Check out the features of Long Island's 37 state parks

David Novarro Image
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Check out all the features of Long Island's 37 state parks
Long island is the home to 37 state parks that offer everything from arboretums to beach fronts.

HEMPSTEAD, Nassau County (WABC) -- Summer is all about getting away from the hustle and bustle of our work lives.

And you don't have to travel out of the area to have a great time.

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Long island is the home to 37 state parks that offer everything from arboretums to beach fronts.

The world-renowned Bethpage black golf course, which has hosted the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship is open to the public.

Jones Beach has been undergoing a rebirth over the last 10 years.

Park-goers know if you have an interest that involves the great outdoors you probably can find it at one of Long Island's state parks

"Arboretums, preserves, golf courses, but what is important to point out is the beachfront. We have seven beachfronts that say last year was, you know, the highest attendance they have ever seen, about 20 million visitors visited those beachfront parks," said George "Chip" Gorman, NY State Parks.

Among the must-do for adventure lovers is "Wild Play" at Jones Beach.

The adventure park is still relatively new at only three years old.

It is a thrill seeker's dream complete with a 40-foot-high zip line an aerial obstacle course.

"It's not physically demanding and you really enjoy yourself. Yeah, you scream a couple of times," Gorman said.

If you are a fan of tennis or pickleball, then the newly renovated courts at Hempstead Lake Park may be for you.

"Yeah, that's really exciting. That was really in deplorable condition, so the last two years we upgraded that, we refurbished it, the tennis courts were upgraded, we created pickleball, because of the popularity of it," Gorman said. "And I got to tell you when we did that the first day, there were literally 30-40 people on those pickleball courts, and we didn't even announce it open."

You can also take a walk back in time, simply by visiting Huntington Station.

One of the other hidden gems is Walt Whitman's birthplace, you know, arguably America's most famous and best poet.

There is a visitor center that really is great to get so much knowledge of not only his work, but the era that he lived in, and then you go right next door and there's the actual birthplace.

"Yes, everything a lover of the outdoors and fan of discovering new things can be found right here on Long Island," Gorman said. "Well, come out, enjoy the parks don't hesitate, last year we saw record numbers. We're going to see great attendance, even though we are seeing the great attendance, you can go and join the beach or any of the beaches and you'll find a secluded area. If you want to take a hike in one of the parks, you'll find a path that you will enjoy that you won't feel there's a lot of people on. So there's a lot of activities for you to get out and enjoy."

RELATED: Coverage of the 2021 Bethpage Air Show

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