A bicycle trip reveals Long Island’s natural wonders to two-wheel travelers, who nowadays can ride an (almost) uninterrupted path from Bethpage State Park to South Shore beaches.
Pick up the path at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale (516-249-0701, parks.ny.gov). The multiuse trail shared with skaters, runners and strollers runs through woodsy Massapequa Preserve and ends at Merrick Road near Ocean Avenue in Massapequa. Cycle two miles west along public streets to Cedar Creek Park in Seaford. (Wearing a bike helmet is recommended — and required by state law for riders younger than 14.)
At the north end of Cedar Creek, connect to the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway, a five-mile meander bordering a salt marsh bristling with wildlife including circling hawks and cranes.
When you see the water tower, you’re within striking distance of the beach and a view of the 15,000-seat Northwell Health Jones Beach Theater on Zach’s Bay. Take a right turn on the path at the second underpass, lock your bike at the East Bathhouse and stroll the two-mile boardwalk. Or keep on pedaling to boardwalk diversions including shuffleboard and mini-golf -- before stoking up at the new Boardwalk Café for the dash to Field 1, the end of the pathway.
To extend the ride, try out the newest stretch of the bikeway — the 3.6-mile Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway extension to Tobay Beach. Lock your bike at racks at the Tobay entrance and walk to the nine-hole miniature golf course and one of the restaurants, The Crazy Oyster and OLAS (516-679-3900, oysterbaytown.com).