Wednesday's Top 10: Taking a Winter Hike

Written by Debbi Spiegel  |  08. January 2013

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.
  • Garvies Point
    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. 
  • Mashomack Preserve
    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 Preserve
    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!


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