For thousands of years, labyrinths have been used to discover spiritual meaning or find inspiration. As the seasons change, these paths can help you look at life from a different perspective. Here's a gallery of labyrinths on the Island that are free and open to the public.
The labyrinth next to the garden and farm stand at Saint Francis Episcopal Church, 1692 Bellmore Ave., North Belllmore, is open dawn to dusk. It is made of brick, pavers and wood chips. For more information, call 516-679-1184, or visit stfrancisec.org or facebook.com/Gardenatstfrancis.
The Reflective Garden at the Common Ground in Sayville's Rotary Park, between Gillette and Candee avenues, is open dawn to dusk. There are monthly, guided, full-moon walks at 7:30 p.m., February to December; check website for schedule. It is a seven-circuit labyrinth about 60 feet in diameter. For more, visit thecommonground.com, 631-459-6603.
Walking the labyrinth at LIU Post, 7200 Northern Blvd., in Brookville is a good way to meditate. Hours are dawn to dusk. The 47-foot medieval mosaic labyrinth, is composed of 38,000 ceramic tiles and is situated behind the Winnick House on the top of the Great Lawn. Call 516-299-2000 for more information.
The labyrinth in the Avalon Park and Preserve on Harbor Road in Stony Brook, is a place for contemplation and reflection. Hours are dawn to dusk. It is a 10-minute walk from the park entrance to the slate labyrinth, which is based on the Chartres design and is about 50 feet in diameter. For more, call 631-689-0619 or visit avalonparkandpreserve.org.
COPE, a grief and healing organization, has built a labyrinth 26 feet in diameter next to the TRIO Rose Garden at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. The 26-foot-diameter, St. Paul-style labyrinth is open dawn to dusk.For more information about the labyrinth or COPE, call 516- 484-4993 or visit copefoundation.org.
Visitors walk through the medieval labyrinth at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stony Brook, 380 Nicolls Rd./Route 97 in East Setauket. There's a guided walk on the indoor labyrinth at 1:30 p.m. every Thursday and 8 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month. It's also available for scheduled events. The outdoor labyrinth is open dawn to dusk, and a canvas labyrinth is also available. Visit uufsb.org, or call 631-751-0297 (office), 631-543-0337 (walk leader Linda Mikell).
More Long Island labyrinths that are free and open to the public:
At Hofstra University, the labyrinth is in front of the C.V. Starr Building on California Avenue on the university’s South Campus. Hours are dawn to dusk. This granite re-creation of the 11th century Chartres labyrinth is 50 feet in diameter. (The Chartres design has eleven circuits divided into four quadrants.)
At Tackapausha Preserve. 2225 Washington Ave., Seaford, a small labyrinth was created as an Eagle Scout project by local Boy Scouts. It is made of crushed blue stone gravel and grass, and is adjacent to the butterfly garden. Hours are sunrise to sunset; for more information, call 516-571-7443 or visit nwsdy.li/tackapausha.
Homecoming Farm, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Dominic, 555 Albany Ave. in Amityville, has a small labyrinth made of brick pavers and grass. For hours, call 631-842-6000, ext. 307, visit homecomingearth.org, or email email@example.com.
Christ Episcopal Church, 12 Prospect St., at the corner of Prospect and South Carll avenues in Babylon, has a pavers-and-stone labyrinth in a modified, four-quadrant, Chartres design. Hours are dawn to dusk. Call 631-661-5757 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
The labyrinth at Sisters of St. Joseph, 725 Brentwood Rd. in Brentwood, is open dawn to dusk. Groups interested in walking the labyrinth should call Sister Mary Lou Buser at 631-265-9331. This seven-circuit labyrinth is made of blue stone gravel and grass.
A private labyrinth at 1428 Scuttlehole Rd. in Bridgehampton is open to the public by appointment. It's about a 20-minute walk, with two chairs for meditating. Email larry.p.carlson@ gmail.com.
In Edge Ecker Park, at the end of Navy Road in Montauk, the labyrinth is in an open field near the water and the woods. Hours are dawn to dusk. Fifty feet in diameter, this seven-circuit labyrinth is made of rocks and grass. It was installed by women dedicated to beautifying Montauk.
St. Philip Neri Church, 15 Prospect Ave. in Northport, has a seven-circuit, classical labyrinth made of stone and wood chips, about 30 feet in diameter. Hours are dawn to dusk; visit stphilipnerinpt.org or call 631-261-2485. .
At St. John's Episcopal Church, 1 Berard Blvd. in Oakdale, the outdoor classic seven-circuit labyrinth is behind the historic church. Hours are dawn to dusk; call 631-244-3971 or visit nwsdy.li/oaklab.
The Cenacle Retreat Center, 310 Cenacle Rd. in Ronkonkoma, features a 36-foo-diameter, 11-circuit labyrinth based on the Chartres style. Hours are dawn to dusk; Call 631-588-8366 or visit nwsdy.li/montlab; check website for guided walks.
St. Ann's Episcopal Church, 257 Middle Rd. in Sayville, has a labyrinth made of pavers and grass in the cemetery near the garden. It's open daily, dawn to dusk. Call 631-589-6522 or visit saint-anns.org.
In Southold, a seven-petal labyrinth is open to the public on the biodynamic farm of Ira and the late KK Haspel, 59945 Main Rd. The path is about 30 feet in diameter. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday to Sunday. For more information, call 516-398-8731.