The Sands Point Preserve is a serene place which will allow you to get back in touch with nature. The Nassau County-owned 216 acre former Guggenheim Estate property is located right on the Long Island Sound. It offers many nature trails to let you and your family wander through the woods, pass a pond and walk over century old bridges– all to observe uninterrupted nature. Most trails lead to the mile long sandy beach and some trails make a ¼ or ½ mile long loop around the deep wooded areas. The trails also include fitness marker signs along the way with pictures of stretches and exercise instructions to perform along the trail.
Upon arrival, my 3 children (ages 9, 5 and 4 ½) and I saw a bride and groom with their photographer taking photos with beautiful picturesque background of the castle. We chose a numbered trail and started our walk — the sounds of nature piqued their curiosity and imagination. My children pretended they were searching through the forest for a way out. After a ¼ mile long walk down the trail, they saw sunlight which was reflecting off the LI sound. My children ran down a steep wooden stairway to the large rocks that lined the shore. They explored, climbed the rocks and skipped stones into the water. A large stone wall that was there to prevent erosion was enjoyed for climbing and running along the top. There is a path behind the stone barrier wall which leads to the sandy beach area. We saw a man fishing off the rocks and others sitting by the water on the sandy beach.
After exploring the shore, we headed back on a new numbered trail that led to the parking area. Even after two hours of exploring, we didn’t even get to either castle or the loop trail with dinosaur prints on the other side of the preserve. There is plenty of space for the children to explore and get some exercise (because don’t even know they’re exercising).
Consider bringing a blanket and a basket to have a picnic in the wide open areas near one of the two on-site castles. There are restroom facilities available for public use and a few vending machines located by the visitor parking area. You can take the stroller on the loop trails. When you get to the end of the trail with the steep steps that leads down to the water, you can leave it at the top or carry it down.
There were no planned events taking place on site on the day of our visit; however there are tons of special events throughout the year such as yoga, night walks, wildlife shows and holiday celebrations (for an extra free). Each program explores a different aspect of the Preserve, its wildlife, and the natural history in a fun, safe, and enjoyable way. Bring your family, your questions, and your sense of curiosity as you learn about nature. Pre-registration is requested for special events due to limited space. For more information visit the website.
The Sands Point Preserve is located at 127 Middleneck Road, Port Washington, New York.
Hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm daily Admission: $5.00 per car; $2.00 per walk in.
By Julie Terrone, Guest Contributor