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Bike trails on Long Island: Long, scenic and family-friendly options

A group of cyclists pass the Main House while riding along the bike path at Caumsett Park in Lloyd Harbor. Credit: Daniel Brennan

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. 

Best bets for bike trails

  • FOR FAMILIES: Eisenhower Park in East Meadow has multiuse paths suitable for all skill levels.
  • FOR SCENIC VIEWS: See water views at Captree State Park in Bay Shore or Jones Beach Bikeway in Wantagh. 
  • FOR LONG RIDES: At Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve in Huntington, riders get 22 miles of routes to try.

NASSAU-SUFFOLK CONNECTION

Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway

Create your own Tour de Long Island on the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway. There are scenery, historic sites and eateries galore along the 13.7-mile bike path from Captree State Park in Bay Shore to Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh. Fitness riders, family groups and solo cyclists are already riding the multiuse path and enjoying its rest stops, says Joseph De Palma, of East Setauket, president of the 2,000 member Nassau-Suffolk Bicycle Coalition. "You can do a group ride and make a lunch date out of it," says De Palma, who has biked the path several times. Or, he adds, "You can make a family fun trip while staying on Long Island." Beaches (including a legendary surfing mecca), concerts, zip lining and strolling by the sea can enrich or cap your day spinning in the sunshine.
 

NASSAU

Bethpage Bikeway | Woodbury-Massapequa (Long ride)

The entrance is located where the sign says “BEGIN” at the corner of Manetto Hill and Woodbury roads in Woodbury. From that point, the ride is about 13.2 miles. It travels along Sunnyside Boulevard to the Long Island Expressway, then underneath the expressway through Bethpage State Park before reaching the Bethpage State Parkway. The trail stays near that roadway until the Massapequa Preserve before crossing over and continuing south to Massapequa Lake and terminating at the corner of Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue in Massapequa.

Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway (Scenic ride)

Also known as the Jones Beach Bikeway, this is the long trail one sees while driving down the Wantagh State Parkway south of Merrick Road. The trip technically starts at the entrance of Cedar Creek Park (3340 Merrick Rd., 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 the Greenway is included, the ride is about 7.6 miles from Cedar Creek Park; end at Field 5 and it’s around 5.3 miles.Fee: Parking at Cedar Creek Park is $10 non-Nassau County residents from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Eisenhower Park (Family-friendly)

At 930 acres (Merrick and Stewart avenues, East Meadow; 516-572-0347, nassaucountyny.gov), there’s a lot of open space in addition to over 10 miles of multiuse paths and trails, suitable for all skill levels. Runners and bikers will pass picnic areas, ballfields, 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. Fee: Parking is $10 non-Nassau County residents from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Oceanside Town Park (Keep it short)

There are several options for quick trails, but this spot (3800 Mahlon Brower Dr., Oceanside; 516-763-0710, hempsteadny.gov) has a 1-mile bicycle trail that runs in the park and includes marshy water views. No parking fee.  

SUFFOLK

Camp Hero State Park (Scenic ride)

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 a good look at sealed bunkers and a massive radar tower, all surrounded by woods that have reclaimed much of the area. The park inspired the Netflix series "Stranger Things." Fee: $8 a car daily May 27-Oct. 16 and weekends and holidays April 30-May 21 and Oct. 21-Nov. 19.

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve (Long ride)

There are several trails within the park (25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Huntington; 631-423-1770) — 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 bicycles, 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 a car, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily May 27-Sept. 4 and weekends and holidays, April 1-May 21 and Sept. 9-Oct. 9.

Belmont Lake State Park (Family-friendly)

Extremely popular in the warmer months for its kayak, pedal boat and rowboat rentals, the West Babylon park (631-667-5055, parks.ny.gov) has over 5 miles of multiuse trails great for bike enthusiasts of all levels to try. And while most of the trip surrounds the lake, cyclists also can 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 a car daily May 27-Labor Day; weekends and holidays April 1-May 21 and Sept. 9-Oct. 9.

Kings Park Hike and Bike Trail (Keep it short)

At a mere mile and a half, this quick paved path starts just east of the R.J.O. Intermediate School (99 Old Dock Rd., 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. Fee: State parks' vehicle entrance is $8 April 1-May 21 and Sept. 9-Oct. 9 (weekends), May 27-Sept. 4 (daily).

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