If you are interested in going outside and discovering Long Island’s natural beauty through hiking the trails or looking to spot a wild animal, there is no need to do it solo. There are many like-minded people who are also interested in nature and exercise on Long Island, and there are dozens of nature groups that go out on numerous hikes and walks into the woods, across fields, and through the beaches. You can even find the perfect local group to join for a bird watching excursion - or maybe to spot something bigger, like a seal or whale. Here are some outdoor groups you can join to get fresh air and meet new people:
Long Island Trail Enthusiasts (LITE)
This group hikes, bikes, and paddles across Long Island, and promotes taking and sharing photos of Long Island’s natural beauty. The only prerequisites for joining is that you are fun and friendly!
Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition
If you are looking to be a steward of LI’s trails, this not-for-profit organization is for you. LITLC creates, maintains, and protects the trails of Long Island, and also leads guided walks through these trails to educate the public.
Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference
The Greenbelt Trail Conference hosts year-round hikes along the Greenbelt Trail, as well as other hiking areas. Their website gives incredibly detailed information as to the length and conditions of each hike.
The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society
Every Wednesday and Saturday of the year, the experienced hikers in this group lead hikes that are typically 3-5 miles. No reservations are required.
The Long Island chapter of the Sierra Club is also geared towards sustainability, and hosts outdoor hikes that are open to anyone.
There are three chapters of the Audubon Society on Long Island – Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society, South Shore Audubon Society, and the North Fork Audubon Society. Each group offers bird watching walks, as well as other events to educate the public about nature and sustainability efforts.
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, Inc. (CRESLI)
CRESLI is best known for their seal walks throughout the year, but they also offer seal cruises, whale watching, and bird watching events.