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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Region One Nature Centers

Long Island: Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Region One includes Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Nature viewing areas on Long Island include vast state parks along the ocean, a preserve near a science museum and a farm sanctuary run by the Nature Conservancy.

DEC encourages visitors to call ahead to confirm directions, hours of operation and/or user fee information.

Note: By clicking on the links for these environmental centers, you will go off DEC's website.

Caleb Smith State Park Preserve

581 West Jericho Turnpike
PO Box 963
Smithtown, NY 11787
631-265-1054
Fax: 631-979-6747
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve website

Suffolk County

Program Description: The park was named for the original owner of the large house that now serves as nature museum. The museum features interactive and live displays of the local wildlife. The preserve's freshwater wetlands, ponds, streams, fields, and upland woodlands offer excellent chances of viewing wildlife from one of the three self guided nature trails. Programs are offered year round for the general public, schools, and special interest groups like the Scouts, etc.

Hours: Tues. - Sun.: 8:00 AM - Sunset // October - March: Closed TUESDAYS

Fees: Call for information on Program and Parking fee schedule

Buildings: Nature center, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public, Special Interest Groups, Scouts

Picnic Area: No

Caumsett State Historic Park

Lloyd Harbor Road
Lloyd Neck, NY 11743
631-423-1770
Caumsett State Historic Park website
Caumsett Foundation website

Suffolk County

Program Description: Caumsett State Historic Park, situated on a scenic peninsula extending into Long Island Sound, offers miles of bridle paths, walking, jogging, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and nature trails over acres of woodland, meadows, rock shoreline and salt marsh. The park has beautiful gardens, excellent fishing and scuba diving by permit.

In addition, Nassau County BOCES Outdoor and environmental education program, based in the former estate Summer Cottage, conducts school programs year round for children K-12. Ecology programs, team building activities, survival, orienteering, and canoeing can be part of day or overnight program. Teacher in-service programs offered. Restrooms and outdoor lunch area available for day groups. To contact BOCES, call 516-396-2264.

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Fees: Parking fees, contact park for prices and hours of collection

Buildings: Historic, call for information

Wheelchair access: Paved roads through the park

Visitor Focus: General public and school groups

Picnic Area: Yes

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium

1660 Route 25A
P.O. Box 535
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
516-692-6768
Fax: 516-692-6769
Cold Spring Harbor website

Nassau County

Program Description: The largest living collection of New York State freshwater turtles, fish and amphibians housed in two buildings and in outdoor ponds.

Hours: Guided programs by reservation: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Open all year.

Fees: Yes; call for information

Buildings: Indoor aquaria, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Yes

Connetquot River State Park

P.O. Box 505
Oakdale, NY 11769
631-581-1072
Fax: 631-224-8435
Connetquot River State Park website

Suffolk County

Program Description: Interpretive and environmental education programs featuring many aspects of a pine barrens forest and its environs including such programs as WET and WILD, Winter Wildlife Safari, Trees are Terrific, Seasonal Nature Walks, Bat Programs, hatchery tours and more.

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Fees: Child: $1.00; Adult: $1.50; Vehicle: $5.00. Fees subject to change, call for current fee schedule

Buildings: 1700's Grist Mill; 1800's Buildings including Main house that is home to habitat exhibit room, classrooms, museum room.

Wheelchair access: Yes - all buildings and some trails.

Visitor Focus: General public and groups.

Picnic Area: None

Fire Island National Seashore

National Park Service
120 Laurel Street
Patchogue, NY 11772
631-687-4759
Fax: 631-289-4898
Fire Island National Seashore website

Suffolk County

Program Description: Fire Island National Seashore offers many opportunities throughout the year for nature study and wildlife observation. National Park Service rangers and volunteers help individual visitors and groups get the most out of their stay.

Wilderness Visitor Center (631-281-3010) is open throughout the year, weather and staffing permitting, with parking available at adjacent Smith Point County Park. Programs and exhibits focus on barrier island natural history and wilderness values. Self-guiding boardwalk nature trail, miles of open beach and dunes. Limited overnight wilderness camping available by permit only.

Watch Hill Visitor Center (631-597-6455) is open seasonally, with access by ferry from Patchogue or by private boat. Programs and exhibits focus on barrier island natural history and the salt marsh. Self-guiding boardwalk nature trail, miles of open beach and dunes. Limited overnight wilderness camping available by permit only. Walk-in campground, marina, seasonal restaurant and snack bar, lifeguarded beach, restroom/showers.

Sailors Haven Visitor Center (631-597-6183) is open seasonally, with access by ferry from Sayville or by private boat. Programs and exhibits focus on barrier island natural history and the rare Sunken Forest. Self-guiding boardwalk nature trail through maritime holly forest. Marina, seasonal snack bar, lifeguarded beach, restroom/showers.

The Fire Island Lighthouse (631-661-4876) is also open throughout the year, weather and staffing permitting, with parking available at adjacent Robert Moses State Park. Programs and exhibits focus on maritime history. Self-guiding boardwalk nature trail covers cultural and natural history of the former western end of Fire Island.

The William Floyd Estate (631-399-2030), in Mastic Beach, is open seasonally, but special guided tours of the 613-acre property are offered throughout the year. Programs and exhibits focus on Long Island history: William Floyd was one of four New York signers of the Declaration of Independence. Guided house tours provide a glimpse into three centuries of American life. From deciduous woods to salt marsh and bay, grounds provide for some outstanding bird migration observations.

Hours: Hours vary by season

Fees: No entrance fees, but plan for transportation costs (parking fees and/or ferry fares) Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society charges program fees.

Buildings: Historic structures (Fire Island Lighthouse and William Floyd Estate), small visitor contact stations at Wilderness, Watch Hill and Sailors Haven.

Wheelchair access: Beach wheelchair for use at Wilderness, Watch Hill, and Sailors Haven.

Visitor Focus: General Public

Picnic Area: Yes

Garvies Point Museum & Preserve

50 Barry Drive
Glen Cove, NY 11542
516-571-8010
Garvies Point Museum & Preserve website

Nassau County

Program Description: Exhibits with dioramas illustrate Long Island's distant past and how present land features came into existence and the evolution of Long Island's present landscape as it evolved during the past 20,000 years. Indian archaeology is also featured. The preserve consists of 62 acres of glacial moraine with 5 miles of wooded trails. A series of educational programs which may be integrated into classroom curricula is offered to school groups during school hours.

Hours: Guided programs: By appointment, with additional fee. The preserve is open every day. Museum open Tues.-Sun. 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Fees: Yes, for special programs

Buildings: Interpretive center, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Picnic area, restrooms and museum accessible; not all special programs and trails

Visitor Focus: General Public

Picnic Area: Yes

Hoyt Farm Nature Center

Town of Smithtown Department of Parks
Box 220, New Highway
Commack, NY 11725
631-543-7804
Hoyt Farm Nature Center website

Suffolk County

Program Description: Hoyt Farm Park Preserve and Nature Center is a multi-purpose park of 136 acres, with 85 percent of the land dedicated to wildlife conservation.

Hours: Nature Center open Memorial Day-Labor Day. Guided programs year-round, upon request. Grounds open all year, 8:00 AM until dusk.

Fees: Free, open to residents of Smithtown only

Buildings: Interpretive center, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Buildings and picnic area accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Yes

Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge

Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex - USFWS
2595 Noyac Road
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
631-725-2270
Fax: 631-286-0485
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge website

Suffolk County

Program Description: The 187-acre refuge contains exceptionally diverse habitats, including the beaches and wooded bluffs of Jessups Neck Peninsula overlooking Little Peconic and Noyack Bays. The remainder of the refuge consists of mainly forest, ponds, saltmarsh, a lagoon and grasslands. Morton is managed to protect a unique natural area for migratory birds, while resident chickadees and tufted titmice greet you year-round! Endangered and threatened species such as piping plovers, least terns, roseate terns and osprey use the refuge for nesting, brood rearing, feeding and resting. Portions of the beach are closed from April through August to protect these sensitive wildlife.

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. Guided programs available by appointment.

Fees: $4/vehicle, $2/bike/pedestrian, $12 annual pass

Buildings: Information/interpretive kiosk, restrooms, nature trail

Wheelchair access: No

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: No; benches available

Quogue Wildlife Refuge

3 Old Country Road
Box 492
Quogue, NY 11959
631-653-4771
Fax: 631-653-8069
Quogue Wildlife Refuge website

Suffolk County

Program Description: The Quogue Wildlife Refuge and Nature Center is located on 300 acres of varied natural and managed habitats surrounding the headwaters of Quantuck Creek on eastern Long Island. The main trail passes through most of the main habitats. Another trail leads through a unique dwarf pine barrens. A distressed wildlife complex houses incapacitated animals. The Refuge sponsors field ecology classes each summer for youths, grades 2 through 12, as well as guided adult walks in May and on some summer and autumn days. It also offers a monthly evening enlightenment program February through November.

Hours: Guided programs by appointment. Refuge trails open dawn till dusk, all year. Interpretive building open Tuesday and Thursday and some weekends, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Fees: Yes; call for information

Buildings: Interpretive building and restrooms

Wheelchair access: Most trails and building accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: None within refuge; picnic area available nearby

Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation

428 East Maine St
Riverhead, NY 11901
631-369-9840
Fax: 631-369-9826
Riverhead Foundation website

Suffolk County

Program Description: The primary mission of the Riverhead Foundation is to preserve and protect our marine environment through education, rehabilitation, and research. We are the only organization in New York State authorized to rescue, rehabilitate, and release any marine mammals or sea turtles that become stranded on NY beaches. We also engage in a variety of educational programs (including outreach), seal cruises, ecology walks, lectures, beach clean-ups, and tours of our facility.

Hours Winter: Sun. - Sat.: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM // Summer: Sun. - Tues. & Thurs. - Sat.: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM and Wed.: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Fees: Call for information.

Buildings: Housed within Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public, groups

Picnic Area: Yes

Sands Point Preserve

Nassau County Department of Recreation and Parks
95 Middleneck Road
Port Washington, NY 11050
516-571-7900
Fax: 516-571-7909
Sands Point Preserve website

Nassau County

Program Description: Sands Point Preserve combines historic and natural history interpretive programs on the former Gold Coast estates of Daniel and Harry Guggenheim. Six nature trails cross woodlands, fields, and Long Island Sound shoreline. Self-guiding literature explaining flora, fauna, and glacial geology of the land is available for three trails. Organized school groups can arrange for programs in environmental education and local history throughout the year.

Hours: Mansion tours: (guided programs) Wed.-Sun. 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM // Grounds and nature trails: May-October: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily. Mid-February to mid-November: closed Mondays.

Fees: Small entrance fee. Call for information.

Buildings: Two exhibit halls, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Exhibit halls, some trails (terrain is hilly).

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Science Museum of Long Island

1526 North Plandome Road
Manhasset, NY 11030
516-627-9400
Fax: 516-365-8927
Science Musuem of Long Island website

Nassau County

Program Description: The Science Museum of Long Island is located on a 36 acre preserve consisting of several natural habitats including stream, marsh, beach front, freshwater pond, and woodlands. There is an experimental organic garden and solar greenhouse on site. Programs include school programs, holiday and after-school workshops, an adult lecture series, and a summer environmental program.

Hours: Guided programs: Scheduled during school year. Saturdays, 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM // Grounds: open year-round, dawn till dusk.

Fees: Call for information

Buildings: Interpretive center, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Interpretive center, trails and restrooms accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Tackapausha Museum & Preserve

Nassau County Department of Recreation and Parks
Washington Avenue
Seaford, NY 11783
516-571-7443
Tackapausha Musuem & Preserve website

Nassau County

Program Description: Tackapausha Museum and Preserve's displays and exhibits include live animals, plants, and preserved specimens interpreting the natural history of Long Island. Throughout the year, the museum offers a variety of natural history programs to school and other organized groups. On weekends, films and lecture/demonstrations are offered to the general public.

Hours Guided programs available year-round. Call for group reservations and further details on hours. // Grounds open year-round, dawn to dusk.

Fees: Call for information

Buildings: Small natural history museum, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Museum, picnic area, not trails

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Yes

Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge

Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex- USFWS
Mailing Address: 340 Smith Road, Shirley, NY 11967
631-286-0485
Fax: 631-286-4003
Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge website

Suffolk County

Program Description: The 80-acre refuge, situated on the Lloyd Neck Peninsula on Long Island's north shore, is managed to provide habitat for migratory birds. The refuge is comprised of a 1/2-mile stretch of rocky beach and a mixed forest. Stands of Norway spruce, white pine and eastern red cedar are interspersed with the refuge's mature oak forest. Remnant gardens contain a variety of flowering plants that offer spectacular beauty in the spring. The arrival of spring warblers is also an experience for expert birders and amateurs alike!

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. Guided programs available by appointment.

Fees: $4/vehicle, $2/bike/pedestrian, $12 annual pass

Buildings: Information/interpretive kiosks, restrooms, nature trail

Wheelchair access: Restrooms are accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: No, benches are available

Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary

National Audubon Society
134 Cove Road
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
516-922-3200
Fax: 516-922-6734
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary website

Nassau County

Program Description: The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center, in Oyster Bay, provides high-quality effective environmental education programs to school, scout, camp, adult and family audiences. Using hands-on, experiential, and inquiry based methods, program participants will develop a deeper understanding and consideration for our natural world, gain a sense of stewardship for their local environment, and become informed decision-makers for the future.

Our 15-acre Sanctuary provides trails to hike through forests to ponds and meadow habitat, along with non-releasable Hawks, Owls & Falcons in outdoor aviaries. Our Trailside Nature Center houses two classrooms with a variety of turtles and snakes on display along with a Nature Gift Shop and restrooms.

Hours: Educational programs Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30P M; Sat-Sun., 9:0 0AM - 5:00 PM // Museum open Monday-Thursday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM;
Friday, 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM; Sat.-Sun., 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM // Grounds open all week.

Fees: Free admission.

Buildings: Trailside Nature Center w/ snakes & turtles on display, Nature Gift Shop & restrooms

Wheelchair access: Museum accessible, limited access on trails. Please call in advance.

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: No

Town of Hempstead Marine Nature Study Area

Slice Drive
Oceanside, NY 11572
516-766-1580
Town of Hempstead Marine Nature Study Area website

Nassau County

Program Description: The Town of Hempstead's Marine Nature Study Area is a 52-acre preserve and environmental education center on Middle Bay in Oceanside representative of the 20,000 acres of tidal wetlands preserved by the town. The Study Area focuses on the various aspects of the estuarine environment including salt marsh ecosystems, marine algae, birds of the area, waterfowl, the bay community, and the barrier beach.

Hours: Guided programs year-round, Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, by appointment.

Fees: None

Buildings: Interpretive and restrooms

Wheelchair access: Main trail, building accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Small picnic area

Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary

The Nature Conservancy, Long Island Chapter
250 Lawrence Hill Road
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
631-367-3225
Fax: 631-367-4715
Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary website

Suffolk County

Program Description: The Uplands Farm Sanctuary, site of the Nature Conservancy Long Island Chapter offices, offers walking trails through 95-acres of fields and woodlands. The chapter offers an annual series of field trips and programs.

Hours: Grounds open year-round, daily, dawn to dusk.

Fees: Only for special groups

Buildings: Restrooms in offices, Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Wheelchair access: No

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: No

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters- USFWS
340 Smith Road
Shirley, NY 11967
631-286-0485
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge website

Suffolk County

Program Description: The 2,550-acre refuge, located on Long Island's south shore, is bisected by the Carmans River - a NYS designated Wild and Scenic River. The refuge contains fields, oak-pine woodlands, ponds, streams and marshes which support a wide variety of wildlife from box turtles to white-tailed deer to song birds and waterfowl. The refuge is managed to protect the Carmans River estuary for use by migratory waterfowl and other birds, and to increase habitat diversity. Wertheim is part of the NYS Central Pine Barrens , a unique forest type in NY. You can enjoy the refuge by canoe or kayak on the river, or along the trails in any season!

Hours: Trails are open daily sunrise to 4:00 PM; visitor center is open Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Fees: None

Buildings: Complex Headquarters, visitor center, information kiosk, restrooms, nature trails.

Wheelchair access: Restrooms and headquarters are accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Yes (Carry in/Carry out Policy)