Oak Brush Plains State Preserve at Edgewood
The Oak Brush Plains State Preserve at Edgewood is an 813-acre area located in the towns of Babylon, Huntington and Islip. This land was originally part of a much larger property acquired by the State of New York in the 1930s for the construction of psychiatric hospital facilities. In 1983, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) transferred 631 surplus acres to DEC, and in 1987 that land was dedicated to the State Nature and Historic Preserve. In the mid 1990's DEC purchased an adjoining 100 acres, and in 1999 OMH transferred another 81 acres to DEC.
Today, the Preserve is dominated by pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, a rarely occurring community characterized by dense shrub thickets, compared to more tree dominated pine barrens communities that occur across Long Island. These unique barrens occur in only three places on Long Island, six in the State, and are considered a globally rare habitat. The barrens are interspersed with stands of bigtooth aspen as well as grasslands that have emerged on formerly developed portions of the property.
The preserve is home to rich populations of many common animal species, including several types of warblers, red-tailed hawks, eastern cottontail, red fox and hognose snakes. Interestingly, there are no resident deer at the Preserve. Several species of rare invertebrates are present, too, including the coastal barrens buckmoth.
Amenities include marked foot trails, marked bike trails, and a model airplane flying field. Coming soon, a pavilion with picnic tables and a guided nature walk.
The preserve is maintained and improved with the help of several volunteer stewards participating in the Department's Adopt-A-Natural-Resource Program.
Old Commack Road, a paved road that runs the length of the Preserve is one of the Department's Motorized Access for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD) routes on Long Island.
Oak Brush Plains Preserve at Edgewood
Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.
Hiking, biking, bird watching, nature study and appreciation, picnicking, dog training, and falconry are permitted at the Preserve. Hunting is not allowed. A model airplane flying field that existed at the time the land was transferred to the Department is still operating and is maintained by the Edgewood Flyers, one of the volunteer stewards.
Access to the Preserve is by permit only. Seasonal Access Permits are free and valid for three years.
The property is open year round, from sunrise to sunset.
Take I-495 (Long Island Expressway) to exit 52, then south on CR 4/Commack Road, 2 ¼ miles to main parking lot on left.