It’s time to get out the bike, pump up the tires and head out to explore some of Long Island’s many bike paths and trails. Remember, biking paths are multiple-use, so you’ll be sharing the way with pedestrians, in-line skaters and others. State law requires children younger than 14 to wear helmets. For other rules, regulations and safety tips, visit nwsdy.li/bpath. Call ahead for up-to-date parking fee information.
The Island also has more than 175 miles of mountain biking trails, many maintained by Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (CLIMB). Check climbonline.org for a complete list.
BELMONT LAKE STATE PARK
MILES 3 (2½ miles go around the lake, the other ½-mile is in the park and included in the trail system).
Picture-postcard scenery, a stone bridge and a small waterfall are highlights of an overall flat loop that also runs through woods flanked by benches and exercise stations. Lock up the bikes and stop to rent pedal boats, rowboats or kayaks. The park has restrooms but no food concession.
Massapequa to Woodbury
The Bethpage Bikeway through the Massapequa Preserve features a shady trail along a tranquil stream. Continue north along the Bethpage State Parkway through Farmingdale to enter Bethpage State Park, passing its renowned golf courses. Ride north through the woodlands of Bethpage State Park and open meadows of Trail View State Park. Both the northern and southern approaches to Bethpage State Park have some short, steep hills. The bikeway has restrooms and picnic grounds in Bethpage State Park, but no food concession. Fee $8 parking at Bethpage State Park weekends and holidays till Nov. 4.
BETHPAGE STATE PARK
MILES 1 (connects to Bethpage Bikeway)
Trails are two-way and multiuse, and can be used by mountain bikers, so be courteous. The most family-friendly stretch of this flat terrain begins at the Bethpage State Park picnic area and runs north through the park. Fee Picnic area only: $8 a car weekends and holidays till Nov. 4.
CALVERTON MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL
Beginner-to-intermediate single-track loop on Route 25. Additional 1½ miles of optional advanced hill climbs. DEC permit required.
CATHEDRAL PINES COUNTY PARK
MILES 6.5 to 8 miles, depending on trail
Families with older kids can challenge their legs on this mountain biking trail at the headwaters of the Carmans River. Optional trails at Cathedral Pines have hills. All riders are required to wear helmets, and eye protection is recommended. The trail has restrooms but no food concession.
CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE
Situated on a scenic peninsula, one of the trails is a 3-mile circular loop between the Dairy Barn and Marshall Field Estate, with breathtaking views of Long Island Sound and miles of pathway winding through woodlands, meadows, shoreline and salt marsh. Stop at the Masters Garage building for picnic tables, vending machines for something to drink and restrooms. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park.
CONNETQUOT SHARED-USE PATH
Trail parallels Sunrise Highway between Connetquot Avenue and Oakdale-Bohemia Road, with a connection to Connetquot River State Park. Fee $8 parking daily, all year.
EASTPORT MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL
East Moriches/Riverhead Road (County Road 51). Beginner-to-intermediate single track. DEC permit required.
Located on Commack Road. Beginner, intermediate and advanced mountain bike trails with lots of single track. Also 13 miles of additional advanced loops of which 3 miles are black diamond trails for those with the most advanced biking skills. 5½ miles for beginners, 7½ miles intermediate, 3½ advanced. DEC permit required.
A complex web of multiuse paths connects soccer and baseball fields, where spectators can watch amateur games for free on weekends. Teach the kids about history from World War II to 9/11 at the Veterans Memorial in Eisenhower Park. Picnic at one of the unreserved tables at parking field 3. The park has restrooms but no food concession. Leisure pass needed to park.
A shared-use bike path through the pine barrens of eastern Suffolk County that connects to athletic fields.
HECKSCHER STATE PARK
Paved, multiuse trails attract bicyclists, walkers and nature lovers. Cycle to a panoramic view of Great South Bay. Osprey nests tower over the trail near Field 7 and the park campgrounds. Playgrounds are near parking fields 1, 4 and 6. Restrooms are available on the park grounds.
HEMPSTEAD LAKE STATE PARK
The bike path connect shaded picnic areas, children’s playgrounds, tennis courts and basketball courts. It winds around McDonald Pond, where kids up to age 15 can go freshwater fishing without a license (ages 16 and older need a license.) Restrooms are available at the park.
HEMPSTEAD TURNPIKE SHARED-USE PATH
Traverses the north side of Hempstead Turnpike runs between Hofstra University, Nassau County Coliseum, and Eisenhower Park (Merrick Avenue and Oak Street, Uniondale).
JONES BEACH BIKEWAY
Take the Wantagh Parkway Shared-Use Path (see entry at right) to Jones Beach, then stay on the new extension on the north side of Ocean Parkway and pedal another 3.6 miles to Tobay Beach, where there are more restaurants and a playground. Restrooms are available along the bikeway.
JONES BEACH STATE PARK BOARDWALK
Bike or stroll the boardwalk with access to ocean swimming, swimming pool, miniature golf, shuffleboard, basketball and a new East Games Area featuring boccie ball, shuffleboard, paddle tennis and cornhole. Fee $8 weekends and holidays through Nov. 4.
KINGS PARK BIKE AND HIKE TRAIL
Hilly trail connects downtown Kings Park with Nissequogue River State Park. Follows the old railroad spur from NY 25A, just east of Church Street, to St. Johnland Road. Trail runs through the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center into Nissequogue River State Park.
LONG BEACH BOARDWALK
Wide, clearly marked bike lanes zoom down the middle of the city’s historic boardwalk, rebuilt after superstorm Sandy. Restrooms are available along the way.
MERRICK AVENUE SHARED-USE PATH
A shared-use path along the western perimeter of Eisenhower Park connects with the Hempstead Turnpike shared-use path.
MITCHEL FIELD SHARED-USE PATH
Connects to the Hempstead Turnpike Shared-Use Path as well as Nassau Coliseum, Nassau Community College, Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island Children’s Museum, Nassau County Firefighter’s Museum, Eisenhower Park and a multiuse path along Merrick Avenue.
NY 347 PARKS TO PORTS GREENWAY
A shared-use path paralleling Route 347 between Town Line Road in Hauppauge and Gibbs Pond Road in Nesconset, and 0.8 miles between Terryville Road and Davis Avenue in Port Jefferson Station. The shared-use path has extensive landscaping, rain gardens and solar-powered bus shelters with LED street lighting. Route 347 is being constructed in stages and when fully built by 2033 will extend 15 miles between Hauppauge and Port Jefferson Station.