While many college students would prefer to remain Internet explorers, they are missing out on the un-digital beauty that nature walks and state parks hold. Tucked away near the LIU Post campus are lovely little locales just begging to be explored. This article will enlighten you on some unexplored scenic routes of the island and where to find them.
Situated on the North Shore of Nassau County is the Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve. This park is located in Huntington on a picturesque peninsula that extends into the Long Island Sound. It offers miles of pathways for walking, jogging, hiking, and biking. Also featured are designated nature trails over acres of woodland, meadows, rocky shorelines, and Caumsett’s salt marsh.
The park offers a wide variety of activities to choose from due to Caumsett’s great geographical diversity. Students can pursue multiple activities such as fishing, bird watching, nature photography and study, and horseback riding on the park’s bridle paths. Since Caumsett State Park is part of New York Audubon’s Huntington and Northport Bays’ Important Bird Area, the site has Bird Conservation Areas (BCAs) located throughout the preserve.
There are four specific BCAs within Caumsett: a migratory concentration site, a diverse species concentration site, an individual species concentration site, and a species at risk site. Interested in exploring? The Caumsett State Historic Park and Preserve is located at 25 Lloyd Harbor Road in Huntington; for more information, visit the official site at http://www.nysparks.com/parks/23/.
Located at 196 Bayville Road in Locust Valley is the Bailey Arboretum. The spot offers 40 beautiful acres of woods, ponds and gardens. A stroll down Bailey’s well-marked woodland trails offers signs that inform visitors about Long Island’s ecological history. The arboretum hosts public programs with a free admission fee. Some special events include guided walks for the whole family, workshops, plant sales, and live music.
Nature-loving guests can also rent space at Bailey Arboretum for private events such as weddings, benefit dinners, and other celebrations. The affairs are held in Bailey’s historic house situated on the grounds of the arboretum. For more information on upcoming events and getting involved, visit http://baileyarboretum.org.
On Long Island’s South Shore is Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve, located along the Meadowbrook Parkway in Merrick. Dedicated in memory of the late New York State Senator, Norman J. Levy, the park serves as a plant and wildlife sanctuary as well as a tranquil getaway for adventurous residents.
In its commitment to environmental conservation, the Town of Hempstead converted the former Merrick Landfill into Levy Park and Preserve.
The most visible feature of the park is the fully operational agricultural windmill, which is used to circulate the water in two man-made ponds on top of Merrick Mountain that provide a fresh-water habitat
for wildlife. From the top of the summit on a clear day, visitors can see spectacular sights of the Jones Beach Water Tower, the Manhattan Skyline and other coastal treasures. The preserve also includes a kayak launch into the original Meadow Brook, as well as three miles of hiking and jogging trails with 18 exercise stations along the way.
The 52-acre facility also features a 500-foot fishing pier into Merrick Bay, as well as woodland and prairie plant communities to attract different types of birds. Other thriving wildlife includes turtles, snakes, and foxes. Tours of this innovative preserve and recreational facility are available for visitors to learn about the beautiful parkland. Tours can be arranged by contacting the park’s office at 516-804-2000.
For additional information, log on to http://toh.li/preserves-and-nature- areas/norman-j-levy-park.
Post students agree that getting outside your comfort zone
and exploring the unknown warrants adventure and appreciation for the great outdoors. “I like being outside and looking [at] and exploring nature, and I think it’s a good activity to do with the whole family,” said Lauren Lipari, a freshman Radiological Technology major.
“I think parks are majestic and beautiful; they are fun to explore and it’s good to get out every once and
a while. I love exploring,” said Josh Sutphen, freshman Nutrition major.
Caumsett, Bailey, and the Levy Preserve are just three of the countless scenic sites in our area. Other remarkable spots include the Planting Fields Arboretum of Oyster Bay, as well as Captree and Robert Moses State Parks along Ocean Parkway on the South Shore. What are you waiting for? Adventure is out there.