about us, the more people who can appreciate nature, the better,” Belt says.

The book features four other New York hikes: Shelving Rock Falls in the Adirondack Forest Preserve; Black Creek Preserve Trail along the Hudson River; Moses’ Mountain on Staten Island; and Sunset Rock Trail at Taconic State Park.

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