Long Island is home to dozens of local, town, county, state and federal parks, as well as numerous private preserves.
Arthur Kunz County Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Off Landing Avenue, Smithtown, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 97 acres, Greenbelt Trail; hiking, bird-watching.
Brookside County Park(Credit: Meghan Giannotta)
59 Brook St., Sayville, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 5.8 acre park was estate of architect Issac H. Green. Great South Bay Audubon Society hosts guided bird-watching walks 1-3 p.m. Wed. and Sun., weather permitting.
Brookside Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Brookside Avenue, Freeport, nwsdy.li.li/bside. Season- All year. Features- This 22-acre nature sanctuary features natural woodlands and freshwater wetlands, native plants and more than 50 species of birds.
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
The sun peeks between branches of a snow-covered tree at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown on Feb. 12, 2010. The 543-acre park has self-guided trails -- including part of the Greenbelt Trail -- a nature museum, environmental programs for children, and fly fishing.
Calverton Ponds Preserve(Credit: NEWSDAY/BILL DAVIS)
A frog camouflages against the leaves at the 350-acre Calverton Ponds Preserve off Old River Road. The preserve features a mix of pine barrens and coastal plain ponds, woodlands and wetlands with several trails.
Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve(Credit: Catherine Ahlers)
Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve consists of 1,750 acres of woodlands, meadows and shorelines along the Long Island Sound in Huntington. Visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, and bird watching, pictured on Nov. 21, 2010.
Cedarmere Preserve(Credit: Howard Schnapp)
Bryant Avenue, just north of Northern Boulevard, Roslyn Harbor, 800-763-7190, friendsofcedarmere.org. Features- L.I. home of William Cullen Bryant, 19th-century poet and newspaper editor, features restored gardens and a pond.
Cow Meadow Park Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
South Main Street, Freeport, 516-571-8685, nassaucountyny.gov. Season- All year. Features- 150 acres, 1/4-mile hiking trail through bayberry thicket. It also travels along a saltwater marsh area, host to 156 species of nesting, migrating and wintering birds; small-bird watching tower.
Cranberry Bog County Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Riverhead Moriches Road, Riverhead, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 460 acres in pine barrens with wetlands and woodlands, includes a 3/4-mile interpretive trail around Sweezy Pond. Groups by permit.
David Sarnoff Pine Barrens Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Route 104, Riverhead, 631-444-0270, nwsdy.li/daspreserve. Season- All year; except Jan. deer hunting season. Access by state DEC. Features- 2,700 acres of undeveloped land, bird conservation area; 7 1/2 miles of marked hiking trails; hunters may be in the preserve Oct.-Feb.
Downs Farm Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
23800 Rte. 25, Cutchogue, 631-734-6413, nwsdy.li/downsfp historic Native American fort site (requires permission from Town of Southold). Walking trails and birding spots.
A new pine cone begins to form on one of the many trees at the Dwarf Pine Plains Preserve off County Road 31 in Westhampton. This 290-acre preserve is dominated by pitch pines and scrub oak with soil that is sandy and acidic.
Edgewood Oak Brush Plain Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Off Commack Road, Deer Park, 631-444-0270, nwsdy.li/edgewood. Season- All year. Access by permit from state DEC (free). Features 850 acres of pine barrens vegetation, pitch pine and scrub oak; 50 acres of open field, 5-mile hiking trail, 5-mile mountain biking trail, bird-watching.
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve(Credit: Ursula Moore)
50 Barry Dr., Glen Cove, 516-571-8010, garviespointmuseum.com. Features- 62 acres overlooking Hempstead Harbor; museum presents L.I. geology and archaeological history, 5 miles of trails.
Grace Estate Preserve(Credit: Handout)
Northwest Road, East Hampton, 631-324-7420, nwsdy.li/grace. Season- Dawn to dusk all year. Features- 516 acres made up of many wetlands and trails and is primarily an oak pine forest and a wonderful place to hike, bird-watch and explore. parking area is along Northwest Road. Open to East Hampton Town residents and their guests.
Hempstead Plains(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Nassau Community College, Garden City, 516-572-7575 ext. 26531, friendsofhp.org. Features- 19-acre, tall-grass prairie. Tours, volunteer community workdays, poetry and art workshops in spring and fall. Rare and endangered plant species and a green and sustainable Education and Research Center showcasing solar energy and a green roof.
Hoyt Farm Park Preserve(Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara)
200 New Hwy., Commack, 631-543-7804, smithtowninfo.com. Season- All year. Available only to Town of Smithtown residents with proper ID. Features 133 acres, reproduction of American Indian wigwam, animals, nature center (1-4 p.m. daily Memorial Day- Labor Day), playground, picnic areas. Hoyt-Wicks Homestead Museum open 1-4 p.m. weekends Memorial Day- Labor Day. Free concerts (residents only) July- Aug. (631-360-7644); maple sugaring Sun. (1:30-3 p.m., call) late-Feb. to mid-March. Water playground 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Inlet Pond County Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Main Road, off Route 48, Greenport, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 39 acres on Long Island Sound, popular for surf-fishing.
Islip Greenbelt County Park(Credit: Steve Pfost)
Islip, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 153 acres; links portions of the 34-mile Greenbelt hiking trail.
Leeds Pond Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
1526 North Plandome Rd., Plandome, 516-627-9400, nwsdy.li/leeds. Season- All year. Features- 35-acre site with 16 acres of forest (oak, maple and tulip trees); 40-minute trail along pond and beachfront.
Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Lido Boulevard, Point Lookout, 516-431-9200, nwsdy.li/lido. Season- All year (except holidays). Features- 40-acre site, indigenous plants, tidal wetlands, variety of grasses, vegetation and marine life, bird watching, walking path.
Linda Gronlund Memorial Nature Preserve at Barcelona Neck(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Route 114, Sag Harbor, 631-444-0270, nwsdy.li/lgpreserve. Season- All year except Jan. 3-28 (deer season), weekdays. Features- 300 acres of woodlands and tidal marshes, fresh and tidal wetlands; 4 miles of marked hiking trails; bird-watching. Hunters in preserve Oct.-Feb.
Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
340 Smith Rd., Shirley, 631-286-0485, nwsdy.li/refcomplex. Season- Refuges have public trails, accessible during day all year, except for parts of Morton Refuge in nesting season (April 1- Aug. 30). Features (a) Target Rock Refuge, end of Target Rock Road, Lloyd Neck; 80 acres, nature trails through hardwood forest, ponds and along rocky shore of Huntington Bay; good bird-watching in spring for warblers; fishing from shore; self-guided interpretive hikes and education materials offered. (b) Wertheim Refuge, 340 Smith Rd., off Montauk Highway, Shirley; 2,550 acres; and pine forest, grassland and wetland; canoeing on Carmans River (launch site at Montauk Highway and Smith Road). Fishing permitted from boat; interpretive hikes; cross-country skiing; bird-watching; wheelchair-accessible trail. Free self-guided family friendly programs. (c) Elizabeth A. Morton Refuge, 2595 Noyack Rd.; nature trail through forests; bird-watching; self-guided hikes; wheelchair-accessible trail. Open sunrise to sunset. More than 250 bird species.
Mill Pond Park(Credit: Tara Conry)
Merrick Road (east of Bellmore Avenue), Wantagh, nassaucountyny.gov. Features- 54-acre preserve, includes a large pond that draws native waterfowl, nature trails that wind through wet woodland, coast pepper bush and skunk cabbage.
Muttontown Preserve(Credit: Howard Schnapp)
Two horseback riders on a small section of more than 20 miles of bridle paths at Muttontown Preserve in East Norwich on Dec. 4, 2008. The preserve also features 10 miles of nature trails, ponds and woodlands and allows cross-country skiing in winter.
Norman J. Levy Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
1600 Merrick Rd., Merrick, 516-804-2000, nwsdy.li/levypark. Season- All year. Features- 50 acres surrounded by tidal wetland. Hiking trails, guided kayak tours, 18 exercise stations, herd of Nigerian dwarf goats, fishing pier on Merrick Bay, canoe and kayak launch.
Northwest Harbor County Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Off Swamp Road, East Hampton, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 337 acres along salt marsh flowing into Northwest Harbor. Migratory waterfowl; bow deer hunting with seasonal and daily permits and key card.
Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area(Credit: Julie Cappiello)
500 Slice Dr., Oceanside, 516-766-1580, masa.info. Season- All year; open Tue.-Sat. except holidays and Sun. April-Oct. Features- 52 acres, mainly salt marsh; a mile of trails; 10 displays; bird-watching, group tours (by reservation).
A bird rests on the pebble shore line of Orient Point County Park on May 25, 2010.
Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
Sand dunes at the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness. It contains a variety of barrier island ecosystems and is one of the smallest wilderness areas managed by the National Park Service.
Peter J. Schmitt Massapequa Preserve(Credit: Brittany Wait)
Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue, Massapequa Park, 516-572-0200, nassaucountyny.gov. Season- All year. Features- 423 acres, largest freshwater wetlands system in a Nassau park. No amenities in preserve; 4 1/2 miles of Bethpage bikeway, 5 miles of the Greenbelt hiking trail.
Poxabogue County Park(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Old Farm Road, Bridgehampton, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 26 acres, 1/2-mile nature walk; winter waterfowl.
Prosser Pines County Park(Credit: Carl Corry)
Prosser Pines County Park in Middle Island is a 56-acre Suffolk County park known for its tall, white pines. The park features a mile-long, self-guided nature trail and bird watching.
Quogue Wildlife Refuge(Credit: Randee Daddona)
3 Old Country Rd., Quogue, 631-653-4771, quoguewildliferefuge.org. Season- All year. Features- 305 acres, 7 miles of self-guided trails; outdoor wildlife complex with permanently injured native wildlife; all year ice harvesting exhibit. nature center with exhibits, library (open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tues., Thur., Sat. and Sun.); summer camp ages 4-18. Trails open daily sunrise to sunset. No dogs allowed.
Robert Cushman Murphy County Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Off River Road at Swan Pond, Manorville, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 2,200 acres, part of Peconic River watershed. Bird-watching, fishing (license needed) on Swan Pond (free canoe ramp).
Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Between Routes 25 and 25A, Rocky Point, 631-444-0270, nwsdy.li/rppbarrens. Season- All year except in Jan. deer season. Access is by seasonal permit from state DEC and a daily-access hunting permit Nov.-Jan. (free). Features- 5,800 acres, pitch pine and oak, 13.8 miles of marked hiking trails, trailhead for Paumanok Path to Montauk Point (suffolkcountyny.gov), 6 1/2 miles of bridle trails, 30 miles of mountain bike trail. Bike trails closed Nov. 1- Mar. 31.
Sands Point Preserve(Credit: Ken Spencer)
127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point, 516-571-7901, thesandspointpreserve.org. Features- Year-round family nature programs, seasonal events, fitness activities, cultural arts and historic mansions: Hempstead House, Castle Gould and Falaise on 216 acres with wooded trails, beachfront, freshwater pond.
Sans Souci County Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Broadway Avenue, Sayville, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Features- 316 acres, featuring bird-watching and hiking; with trail markers to inform visitors on all aspects of the preserve from plants to pollution, and water levels to fire damage.
Stillwell Woods Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
South Woods Road, Syosset, nwsdy.li/stillwell. Features- 270 acres with old field and oak barrens communities. Greenbelt Trail runs through preserve; bicycle and equestrian trails.
Suffolk Hills County Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Off County Road 51, Riverhead, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 985 acres; site of Bald Hill, highest point on the East End. Outstanding views; bow deer hunting in season with permit.
Tackapausha Museum and Preserve
2225 Washington Ave., Seaford, 516-571-7443, nassaucountyny.gov. Features- 84 acres, picnic area, natural history museum, 5 miles of nature trails. More than 170 species of birds in spring.
Tanglewood Preserve(Credit: Center for Science Learning and)
1450 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-764-0045, castle.org. Season- All year. Features- 17-acre preserve with two ponds and three buildings that serve as home to the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, science and technology programs for children.
Terrell River County Park(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Off Montauk Highway, Center Moriches, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 260 acres; hiking trails, bird-watching.
Tiffany Creek Preserve(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Sandy Hill Road, Oyster Bay, nwsdy.li/tiffcreek. Season- Daily, all year. Features- 197 acres, mix of ecological communities within oak forest. Self-guided trails.
Twin Lakes Preserve(Credit: Photo by Julie Cappiello)
Old Mill Road, Wantagh, 516-766-1580, nwsdy.li/twinlakes. Season- All year. Features- 57 acres, red maple, sweet gum, tulip trees; freshwater fishing (license required); four ponds; bird-watching.
Uplands Farm Sanctuary(Credit: Meghan Giannotta)
250 Lawrence Hill Rd., Cold Spring Harbor, 631-367-3225, nwsdy.li/uplands. Features- 97 acres of old fields, deciduous hardwoods, grasslands and a former dairy barn. Variety of plants and animals. marked trails for hiking, dawn to dusk daily.
Welwyn Preserve(Credit: Michael E. Ach)
Crescent Beach and New Woods Road, Glen Cove, 516-572-0200, nwsdy.li/welwyn. Season- All year, daily. Features- 204 acres, four trails in a swamp forest of tulip trees. Home to the Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County.
Westhampton Management Area(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
Route 31, between Suffolk County Airport and Sunrise Highway, Westhampton, 631-444-0270, nwsdy.li/wdpine. Season- All year except Jan. deer hunting season. Access by state DEC permit (free). Features 420 acres of dwarf pitch pine and scrub oak.
William Cullen Bryant Preserve(Credit: Meghan Giannotta)
1 Museum Dr., Roslyn, 516-484-9337, nwsdy.li/wcb. Features- 145 acres with sculptures and formal gardens; home to the Nassau County Museum of Art.
Preserves Not Pictured:
Goldsmith's Inlet County Park, off Mill Road, Peconic, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 60 acres; 1/2-mile hiking trail leads to Long Island Sound.
Kings Park Unique Area Preserve, Meadow Road, Kings Park, 631-444-0270, nwsdy.li/kparea. Season- All year. Features- 69 acres of green space, 0.3-mile Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible trail and 1.1-mile hiking loop and accessible parking lot. Access by permit from state DEC. hiking, bow hunting and wildlife viewing.
Smithtown Greenbelt County Park, off Route 347 at Nissequogue River, Smithtown, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks. Season- All year. Features- 118 acres, part of Greenbelt Trailer.
Wawapeck Preserve, Mowbray Lane North, Cold Spring Harbor, 516-626-0908, northshorelandalliance.org. Season- All year, sunrise-sunset. Features- 32 acres opened in June of 2015; predominantly forest with a central trail and remnants of a Colonial garden wth specimen trees