A snowy egret takes to flight in a Plandome Manor marsh area on June 25, 2017.
Robert Moses State Park
A young harbor seal beaches himself to enjoy the sun and warmer temperatures at Robert Moses State Park on April 10, 2017. Located at the westernmost end of Fire Island, the park has a shoreline almost 5 miles long.
Shadmoor State Park
Shadmoor State Park in Montauk is a great place for an afternoon hike along the bluffs overlooking the beach. And seeing as it is located just a few minutes away from the Montauk lighthouse, it makes for an excellent excursion while on your next trip to the East End.
Bay Shore High School student Ben Finley, 15, enjoys a cool but dry day in the bay at Heckscher State Park in East Islip on his sailboat on April 30, 2017. Sailing is just one of many outdoor activities available to visitors to the 1,600-acre park, which also has 4 miles of paved multi-use trails for those who prefer to stay on land.
Chris Wrobleski of Commack paddles his kayak on New Mill Pond to enjoy his afternoon fishing at Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown, April 20, 2017. The 627-acre park features bridle paths for horseback riding and is open year round.
Hikers and bird watchers are invited to stroll through the wildflower field paths of Avalon Preserve. This 76-acre preserve in Stony Brook is left to grow wild, open to visitors from dawn to dusk daily.
A field of wildflowers stands at more than 5-feet tall on the 76-acre Avalon Preserve in Stony Brook.
Montauk County Park
Bright pink marshmallow flowers thrive along the eastern edge of Montauk County Park even as the dead, twisted remains of tupelo trees line the shore on Aug. 12, 2012. This portion of the park was once dense forest, but due to erosion over the last several decades, the woodlands have been wiped out by the encroaching waters of Block Island Sound.
The dead and twisted remains of a tupelo tree on the shore along the eastern edge of Montauk County Park on Aug. 12, 2012.
A wooden boardwalk carries visitors over a wetlands area near Big Reed Pond at Montauk County Park. The park includes Montaukett Village, the home and burial grounds of the Montaukett tribe, and Deep Hollow Ranch, the first cattle ranch in the United States.
Separated from Block Island Sound by a narrow strip of beach, Oyster Pond sits at the eastern edge of Montauk County Park on Aug. 12, 2012.
Muttontown Nature Preserve
The Muttontown Nature Preserve off Route 25A in East Norwich has various trails as well as wildflowers and wildlife. It is made up of three estates and encompasses 550 acres of fields, woodlands and ponds.
Muttontown Preserve nature walk
A grove of lesser celandine, not to be confused with marsh marigold, in the woods of the Muttontown Preserve in East Norwich on May 1, 2003.
MUTTONTOWN PRESERVE, Muttontown Lane, East Norwich, 516-782-0174, nassaucountyny.gov Season All year. Features 550 acres, 10 miles of nature trails, 20 miles of bridle paths, ponds and woodlands, ruins of King Zog's estate.
With a diversity of habitats that includes shorelines, grasslands, coastal oak forests, salt marshes and fresh water wetlands, Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island is home to a wide variety of plant, animal and bird species.
Shells cover the shoreline at the Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island on May 16, 2012.
With a diversity of habitats such as coastal oak forests, salt marsh shorelines, grasslands and freshwater wetlands, Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island, seen May 16, 2012, is home to a variety of plant, animal and bird species.
Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge
A bird flies over Frost Creek in the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Aug. 24, 2012. At more than 3,200 acres, it is the largest refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge Complex of Long Island. It's a particularly important site for wintering waterfowl and waterbirds.
The bridge at Eel Creek at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay stretches over salt marshes and out to a Long Island Sound. It is part of the protected Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness
OTIS PIKE PRESERVE AND PECONIC HEADWATERS NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AREA, between Route 25A and Long Island Expressway, Calverton, 631-444-0270, nwsdy.li/otispp Season All year except during Jan. deer season, seasonal access permits available from state DEC. Daily hunting access permit (free) required Nov.-Dec. and Jan. deer hunting season. Features 4,500 acres of pine and oak forest, fields, wetlands, ponds. Peconic River runs through area. Bird-watching, fishing and canoeing. Unmarked roads and trails. Hunters may be present.
A box turtle is right at home among the dunes and marshes of the Otis Pike High Dune Wilderness at the Fire Island National Seashore on May 10, 2012.
Flowering beach plum plants are among the vegetation covering the interior dunes at the Otis Pike High Dune Wilderness at the Fire Island National Seashore on May 10, 2012.
Hubbard County Park
A short wooden deck offers visitors a place to look out to an expansive prairie at Hubbard County Park in Flanders. Visitors can explore more than 1,800 acres of open land or enjoy freshwater fishing, canoeing and kayaking on Penny Pond.
A birdhouse stands ready to welcome migratory birds, seen on Oct. 19, 2012, at Hubbard County Park in Flanders. An array of wildlife can be found in the park including clams, scallops, blue heron, osprey, turtles and a variety of reptiles.
A grassy trail leads to the waterfront at Hubbard County Park in Flanders. Enjoy freshwater fishing, canoeing and kayaking at Penny Pond or explore more than 1,800 acres of open land.
Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve
CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE, 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., West Neck Road north from Huntington Village, Lloyd Neck, 631-423-1770, parks.ny.gov. For more, see State Parks.
Henriette Darrell, of Cold Spring Harbor, rides her friend's horse, Maple, while enjoying the brisk fall weather at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve in Lloyd Harbor on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014.
Charles T. Church Preserve
A goose swims in the pond at the Charles T. Church Preserve, also known as Shu Swamp Preserve, in Mill Neck. The geese at the preserve share the pond with river otters, muskrat and snapping turtles on May 14, 2012.
A mother swan and her eight cygnets are seen swimming on May 14, 2012 in the pond at the Charles T. Church Preserve, also known as Shu Swamp Preserve, in Mill Neck.
A mother swan and her eight cygnets swim in the pond at the Charles T. Church Preserve, also known as Shu Swamp Preserve, in Mill Neck on May 14, 2012.
Dwarf Pines Plains County Park
The sandy soil at Dwarf Pines Plains County Park in Westhampton limits the kind of vegetation that can grow there. Pitch pines, like the one shown here, normally grow as high as 70 feet, might only reach 40 feet in this infertile ground.
DWARF PINES PLAINS PRESERVE, Country Road 31, Westhampton, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks Features 290 acres, ½-mile hiking trail. Pitch pine and scrub oak with sandy, acidic soil. Rare ecosystem supports uncommon wildlife species.
A dogwood tree blooms in the North Shore Land Alliance's Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve in Upper Brookville. on Jan. 18, 2012.
Robert Cushman Murphy County Park
The 2,200-acre Robert Cushman Murphy County Park in Manorville is a good place for hiking and bird-watching. It also has fishing on Swan Pond, which has a boat ramp for canoes.
Orient Point County Park
Orient Point County Park, at the end of Route 25 near Orient Point ferry, features a milelong stretch of beach and half-mile hiking trail. It's a destination for bird-watching with scenic views of the Long Island Sound, seen here on May 25, 2015.
ORIENT POINT COUNTY PARK
ORIENT POINT COUNTY PARK, end of Route 25 near the Orient Point ferry, Orient, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks Features 48 acres, mile-long beach, 1⁄2-mile trail, bird-watching.
Dam Pond Maritime Reserve
Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge
Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge in North Sea is a 60-acre mix of woodlands, grasslands and salt marsh. The Cow Neck Complex of the park is known for being a breeding ground for black ducks.
A glimpse through the reeds of a snow-covered shore at Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge in North Sea on Feb. 27, 2003.
Prosser Pines County Park
PROSSER PINES COUNTY PARK, Yaphank-Middle Island Road, Middle Island, 631-854-4949, nwsdy.li/scparks Features 56 acres; white pine; trails, bird-watching.
Sayville National Wildlife Refuge
Sayville National Wildlife Refuge consists primarily of oak-pitch pine forests interspersed with grasslands that support a diverse mix of migratory songbirds and raptors.
The 196-acre Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Islip consists of grasslands, woodlands and salt and freshwater marshes, with more than 200 species of birds. White-tailed deer and red fox are also common.
A Great Blue Heron takes flight out of the marsh grasses in the Carmans River, which runs through the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley on Nov. 15, 2010.
Indian Landing in the Carmans River in Shirley is seen on Sept. 9, 2012. It once served as a meeting place for Native Americans. It can be reached by water and from a walking trail from the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge Complex Center and Headquarters.
The North Shore Land Alliance's Banfi Fields in Oyster Bay on Jan. 18, 2012. This property was acquired by Nassau County in 2009 to be preserved as open space.
The North Shore Land Alliance's Jane Jackson stands in the pine plantation at the Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow on Jan. 18, 2012.
The North Shore Land Alliance's Jane Jackson walks in the Cordelia Hepburn Cushman Preserve off Route 25A in Oyster Bay Cove. on Jan. 18, 2012.
Jane Jackson of the North Shore Land Alliance stands by a stream in the Darwin James Preserve in Oyster Bay on Jan. 18, 2012. It's a popular spot for bird watchers.
A water view from the beachfront campgrounds at Smith Point County Park in Shirley. Campers take their Jet Skis out on the water in the distance.
A red fox sits in the sun at Smith Point County Park in Shirley.
The invasive burning bush plant is prevalent in the North Shore Land Alliance's Louis C. Clark Sanctuary in Old Brookville., seen here on Jan. 18, 2012.
A pine tree grows in the Long Island Pine Barrens in Flanders on Oct. 20, 2011.
A welcome sign highlights hiking trails for visitors at the Brookhaven State Park in Wading River, seen here on May 28, 2010. The parklands were once property of Brookhaven National Labs, and are now a core part of the Long Island Pine Barrens.
The forest floor in an unburned area of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens in Manorville on April 12, 2012. The Pine Barrens Trails Information Center is located off County Road 111 in Manorville.
A view looking west over Amsterdam Beach in Montauk on June 16, 2005. The beach was privately owned prior to the state's acquisition using a combination of state and local funds in 2005.
A mute swan glides across the Main Pond at Connetquot River State Park Preserve on Dec. 5, 2008. The park's protected 3,473 acres serve as a home for game birds, waterfowl, deer, fish and other animals.
Janet Botaish (Front) rides horseback on "Trace" along with Melissa Bennett who is riding "Scout" throught the water of Main Pond at Connetquot River State Park Preserve on the afternoon of October 16, 2016.
An aerial view of Shadmoor State Park at Ditch Plains in Montauk. The park features 2,400 feet of ocean beachfront accessible by two stairways.
Disturbed from their roost, this flock of starlings formed a tight ball and flew to another tree on Gardiners Island, a small island in the Town of Easthampton.
A view over Robins Pond on Robins Island in Peconic Bay. Robins Island is a 435-acre island between the North and South Forks that can only be reached by boat.
North Fork Preserve, a former hunting lodge in the hamlet of Northville, as seen here on Aug. 8, 2011, was purchased by Suffolk County and the Town of Riverhead to create a 314-acre county regional park in late 2011. .
CALVERTON PONDS PRESERVE, Old River Road, Calverton, 631-367-3225, nature.org Features 350 acres; pine barrens and coastal plain ponds; woodlands and wetlands; trail maps.
An aerial view of the autumn foliage coming into bloom at the Massapequa Preserve on Oct. 17, 2010.
As the weather cools under an overcast sky, the sun peeks out among clouds over the water at Hempstead Lake State Park on Sept. 9, 2010.
A wild turkey in the woods of Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge in Noyack on June 12, 2010.
A pair of piping plover eggs sits exposed at Orient Point State Park on May 24, 2010. The beaches of the park serve as a breeding grounds for piping clover and diamondback terrapin turtles.
CALEB SMITH STATE PARK PRESERVE, 581 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, 631-265-1054. parks.ny.gov. For more, see State Parks.
A view looking northward at snow-covered Hither Hills State Park in Montauk, across the Phantom Forest towards Gardiners Bay, on Feb. 28, 2005.
Some of the wetlands that cross the former Grace Estate in East Hampton. The nature preserve is primarily oak-pine forest riddled with kettle-hole wetlands.
A red-tailed hawk spotted between tree branches off a six-mile stretch of the Paumanok Path in Flanders and Riverhead on Aug. 6, 2000.
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