Moonlight hikes, cruises and kayak adventures let you experience a side of Long Island that never sees the light of day.
With the full moon high above, you can take a boat ride alone or with a crowd, or meander the woods on a trail with nature providing the lighting — and the soundtrack.
Here are guided activities that take full advantage of the lunar calendar and the Island’s moonlit mystique.
FULL MOON PADDLE
WHEN | WHERE 7:15 p.m. Aug. 5-7 at Carmans River Canoe and Kayak II, 2979 Montauk Hwy., Brookhaven. Launch at 8 p.m., return at 10. Reservations required.
INFO 631-803-8496, carmansriverkayak.com
ADMISSION $55-$65 (includes kayak/canoe/paddleboard rental and refreshments)
Explore the Carmans River on a relaxing moonlight tour led by experienced river guides. Last month, 37 people took the trip. “It was very mellow and relaxing,” says marketing director Joseph Corrar. “People like the peace and quiet.”
Boats launch at sunset, from Carmans River Canoe & Kayak, a rental store. Along the route, you’ll see the moon rise and learn firsthand about the river ecosystem.
“We want to focus on the importance of the ecosystem, and experiencing it at nighttime is a such a beautiful sight,” Corrar says. On the trip, he says, “you can hear the sounds of nature, including owls.”
Return by the light of the full moon with high-powered, waterproof flashlights and solar lanterns mounted at the front of the boats. Paddlers wear glow sticks around their necks for easy tracking by the guides.
WHEN | WHERE 8:30-10:30 p.m. Aug. 3-4, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 from the Long Island Aquarium, 469 East Main St., Riverhead
INFO 631-208-9200, ext. 426, longislandaquarium.com
Nobody will mind if you sing “Moon River” as you cruise the Peconic River in style. Trips are offered on Thursday and Friday nights to take advantage of the waxing gibbous moon, which precedes the full moon. “It’s as close as we can get to the full moon and still catch the weekend,” says Darlene Puntillo, aquarium representative.
Aquarium educators will be aboard the Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat, the aquarium’s floating classroom, to answer guests’ questions.
As the moon pours golden light on the river, Rafael Vineyards of Peconic pours the wine. The snacks include fruit and what else? Cheese, of course.
WHEN | WHERE 8 -10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Oakdale. Reservations required.
INFO 631-581-1072, parks.ny.gov
Hooting owls and crickets sound when the moon is up and the 3,473-acre preserve is usually closed to human visitors. On the flat, wide trails meandering through the park woodlands, you’ll catch glimpses of the Connequot River in the moonlight during a tour guided by a naturalist.
“Everything looks different at night,” says Annie McIntyre, regional environmental manager of Long Island state parks.
“You get the crickets and the evening sounds you don’t have during the hubbub of the day,” McIntyre adds. “It’s a gentle experience.”
ALSO TRY Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park also offers a moonlight stroll — the next is 8-10 p.m. Sept. 15. Admission is $4 (631-581-1072, parks.ny.gov).