Taking a breathe of fresh air does wonders for the soul. Taking a walk through beautiful surroundings allows children to explore, appreciate nature and get some exercise. We choose these 5 parks on Long Island for their beauty and for their variety of scenery and for their easy trails.
Cold Spring Harbor: Upland’s Farm Sanctuary, 250 Lawrence Hill Road, Cold Spring Harbor. 631-367-3225. Trail: 1/2 mile long. The preserve is open daily during daylight hours; Office hours, (restrooms and history displays) Monday-Friday, 9-5pm. Features: Barn, Fields, woodlands, Field Station, Cold Spring Harbor Lab.
Oakdale: Connetquot River State Park Preserve, North side of Sunrise Hwy, Oakdale. Trail: 1 to 2 1/2 miles long. The preserve is open Wednesday-Sunday, 8 Am-4:30 PM. Fee: $8 per car or Empire Passport. Features:Pond, Oakdale Grist Mill, woodlands, Fish Hatchery and Barn, some trails wheel-chair accessible. Fly-fishing, horseback riding, and cross country skiing, guided walks and interpretive tours, call 631-581-1005. NOTE: A (free) permit is required and must be obtained in advance. Call 631- 581-2100.
Sailors Haven: Sunken Forest/Fire Island National Seashore.
Reached by Sailors Haven Ferry, (631-589-8980) or private boat, Sayville, 631-687-4750. Visitors’ center open daily during summer from 9:30-5 PM (restrooms, concessions, gift shop).
Features: Maritime woodlands, sand dunes, salt marsh, guided/interpretive tours, educational workshops. Most of the trail is wheel -chair accessible and stroller friendly. There are some steep, though short, ups and downs on the trail.
Smithtown: Caleb Smith State Park Preserve. 581 W.Jericho Tpke. (NY 25), Smithtown. Trail: 1 mile long, 1/2 mile loop). The preserve is open from 8:00 AM to sunset, Wednesday-Sunday. Public restrooms in Museum building, 8Am-4 PM, Wednesday -Sunday. Fee: $8 per car, Spring and Summer/Emprire Passport. Features: Planted field, Willow Pond, Nature Museum, Bird-Feeding Station. Fly-fishing and cross country skiing, call 631-265-1054.
Wading River: Wading River Marsh Preserve. Sound Ave, Wading River. Trail: 3/4 mile long. The preserve is open daily during daylight hours. Features: Salt marsh, woodlands. Note: Choose North Loop trail.