Friends meet up at Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh for...

Friends meet up at Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh for a pick-up game of basketball.  Credit: Randee Daddona

Life doesn't get much better than at county parks, where residents have a variety of campgrounds, ballfields, biking trails, dog runs, tennis courts and hiking trails at their disposal. Trails and runs are free to county residents; fees apply for campgrounds, ballfields and some tennis courts. Park admission is free unless noted.

Best bets for county parks on Long Island

FOR DOGS: Bay Park in East Rockaway, Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown and Wantagh Park in Wantagh all have dog runs.

FOR SWIMMING: Cantiague Park in Hicksville, Eugene Nickerson Beach Park in Lido Beach and Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn all have swimming pools.

FOR BIKING: Eisenhower Park in East Meadow has designated bike paths.


BAY PARK First Avenue, East Rockaway; 516-571-7245. 96 acres; picnic area (fee), playground, water sprinkler park, lighted tennis and basketball courts, biking and running paths, multisport fields and hard ballfields (permit and fee), nine-hole golf course (fee), fishing dock and launch ramp (fee) and dog run. 

CANTIAGUE PARK 480 W. John St., Hicksville; 516-571-7056; golf: 516-571-7061. 127 acres; picnic area (reserved for fee and unreserved), batting cage (fee), playground, table games, horseshoe pits, boccie court, shuffleboard, basketball and handball courts, lighted tennis courts (fee), lighted multipurpose turf fields for football, lacrosse, lighted soccer and softball fields (permit and fee), jogging course, nine-hole golf course, driving range, mini golf, indoor ice rink, outdoor pool complex with showers, snack bar. Fee: Parking $10 a car weekends and holidays for nonresidents from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

CEDAR CREEK PARK 3340 Merrick Rd., Seaford; 516-571-7470. 259 acres; handball and tennis courts (fee), archery, multipurpose turf and softball fields (permit and fee), basketball court, aerodrome field (radio-controlled model planes; permit), Tether Car track, bicycle path and beginning of trail to Jones Beach, picnic areas, in-line and roller-skating area, and dog run. Fee: Parking $10 a car daily for nonresidents from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

CENTENNIAL PARK 1 Centennial Ave., Roosevelt; 516-571-8695. 2 acres; playground, spray park (in season), basketball, tennis, paddleball and handball courts, and picnic tables. 

CHRISTOPHER MORLEY PARK Searingtown Road, Roslyn-North Hills; 516-571-8113. 98 acres; swimming pool (fee, Nassau County residents only), indoor tennis courts (fee; 516-214-1900), nine-hole golf course, playgrounds, picnic areas (reserved for fee and unreserved), dog run, fitness trail, softball and hardball fields (permit and fee), basketball and volleyball courts, paddleball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, outdoor ice rink (Nov.-March). Fee: Parking $10 a car weekends and holidays for nonresidents from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

EISENHOWER PARK Hempstead Turnpike and Merrick Avenue, East Meadow; 516-572-0348. 930 acres; baseball, softball and soccer fields (permit and fee); three 18-hole golf courses; driving range; mini golf; batting range; picnic areas (reserved and unreserved); 14 tennis courts and 2 pickleball courts (lighted May-Oct.); playgrounds; dog run; jogging and fitness trails; bike paths; model boating; boccie; indoor aquatic center; and restaurant. Fee: Parking $10 a car daily for nonresidents Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
EUGENE NICKERSON BEACH PARK 880 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach; 516-571-7700. Ocean beach, lifeguards May 27 to Labor Day. Cabanas (fee), 2 pools (fee), 2 tennis courts, beach volleyball, soccer fields (fee), basketball court, playgrounds, baseball field (permit and fee), pitch and putt (fee), handball and paddleball, snack bars, 81 campsites for RVs (reservation and fee), picnic areas (reserved for fee and unreserved), surf casting (permit required), skate park. Fee: Parking $15 a day with Leisure Pass, Memorial Day-Labor Day; without Leisure Pass or nonresidents, $37. Beach admission: Residents with a Leisure Pass $6-$10; without Leisure Pass or nonresidents, $16-$11. 
GRANT PARK Broadway and Sheridan Avenue, Hewlett; 516-571-7821 or 516-571-7820. 35 acres; tennis courts (fee), handball/paddleball courts, playgrounds, spray pool, outdoor ice rink (fee, Nov.-March), picnic areas (reserved for fee and unreserved), basketball courts, turf softball fields (permit and fee), fishing lake (license required).

INWOOD PARK 600 Bayview Ave., Inwood; 516-571-7894. 16 acres; softball field (permit and fee), tennis and basketball courts, playground, outdoor roller rink, saltwater fishing (license required), crabbing, launch ramp (fee), picnic area (reserved for fee and unreserved). 

MITCHEL ATHLETIC COMPLEX 1 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale; 516-572-0420. 49 acres; 400-meter track; football, lacrosse and soccer stadium (permit and fee); eight athletic fields for baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse (permit and fees). 
NORTH WOODMERE PARK 750 Hungry Harbor Rd., North Woodmere; 516-571-7800. 150 acres; lighted tennis courts (fee); lighted basketball courts; lighted handball and paddleball courts; lighted baseball, football, softball fields (permit and fee); swimming complex (fee); nine-hole golf; lighted driving range; horseshoes; playground; spray park; saltwater fishing (license required); crabbing; picnic areas (reserved for fee and unreserved); community room (fee). Fee: Parking $10 a car weekends and holidays for nonresidents from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

REV. ARTHUR MACKEY SR. PARK 49 Lakeside Dr., Roosevelt; 516-571-8692. 27 acres; two basketball courts, four half-courts, two handball courts, two tennis courts, nature trail, youth baseball field (permit and fee), playground, spray park, unreserved picnic area, picnic shelter and reserved picnic area (fee), fishing (license required), bicycle trail. 

WANTAGH PARK 1 King Rd., off Merrick Road, Wantagh; 516-571-7460. 111 acres; swimming complex, bicycle paths, mini golf, dog run, baseball and softball fields (permit and fee), picnic areas (reserved for fee and unreserved), shelters (permit, fee), tennis courts, marina, gazebo, playground, community room (fee), fishing (license required), fitness trail, jogging course, boat ramp ($82 annual fee for Nassau residents; $28 1-day launch, open to all); daily dockage ($2 per foot per day, reserved; open to all). Fee: Parking $10 a car daily for nonresidents from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.


Parking fees may apply; check

ARTHUR KUNZ COUNTY PARK Off Landing Avenue, Smithtown; 631-854-4949. 97 acres; Greenbelt Trail, hiking, bird watching.
BERKELEY JACKSON COUNTY PARK Manor Road, Huntington. 102 acres; hiking and bird watching. 

BLYDENBURGH COUNTY PARK Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown; 631-854-3712. 588 acres; bridle paths (no rentals), campsites, fishing pond, hiking, picnic areas, restrooms, playground with communication board, little free library, rowboat rentals and fenced-in dog run area. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.
BROOKSIDE COUNTY PARK 59 Brook St., Sayville; 631-854-4949. 5.8-acre park was estate of architect Isaac H. Green. Guided nature and bird-watching walks 1-3 p.m. Wed. and Sun. (weather permitting).

CATHEDRAL PINES COUNTY PARK Yaphank-Middle Island Road, Middle Island; 631-852-5502. 320 acres; individual and group campsites (groups must reserve), restrooms, playground, sports fields, nature trails, activity building, mountain biking. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 Non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.

CEDAR POINT COUNTY PARK Stephen Hands Path, East Hampton; 631-852-7620. 608 acres; individual and group campsites (groups reserve), self-guided nature trail, outer beach area for saltwater fishing (permit), waterfowl hunting (fee, license), rowboat rentals, picnic area, biking. Fee: Free parking.
CUPSOGUE BEACH COUNTY PARK Dune Road, Westhampton; 631-852-8111; offseason: 631-854-4949. West end of Dune Road, directly across inlet from Smith Point County Park. Protected beach (daily May 27-Sept. 4), beach wheelchair and beach access mat, snack bar; limited camping on bay side, off-road vehicle permit needed. Fee: Parking fee daily May 27-Sept. 4: $9 Green Key cardholders, $18 without card.

GARDINER COUNTY PARK Montauk Highway, West Bay Shore; 631-854-0935. 231 acres; picnic area, pavilion, nature trail and physical fitness trail; dog-friendly, leashes required.
GOLDSMITH’S INLET COUNTY PARK Off Mill Road, Peconic; 631-854-4949. 60 acres; 1/2-mile trail.
INDIAN ISLAND COUNTY PARK County Road 105, Riverhead; 631-852-3232. 287 acres; individual and group campsites (groups reserve), saltwater fishing, hiking trails, playground, picnic area. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 Non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.
ISLIP GREENBELT COUNTY PARK Islip; 631-854-4949. 153 acres; access to Greenbelt.

LAKE RONKONKOMA COUNTY PARK Lake Shore Road, Lake Ronkonkoma; 631-854-9699. 223 acres; baseball, handball, basketball, handicapped-accessible playground, picnic area, freshwater fishing. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 Non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.
LAKELAND COUNTY PARK Johnson Avenue, Islandia; 631-853-2727 or 631-854-4949. 70 acres; boardwalks; shuffleboard; basketball courts; playground; nature trail/boardwalk over headwaters of the Connetquot River; self-guided, interpretive trails; tactile maps for visually impaired; nature trails (3,500 feet are boardwalks or surfaced areas); picnic area with gazebo. Fee: Free. 

MESCHUTT BEACH COUNTY PARK 1 Canal Rd., Hampton Bays; 631-852-8209; offseason: 631-854-4949. 7 acres; protected beach (May 27-Sept. 4; bathing in Peconic Bay), picnic area, playground, snack area, sand wheelchair, lifeguards. Fee: Parking fee daily May 27-Sept. 4: $9 with Green Key card, $18 without card. Seniors with Green Key card free weekdays only (excluding holidays).
MONTAUK COUNTY PARK Route 27, Montauk; 631-852-7879. 1,126 acres; bridle paths (rentals), outer beach camping (fee; off-road permit needed), freshwater fishing (fee, license), nature trails, waterfowl and deer hunting (license), picnic and bike hostel areas, beach. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 Non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.

NORTHWEST HARBOR COUNTY PARK Off Swamp Road, East Hampton; 631-852-7620, 631-854-4949. 337 acres along a salt marsh; migratory waterfowl; bow deer hunting with seasonal and daily permit and key card.
ORIENT POINT COUNTY PARK End of Route 25 near the Orient Point ferry, Orient; 631-854-4949. 48 acres; mile-long beach, 1/2-mile trail, bird-watching.
POXABOGUE COUNTY PARK Old Farm Road, Bridgehampton; 631-854-4949. 26 acres, 1/2-mile nature walk; winter waterfowl.
PROSSER PINES COUNTY PARK Yaphank-Middle Island Road, Middle Island; 631-854-4949. 56 acres; white pine; trails, bird watching.

RAYNOR BEACH COUNTY PARK Ronkonkoma Avenue, Ronkonkoma; 631-854-9699. Two playgrounds; basketball, tennis and handball courts; soccer; baseball fields; picnic tables; trails.
ROBERT CUSHMAN MURPHY COUNTY PARK Off River Road at Swan Pond, Manorville; 631-854-4949. 2,200 acres, bird watching, fishing (license needed) on Swan Pond (free canoe ramp).
SANS SOUCI COUNTY PARK Access off Broadway Avenue, Sayville; 631-854-4949. Bird-watching and hiking.
SEARS BELLOWS COUNTY PARK Bellows Pond Road, Hampton Bays; 631-852-8290. 693 acres; bicycle hostel area, individual and group campsites (groups reserve), rowboat rentals, playground, bridle paths, freshwater fishing (fee, license), waterfowl and deer hunting (adjacent park, in season); no lifeguards. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 Non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.

SHINNECOCK EAST COUNTY PARK Dune Road, Southampton; seasonal: 631-852-8839; offseason: 631-852-8290. 89 acres; 100 campsites on outer beach for self-contained vehicles only; saltwater fishing and off-road vehicles. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 Non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.

SMITH POINT COUNTY PARK County Road 46, Shirley; 631-852-1313. Protected beach, saltwater fishing, waterfowl hunting (in season with license), beach camping, sand wheelchair and beach access mat, fishing and picnic areas, snack bar, disabled-accessible playground. Home of TWA 800 memorial. Fee: Parking fee daily May 27-Sept. 4: $9 Green Key cardholders; $18 Non-Green cardholders; Seniors/Handicap/Vol./Aux. Police/CERT/Vet with Green Key card free weekdays only (excluding holidays).
SMITHTOWN GREENBELT COUNTY PARK Off Route 347 at Nissequogue River, Smithtown; 631-854-4949. 118 acres, part of Greenbelt Trail.
SOUTHAVEN COUNTY PARK Victory Avenue, Brookhaven; 631-854-1414. 1,323 acres; bridle paths, individual and group campsites (groups reserve), freshwater fishing (fee, license), waterfowl hunting in season (license), picnic area, disabled-accessible playground, canoeing, trap and skeet. Home of Long Island Live Steamers miniature trains; from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., tickets available until 2:45 p.m., last train leaves at 3 p.m. (fee;, 631-345-0499). Public Run days are usually the second and last Sunday of the month but there can be exceptions. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 Non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.
SUFFOLK HILLS COUNTY PARK Off County Road 51, Riverhead; 631-854-4949. 985 acres; site of Bald Hill, highest point on the East End; bow deer hunting in season.
TERRELL RIVER COUNTY PARK Off Montauk Highway, Center Moriches; 631-854-4949. 260 acres; hiking trails, bird watching.
VAN BOURGONDIEN COUNTY PARK Albin Avenue, West Babylon; 631-854-4949. Managed by Babylon Town through Adopt-a-Park program. 19 acres; playground, two soccer fields, 1/2-mile exercise course, two tennis courts.

WEST HILLS COUNTY PARK Sweet Hollow Road, Huntington; 631-854-4423. 854 acres; bridle paths, youth group camping area, playground, small and large dog parks. Fee: $7 parking Green Key cardholders, $15 non-Green Key cardholders, May 27-Sept. 4 weekends and holidays only.



The Nassau County Leisure Pass identifies its holder as a county resident and is required to access many county recreational facilities. Leisure Pass holders enjoy discounts at golf courses, swimming pools, ice rinks, tennis courts, beaches, marinas and cabanas; $36 for three years. Park system amenities are available to non-Nassau residents for a fee. Residents older than 13 (and golfers of all ages) must show a Leisure Pass.

Seniors (older than 60) can pay a one-time fee of $30 for a Leisure Pass but must verify Nassau County residency every three years. Specially marked Leisure Passes also are offered to veterans, civic volunteers and people with disabilities for a onetime fee of $30, with proof of residency required every three years.

Obtain passes at Bay Park, Cantiague Park, Cedar Creek Park, Christopher Morley Park, Eisenhower Park, Grant Park, Nickerson Beach Park (in season), North Woodmere Park, Wantagh Park and Mitchel Athletic Complex: Nassau County Rifle & Pistol Range. If your Leisure Pass is lost or damaged, you can obtain a replacement for $5. More info: 516-572-0200,


Suffolk County parks are open to all, but Green Key cards often provide discounted fees for Suffolk residents. Resident Green Key cards, $30 for county residents 18 and older, are valid for three years. Discounted resident Green Key cards are available to seniors (60 and older), juniors (under 18), active military personnel, veterans, and people with disabilities; $15, valid for three years. Obtain Green Key cards at park offices in West Sayville and at active county golf-course pro shops and county parks.

Suffolk County also offers nonresident VIP Green Key cards for $200 (some exceptions may apply), or for $50 to use the reservation system for golf or camping; valid for one year. More 631-854-4949,

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