Biking is a great way to get your wheels turning on Long Island and there are a host of dedicated paved trails, with scenic views to boot.
WHAT'S NEW: OCEAN PARKWAY COASTAL GREENWAY
Bikers have been waiting years for the 10-mile extension of a dedicated bike and pedestrian path running along Ocean Parkway. The third and final leg was finished in early 2021, connecting the popular Town of Oyster Bay's Tobay Beach to Captree State Park in Bay Shore. Cyclists are shielded from car traffic by a reflective cable guiderail, but share the pavement with pedestrians. The path is marked by sweeping ocean views throughout. New bicycle parking areas were added at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina and Captree State Park, while signs will tell visitors the history of Long Island's beachfront and direct visitors to nearby public facilities. The Greenway's first phase was completed in 2013 and runs from the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway along the Wantagh State Parkway to the Jones Beach boardwalk. The second phase, which runs from Jones Beach to Tobay Beach, was completed in 2014.
LONG RIDE: BETHPAGE BIKEWAY | WOODBURY-MASSAPEQUA
The entrance is located where the sign says "BEGIN" at the corner of Manetto Hill and Woodbury roads. From that point, the ride is approximately 13.2 miles. It travels along Sunnyside Boulevard to the LIE, then underneath the expressway through Bethpage State Park before reaching the Bethpage State Parkway. The trail stays near that roadway until reaching the Massapequa Preserve before crossing over and continuing south to Massapequa Lake and terminating at the corner of Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue.
SCENIC RIDE: ELLEN FARRANT BICYCLE PATH
Also known as the Jones Beach Bikeway, this is the long trail one sees while driving down the Wantagh Parkway south of Merrick Road. The trip technically starts at the entrance of Cedar Creek Park (3340 Merrick Road, Seaford).
After riding through the park a bit, you'll see a statue of a man on a bicycle — from there, continue along the path to the bikeway which hugs the east side of the parkway. Look out to see marshes and water views, where gulls and cranes can be heard as they either call out from perches, fly overhead or poke around in the shallows. Riders pass the Goose Creek Bridge (you'll need to walk your bike over) and the Wantagh Parkway Bridge. The route passes through Field 5 at Jones Beach State Park before connecting to the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway, which follows Ocean Parkway and wraps at Tobay Beach. If including the Greenway, the ride is about 7.6 miles from Cedar Creek Park; end at Field 5 and it’s around 5.3 miles.
KEEP IT SHORT: OCEANSIDE TOWN PARK
There are several options for quick trails, but this spot (3800 Mahlon Brower Dr.; 516-763-0710, hempsteadny.gov) has a one-mile bicycle trail that runs in the park and includes marshy water views.
FAMILY FRIENDLY: EISENHOWER PARK
At 930 acres (Merrick and Stewart avenues, East Meadow; 516-572-0347, nassaucountyny.gov), there’s lots of open space in addition to over 10 miles of multi-use paths and trails, suitable for all skill levels. Runners and bikers will pass picnic areas, ball fields, golf courses and playgrounds. Features also include a massive memorial garden that honors war veterans and firefighters and a large lake that sits before a remembrance of the 9/11 attacks.
LONG RIDE: CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE
There are several trails within the park (25 Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington; 631-423-1770, parks.ny.gov) — a former estate that now serves as a preserve that claims to host over 200 species of birds — but as all the trails are open to biking, that means riders get 22 miles worth of routes to try. None are dedicated to cycles, however, so be ready to encounter (and safely ride near) both humans and horses on foot; around 10 of those miles are paved, so it’ll be the earthen trails where equestrian activity may take place. Routes can offer a fine view of meadows, wooded areas, shorelines and marshes. Fee $8 daily, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
SCENIC RIDE: CAMP HERO STATE PARK
Trails around Long Island tend to give bicyclists great views of the area’s nature and waters, but here (1898 Montauk Hwy., Montauk; 631-668-3781, parks.ny.gov) one can come across the striking remnants of a former military installation. One could argue that this park offers some of the eeriest of trails, as rides down some paths give good looks at sealed bunkers and a massive radar tower, all surrounded by woods which have reclaimed much of the area. The park inspired the Netflix series "Stranger Things." Fee $8 Collected daily through Columbus Day; After Columbus Day fee is only collected on weekends, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., until Nov. 14.
KEEP IT SHORT: KINGS PARK HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL
At a mere mile-and-a-half, this quick-paved path starts just east of the R.J.O. Intermediate School (99 Old Dock Road, Kings Park), moves behind a lot behind Kings Park Boulevard and through a neighborhood before ending in Nissequogue River State Park close to the Kings Park Liberty Soccer Field. State Park Vehicle entrance fee $8 April 3-May 23 and Sept. 11-Oct. 11 weekends, May 29-Sept. 6 daily
FAMILY FRIENDLY: BELMONT LAKE STATE PARK
Extremely popular in the warmer months for its kayak pedal boat and rowboat rentals, the park (Southern State Pkwy. Exit 38, North Babylon; 631-667-5055, parks.ny.gov) has over five miles of multi-use trails great for bike enthusiasts of all levels to try. And while most of the trip surrounds the lake, bikers can also roll on paths that weave between grassy lawns, trees and other flora. (A choice time to ride is during a clear sunset; the light reflects off the lake and pushes soft light across the scene). Fee $8 April 3-May 23 and Sept. 11-Oct. 11 weekends, May 29-Sept. 6 daily