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Udalls Cove & Ravine Natural Resource Area

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View of a pond in Udalls CoveUdalls Cove encompasses nearly 33 acres of beautifully diverse wetlands, forests, and salt marshes between the towns of Little Neck Bay and Douglas Manor in Queens County, New York. A wide variety of activities may be enjoyed within the grounds, including hiking, nature observation and photography, bird watching, and even fishing.

History

Udalls Cove is named after Richard Udall, who in 1833 bought a mill today known as the Saddle Rock Mill located on the eastern end of the cove which remained in the Udall family until the year 1950.

The success of the mill allowed for a thriving community to develop in the area, which was later increased as shell-fishing became popular and little neck clams and oysters grew in demand. Unfortunately, the effects of over-harvesting, pollution, and poaching had all but-ruined the industry by 1893, leaving only memories behind of the once-prosperous community.

Thankfully, in 1969 a group of local residents led by a woman named Aurora Gareiss came together and formed the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee (UCPC) in order to advocate for the preservation of the fragile natural habitat within the Cove and prevent further development of the land.

It would take Gareiss and the Committee a full 22 years before 33-acres were acquired by New York City using funds from the EQBA in the year 1989. In 1990, Udalls Cove was officially dedicated as a wildlife preserve and included precious wetlands, forest, and ravines on both sides of the Nassau-Queens County line. In honor of Aurora Gareiss, who passed away in 2000, a beautiful pond located in the middle of the property was named Aurora Pond so that all that visit this charming place would be reminded of her unwavering dedication to Udall's Cove.

Udalls Cove

Field Notes

Along the northeastern shoreline of Queens, N.Y., lies a treasured inlet of Little Neck Bay off the Long Island Sound known as Udalls Cove. An exquisite tidal wonderland, there is exceptional beauty to be found within the scenic wetlands and salt marsh.

Salt marshes, considered critical components of natural water filtration, provide key services that contribute to the health of humans and surrounding ecosystems, as well as improving water quality through the removal of various pollutants. In addition to providing these invaluable services, salt marshes also enable a vast array of plant and wildlife to thrive.

Though seemingly impossible, the diversity within the preserve is compounded by two sparkling freshwater streams. Gabler's Creek, the bigger of the two, slowly cuts its way through the steep wooded slopes of the ravine before gently passing by Aurora Pond and the freshwater wetlands on its way out to the salt marsh at the edge of the Cove.

This damp protected habitat is a great place to spot a variety of reptiles and amphibians, such as fowler toads, frogs, salamanders, and snapping turtles. Shorebirds and waterfowl including egrets, osprey, herons, ducks, geese, and swans can also be found in great numbers along the shoreline, wading in the marsh, and gliding along the glass-like surface of Aurora Pond. Enabling spectacular viewing of the many magnificent birds, Osprey platforms were erected in the wetland near the end of Little Neck parkway.

Surrounded by the protective arms of silver maples, black locusts, and box elders, creatures of all sizes live undisturbed on the forest floor. For example, muskrat, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, squirrels, rabbits, and pheasant can all be found thriving in this nourishing environment.

Several short hiking trails wind their way through the property enabling the visitor to experience the extraordinary vistas of the Ravine, Cove, and Little Neck Bay.

***Stay Safe- Bring a Friend When Out On the Trails***

Directions:

From the LIE, exit at Little Neck Parkway. Little Neck parkway ends at 255th Street. Street-side parking is available.

State Forest Regulations

For your safety and protection of the property, the following regulations are in place:

  • All State Properties are Carry in Carry Out facilities
  • No hunting on any Region 2 properties
  • No camping
  • Fishing at saltwater sites is regulated by NYSDEC (see Important Links)
  • Fishing is allowed in compliance with State regulations
  • Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is strictly prohibited
  • Keep pets under control and on leash while other forest users are around
  • Unauthorized use of motor vehicles is prohibited. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.

Important Numbers:

State Forest Office (M-F 8 am - 4 pm): 718- 482- 4942
Emergencies: 911


More about Udalls Cove & Ravine Natural Resource Area:

  • Important Links
  • Links Leaving DEC's Website
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 718-482-4942.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Region 2
    Lands and Forests
    Hunter's Point Plaza
    47-40 21st Street
    Long Island City, NY 11101
    718-482-4942
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