Escape for the Day: Best Long Island Nature Preserves
Depending on where you live on Long Island, nature preserves are likely not far away – they might even be right around the corner from you. Whether you grew up going to these places or have yet to discover them, Long Island nature preserves are often hidden in plain view. These natural escapes are a great place to check out some of the different types of Long Island trees, plants and other greenery, whether you live in Nassau County or way out east. Here is a handy guide to help you discover some of our favorites.
Sunrise Highway, Massapequa
The Massapequa Preserve is where you can see a variety of rare and endangered Long Island native trees, plants and flowers. It’s also the start of the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail, which has the distinction of being the longest hiking trail in Nassau. Fishing is available with a license.
Welwyn Nature Preserve
100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove
The Welwyn Nature Preserve in Glen Cove is one of the best places on Long Island to see wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. The scenery is stunning, with woodlands, ponds, and a stretch of Long Island shoreline. Welwyn is also home to the Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center.
Jericho Oyster Bay Rd, Syosset
This sanctuary on the North Shore offers 500+ acres of woodlands, nature trails, and in the winter, cross-country skiing. It’s also a great place to spot Long Island wildlife. The Muttontown Preserve was named “Best Nature Walk of Long Island” in 2006 by the Long Island Press.
West Hills County Park
Sweet Hollow Road, Melville
West Hills County Park is one of the unique Long Island nature preserves, as it is near the home of world-renowned poet Walt Whitman. This sanctuary is also home to the highest peak on Long Island, where you can escape from reality for a while.
Connetquot River State Park
Sunrise Highway, Oakdale
Connetquot River State Park Preserve is home to over 3,000 acres of beautiful hiking trails, wildlife, and more of Long Island’s natural beauty. Activities like horseback riding set this Long Island nature sanctuary apart and make it a great family destination.