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Long IslandTransportation

Mapping Oyster Bay's shoreline attractions

From left: Patricia Aitken, Executive Director of Friends

From left: Patricia Aitken, Executive Director of Friends of the Bay, and Eric Swenson, Executive Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, look over a proposed map for a blueway nautical trail along Oyster Bay Town's northern shoreline. (March 22, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/Danielle Finkelstein

Paddlers who longed to travel around Oyster Bay Town's northern shoreline but were unsure about where to go and what to visit are about to get a new resource.

After months of planning, a draft map of the proposed nautical trail from Hempstead Harbor to Cold Spring Harbor will be publicly unveiled Tuesday.

The map details routes to paddle or sail, places to launch or land and dining options.

Organizers also offered one surprise: a new name for the trail. What had been known as The Blueway Trail has been renamed the Theodore Roosevelt Blueway Trail. Its logo is an image of the 26th president rowing, one of his favorite activities.

"We basically wanted to emphasize that he was big on nature and he was a rower himself out on the harbor," said Eric Swenson, superintendent of environmental control for the Town of Oyster Bay. "People identify Theodore Roosevelt with Oyster Bay. If you hear Theodore Roosevelt Blueway Trail you would naturally tend to think of this area."

Facilities highlighted on the map include launching areas, parking areas for town and village residents and nonresidents, restrooms, food service, recycling, Sagamore Hill and other historic sites, bird-watching areas, places to anchor, marinas and other boaters' services, and locations for picnicking.

"We're trying to take the mystery out of paddling," said Kathryn Eiseman of the consulting firm Nelson, Pope & Voorhees, which produced the map. "Often you go someplace and you don't know where to put in, you don't know what the routes are and you don't know where there's a place to eat."

The map also promotes safety to paddlers "by showing them where it's best to go and give them an idea how far it is between points," Swenson said. The map will be displayed at kiosks along the trail where people can launch their craft. Officials also expect to have it available for downloading from the Internet and on smartphone apps.

In 2010, the town received a $76,250 matching grant through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for planning the trail. It will link with blueway trails in the towns of North Hempstead and Huntington.

Project backers said they hope to obtain grant money to install floating docks at some launching areas to make getting in and out of kayaks easier.

The map was created mainly by Swenson, who also is executive director of the intermunicipal Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, Eiseman and Patricia Aitken, director of the environmental group Friends of the Bay. They will unveil the map at 6 p.m. at the Friends of the Bay office, Suite 2, 111 South St., Oyster Bay.

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