Mother Nature has been giving us the gift of a mild winter. This weekend will be the perfect opportunity to take a hike! It is the great time of year to take advantage of the 200+ miles of local hiking trails. Winter hiking on Long Island brings a unique opportunity to enjoy sights that maybe hidden during the summer months, but are just as beautiful and inspiring.
The state parks have a rating system for their ranging from easy, family-friendly to advanced. There are also some designated for pets and joggers. Some of the trails are in town or county parks. Others are maintained by the Nature Conservancy.
Taking a breath of fresh, crisp air does wonders for the soul. Taking a walk through beautiful surroundings allows you to explore, appreciate nature and get some exercise. These parks offer beauty, variety of scenery and trails.
So grab the kids, dress in warm layers, pack a few bottles of water and you’re on your way to a fun filled, calorie burning day. Don’t forget your camera. The Gallery is a great place to share your photos with fellow Long Islanders.
Wonderful winter hiking can be found at these parks:
Blydenburgh County Park
Veteran's Memorial Highway, Smithtown (631) 360-0753
Hikes are led by the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference.
50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove (516) 571-8010
Hike down a to a quiet beach while learning about Native Americans who once lived here.
Caumsett State Park
25 Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington (631) 423-1770
Hike along the paved trails or venture off into more wooded territory for bird-watching, fishing, nature study, horseback riding, salt marshes, and a dairy complex.
Wildwood State Park
Wading River (631) 929-4314
600 acres of undeveloped hardwood forest terminating on the high bluff overlooking Long Island Sound.
Shelter Island (631) 749-1001
There are 11 miles of easy hiking trails that run through the oak woodlands, marshes, ponds, and creeks. Keep an eye out for osprey, ibis, foxes, harbor seals, and terrapins. Known as the “Jewel of the Peconic.”
Connetquot River State Park
Sunrise Highway, Oakdale (631) 581-1005
Hike around the Pond, Oakdale Grist Mill, woodlands, Fish Hatchery and Barn, some trails wheel-chair accessible.
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
581 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown (631) 265-1054
Enjoy the planted field, Willow Pond, Nature Museum and bird-feeding station.
David Weld Sanctuary
Boney Lane, Nissequogue.
Hike along towering tulip trees, gurgling swamps, red cedars, and glacial erratics.
West Hills County Park
Sweet Hollow Road, Huntington (631) 854-4423
The nature trails including the historic Walt Whitman Trail to Jayne’s Hill, Long Island’s highest peak with an elevation of 400 feet.
Muttontown Lane, East Norwich (516) 571-8500
Nassau County's largest nature preserve spanning over 550 acres of fields, woodlands, ponds and estate grounds, including the Chelsea Mansion and Nassau Hall.
Put on your hiking boots and let us know of your favorite trails on Long Island.com Forum!