Long Island has hundreds of places to explore. Here are some favorites. Scroll down below the featured Green Places for a long list of places to explore.
You will find many more great places to visit, hike, picnic, bike, kayak and swim!
Best know for its five golf-courses, Bethpage State Park also has picnic facilities, playing fields, bridle paths, hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails. More.
Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, situated on a scenic peninsula extending into Long Island Sound, offers miles of bridle paths, walking, jogging, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and nature trails over acres of woodland, meadows, rock shoreline and salt marsh. Excellent fishing & scuba diving by permit. - More.
Richly forested hills and valleys at the headwaters of the Nissequogue River, rowing and fishing on lovely Stump Pond, casual strolls through the historic mill district . Attractions include campsites: 50 tent & trailer. Features: 588 acres, showers, dump station, boating, fishing, grills, bridle paths and hiking trails. Bike Hostel available. Dog friendly on leash. More.
The ancient history of Fire Island is alive at the Sunken Forest, an enchanting 300 year old primeval holly forest, which is the only one of its kind on the East Coast. Under a diverse canopy of leaves, a 1.5 mile board walk meanders through freshwater bogs filled with a variety of trees and shrubs, such as blueberry and red maples; the maritime forest with its American holly and catbrier; and the swale between the dunes, with its grasses and low growing evergreens. More.
The hike on the Walt Whitman Trail in Melville, NY is approximately 4 miles. Start your hike at the Walt Whitman Homestead 246 Old Walt Whitman Road, West Hills, NY. Learn a bit about Walt Whitman in the Interpretive Center. The cozy museum will give you a timeline of his life and just enough information to make you feel like you are walking along in Walt's footsteps.The hike starts out on a beautiful path that is lined with Lycopodium obscurum (clubmoss). More.
200 miles of trails include:
Long Island Greenbelt trail
Walt Whitman trail
Long Island Seashore Trail
Pine Barrens Trail
Don't miss the bluff-top hiking trails on the north end of the LI Greenbelt Trail system. More.
Bailey Arboretum - Lattingtown - (572-0288) 42 acres of beauty, featuring exotic trees, rare shrubs, a graceful iris garden, an exquisite rose garden, a blanket of unusual plantings, a broad spectrum of chrysanthemums, and a perennial garden of 150 to 500 labelled varieties. It also features a unique Sensory Garden for the disabled and an interpretive nature trail.
Cantiague (County) Park - Hicksville - (571-7052) 84 acres for horseshoes, bocci court, softball and soccer fields, handball, paddleball, basketball, golf, outdoor pool, indoor ice rink, jogging course.
Cedar Creek (County) Park - Seaford - (571-7473) 265 acres: Bicycle path, aerodrome field (for radio-controlled model planes), archery, basketball, handball, paddleball, tennis, soccer and softball fields, outdoor rollerskating rink, jogging course.
Cow Meadow (County) Park and Preserve - Freeport - (571-8685) 28 acres: Jogging course, salt water fishing, marina, tennis, basketball courts, handball/paddleball, softball field, shuffleboard.
CW Post Arboretum - CW Post Campus - LIU Post is famous for its magnificent formal gardens, rolling green lawns and 4,000 trees. 40-acres of the campus are designated as an arboretum which features more than 125 trees. The trees are located along a self-guided walking trail that encircles the campus' main academic buildings. The Tudor revival mansion was once the home of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. The arboretum is open to the public seven days a week from dawn to dusk, free of charge. The self-guided walking trail starts and ends at Hillwood Commons and lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.
Eisenhower (County) Park - East Meadow - (572-0348) 930 acres: Jogging path, bicycle paths, golf, driving range, baseball, softball, football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, cricket, tennis, horseshoes, shuffleboard, croquet, badminton, lawn bowling, bocci, model boating, cross country skiing.
Garden City Bird Sanctuary - Founded in 1995, it is a 9 acre nature preserve\bird sanctuary in northwest Garden City, open to the public on Sundays from 1-5 or by arrangement. It is the pilot program in Nassau for dual use of "sumps" for community benefit. Approx 100 nesting boxes, 3/4 miles of walking trails, relandscaping in progress with native plants.
Grant (County) Park - Hewlett - (571-7820) 35 acres: Outdoor roller skating, outdoor ice rink, horseshoes, shuffleboard, basketball, tennis, handball, softball.
Hempstead Harbor (County) Park - Port Washington - (571-7930) 60 acres for golf, volleyball, badminton, softball, basketball, handball, paddleball, shuffleboard, aerodrome (for radio-controlled model airplanes), salt water fishing, beach.
Hofstra University Arboretum - Uniondale - (463-6600) This 238-acre campus was officially designated an arboretum by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 1985. At present, there are over 7,000 evergreen and deciduous trees in the arboretum, representing over 235 different species and varieties. The more exotic trees on the campus include a metasequoia (rare on the East Coast), the bald cypress (rare in the Northeast), and two very unique varieties of pine: the Dragon Eye and the Tamyosho (both rare in this area). Open year round.
Jones Beach State Park - South of Wantagh - (785-1600) 2413 acres: Ballfields by permit, bicycle path, boat basin, saltwater fishing piers, bait station, food service, pitch putt golf, hiking, picnicking, pool, bathhouse, saltwater swimming.
Old Westbury Gardens - Old Westbury - (333-0048) One of the few intact great Long Island estates open to the general public. There are both informal walks and highly stylized gardens on the 100 acres of manicured grounds. The Italian Garden, for example, boasts the largest expanse of herbacious borders in the United States and maintains the same color scheme through the various cycles of bloom. Open April - December.
Planting Fields State Historic Park - Oyster Bay - (922-9201) Stunning 409 acre former estate on Long Island: 160 acres of gardens and plant collections, 40 acres of lawns, and over 200 acres of woodlands and fields. Two greenhouse complexes on 1.5 acres, with native, tropical, and sub-tropical plants. Offering classes and many special events. Open year round.
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary - Oyster Bay - Oldest National Audubon Society Bird Sanctuary offers a wide variety of nature programs. On October 24th, the Sanctuary will be holding a gala celebration in honor of its 75th anniversary.
Valley Stream State Park - Valley Stream - (825-4128) 97 acres: Ballfields, bicycle path, food service, hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing.
Wantagh (County) Park - Wantagh - (571-7460) 120 acres: Outdoor swimming pool, diving pool, basketball, bocci, shuffleboard, horseshoes, marina, salt water fishing, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, football, bicycling.
Whitney Pond (County) Park - Manhasset - (571-8300) 15 acres to play basketball, tennis, handball, paddleball, outdoor swimming pool, diving tank, jogging course. Up to Top
Bayard Cutting Arboretum - Oakdale - (581-1002) Wild flowers and birds are featured throughout the 680 acres of grounds, particularly along the Wild Flower Walks located in a setting of freshwater ponds and tiny streamlets. Donated to the Long Island State Park Region by Mrs. William Bayard Cutting and her daughter in the memory of William Bayard Cutting "to provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest, and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting." Open year round.
Belmont Lake State Park - North Babylon - (667-5055) 459 acres of ballfields, bicycle path, rowboat rentals, bridal path, freshwater fishing, food service, hiking, picnicking.
Blydenburgh County Park - Smithtown - (854-3713) 588 acres of hiking, picnicking, camping, freshwater fishing, rowboat rentals.
Caleb Smith State Park - Smithtown - (265-1054) 543 acres for freshwater fishing, guided tours by reservation, hiking, historic interest, cross-country skiing.
Captree State Park - South of West Islip - (669-0449) 298 acres: boat basin, open and charter fishing boats, saltwater fishing piers, bait station, food service, picnicking.
Cathedral Pines County Park - Middle Island - Hiking, camping, mountain biking, bridle paths.
Caumsett State Park - Huntington / Lloyd Neck - (423-1770) These 1500 acres offer salt-water fishing, nature photography, bird watching and use of its many roads for horseback riding, walking, hiking, biking, historic interest, cross-country skiing. Scheduled astronomical observation area for AOSNY.
Connetquot River State Park - Oakdale/Bohemia - (581-1005) 3473 acres: Bicycle path, bridal path, trout fishing, fish hatchery, ponds and river; historic lodge and restored grist mill, pine barrens, hiking, cross-country skiing. Take a 9.8 mile flat terrain hike (round-trip) and see deer, swans, fox, osprey, heron, hawks, and box turtles. Guided tours by reservation. Closed Tuesdays, October through March; Mondays year-round. Call the Connetquot River State Park Preserve for more information.
Fire Island National Seashore - Patchogue - Several parts of Fire Island are managed by the National Parks Service (289-4810). Located only one hour east of New York City, this island retreat is a world apart from the main island world. Fire Island stretches 32 miles from Robert Moses State Park on the west to Smith Point Park on the east, featuring the only federally declared Wilderness Area in New York State. Between the two parks are 17 small but separate resort communities used primarily for summer recreation. The two parks at each end are accessible by car, the 17 communities in between are only accessible by public ferry, private boat or by foot along the shoreline beach.
Robert Moses State Park - Fire Island - (669-0449) 1000 acres: Ballfields, boat basin, saltwater fishing, bait station, food service, pitch putt golf, picnicking, bathhouse, saltwater swimming. Scheduled astronomical observation area for AOSNY.
Gardiner County Park - West Bay Shore - (631) 854-0935- Nature trails, hiking, jogging. in this 231 acre nature-oriented public park on the Great South Bay. Original property of Suffolk's first non-native landowners; later became part of the historic Sagtikos Manor Estate.
Heckscher State Park - East Islip - (581-2100) 1657 Acres: Ballfields, bicycle path, boating ramp, camping, saltwater fishing, food service, hiking, picnicking, pool, bathhouse, saltwater swimming, cross-country skiing.
Hither Hills State Park - Montauk - (668-2461) 1,755 acre state park offers walking dunes and "phantom forests"; pristine beaches, cobbly shores, and an interior region of pine barrens, dune heath, and maritime grassland. See endangered piping plover, tern, and an oyster-catcher nest. From Amagansett, go 7.2 miles east on NY27 and Old Montauk Highway, turn south to enter Hither Hills State Park, a fee area. Ballfields, camping, saltwater fishing, food service, hiking, picnicking, bathhouse, saltwater swimming.
Indian Island County Park - Riverhead - (852-3232) 287 acres for hiking, camping, picnicking, small zoo, golf.
Mashomack Preserve - Shelter Island - 2,000 acre preserve of the Nature Conservancy encompasses a maritime environment of tidal creeks, woodlands, fields, swamps, freshwater ponds, and 10 miles of stirring but inaccessbile coastline. An easy 12-mile round-trip tour will introduce you to a natural osprey nesting colony, a rare pine swamp, dogwood blooms, vista, and colorful fall foliage. Get to Shelter Island by taking the LIRR to GreenPoint or SouthHaven. It's a peaceful and quaint oasis similar to Martha's Vineyard, only far less pretentious. Bike around the Island for a full day's experience.
Montauk County Park - Montauk - (852-7878) 1185 acres for hiking, camping, picnicking saltwater fishing, canoeing, hunting, horseback riding facility. Montauk Point State Park - Montauk Point - (668-2461) 724 acres for saltwater fishing, food service, hiking, historic interest, lighthouse, picnicking.
Peconic River Herb Farm - Calverton - A working riverfront farm located on 13 acres featuring over 700 varieties of unique plants including herbs, heirloom vegetables, flowers, native Long Island plants, ornamental grasses, clematis, aquatic plants, basketry willows, Antique, Shrub and English Roses. With 22 different display and trial gardens to wander through, the farm also offers a comprehensive season-long schedule of workshops, walks, lectures, events and festivals.
Pine Barrens Preserve - South of Riverhead - These 2,056 acres feature classic pine barrens, wetlands, and kettle depressions. The largest barren is located west of the highway (Route 104). A loop trail explores each of the pine barren tracts. Discoveries include the subtle changes in pine-oak mix, size, canopy, and tightness of forest.
Pine Barrens Trail Information Center - Manorville - This newly renovated facility has been established to provide the public with much-asked for Pine Barrens environmental interpretation.
Sears Bellows (County) Park - Hampton Bays - (852-8290) 693 acres for hiking, picnicking, camping, freshwater fishing, rowboat rentals, hunting, horseback riding facility.
Shinnecock East State Park - Southampton - (852-8899) 89 acres for outerbeach camping for self-contained vehicles only; salt-water fishing.
Smith Point County Park - Shirley - (852-1313) These 2295 acres compose Suffolk County's largest oceanfront park. Swimming, surfing, saltwater fishing, camping.
Southaven County Park - Yaphank - (854-1414) Hiking, camping, picnicking, freshwater fishing, rowboat rentals, canoeing, hunting, bridle paths. Southaven's 1,356 acres also support a trap and skeet shooting range, equestrian center, bicycle hostel.
Sunken Meadow State Park - Kings Park - (269-4333) 1266 Acres of ballfields, bicycle path, bridal path, saltwater fishing, food service, golf with pro shop, hiking, picnicking, bathhouse and saltwater swimming, cross-country skiing, sled hills.
Water Mill Museum - Water Mill - (726-4625) Long Island's oldest operating water mill dates back to 1644. The working mill is run by a 12 foot undershot water wheel fed by seven nearby ponds. The Museum features early grain grinding tools, colonial crafts, special exhibits, art gallery and craft shop and is open from Memorial Day to mid-September.
West Hills County Park - Huntington - (854-4423) 854 acres of picturesque, well-groomed nature trails, including the historic Walt Whitman Trail to Jayne's Hill, wind through this popular, mixed-deciduous forested park. Hiking, youth group camping, picnicking, horseback riding facility.
Wildwood State Park - Wading River - (929-4314) 769 acres of ballfields, camping, trailer hookups, saltwater fishing, food service, hiking, picnicking, bathhouse, saltwater swimming, cross-country skiing in September. You can camp behind the dunes, so close you can hear the waves crashing onto the beach while you sleep.
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