Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Lemon Creek

hikingpaddlingfishingParkingicon key

Lemon Creek locator map

Lemon Creek, located within Richmond County, Staten Island, encompasses 41.8 acres of diverse tidal wetlands. Connected to Raritan Bay on the South Shore via a municipal park, there are many opportunities for the recreational enthusiast to enjoy family-based activities such as bird watching, nature viewing, canoeing during high tide, fishing and photography. Hiking may also be enjoyed on designated trails from the entrance located on Oswald Place.

Featured Activities

Hiking

lemon creek trail
Trail to the creek
hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Off of Oswald Place on the northern edge of Lemon Creek, a short footpath leads to a point overlooking the property and to several other short trails. Additionally, off Bayview Avenue between two residential houses there is a path that provides access to the creek.

Paddling

paddling

General information on paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Lemon Creek is open to paddling but it is only possible to paddle the creek at high tide.

For more information on this launch including Google Maps driving directions, visit the Boat Launch Sites for Richmond County page.

Fishing

fishing

General information on marine fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

lemon creek

Lemon Creek transitions from fresh to saltwater as it flows downstream to its mouth at Raritan Bay. Anglers catch fish species common to both environments.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

The mix of hardwood forest, meadow, creek and wetland provides habitat for a variety of birds and small mammals.

Directions

Lemon Creek can be accessed from Hylan Boulevard Bridge, Bayview Avenue, and Oswald Place. In addition, the eastern edge can be reached from Direnzo Court off Seguine Avenue. While there are no formal designated parking areas, access to this property may be easily gained from parking along the shoulder of the roads.

  • Bayview Ave Trailhead (40.518684°N, 74.203982°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Oswald Place Trailhead (40.523233°N, 74.202830°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Lemon Creek must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

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

snowy forest
  • All state properties are carry in-carry out facilities. Be prepared to take your trash home with you when you leave.
  • Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is 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 ATV's.
  • No hunting on any Region 2 DEC properties.
  • Fishing is allowed in compliance with State regulations.
  • No camping.

***Stay Safe - Bring a Friend When Visiting the Property***

Illegal activities are strictly prohibited on state property.

Planning and Management

The Southern Staten Island Unit Management Plan (SSIUMP) (PDF) addresses five separate parcels: Mount Loretto Unique Area, Lemon Creek, Bloesser's Pond, Arden Heights Woods, and North Mount Loretto State Forest.

Collectively, these properties total 359 acres of open space, and include forest, grassland, freshwater wetland, tidal wetland and coastal marine habitats. Since their acquisition, these sites have been managed to provide a blend of public access and natural resource preservation. The draft UMP establishes our management goals and strategies for the next ten years, and provides for a mid-term review after five years. Already we are anticipating updates to the plan to address as yet unidentified needs for our newest parcel, North Mount Loretto State Forest.

The draft UMP is now available for review on the DEC public website, at the DEC regional office in Long Island City, and at the DEC headquarters in Albany. Please note that due to the large file sizes, some figures are not viewable on the website. A CD of the full plan may be requested from the Long Island City office. See contact information below.

Written comments and requests for additional information may be directed to:
Jeffrey Speich, Supervising Forester
NYSDEC Lands and Forests
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101-5401
Ph-718-482-4942
Fx-718-482-4502
email comments

History

The portion of the Lemon Creek property adjacent to Bayview Avenue was originally utilized by its owners as a salt marsh and a grazing ground for horses. However, the southern tract of the unit was also highly prized for its access to flourishing shellfish beds. After the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation purchased the southernmost section of the area that borders Hylan Boulevard Bridge, DEC acquired the remainder of the property on the northern side of the bridge in 1979 in order to provide a larger area dedicated for conservation and the public's enjoyment. Since that time, new culverts and soil stabilizing riprap have been constructed along Bayview Avenue in cooperation with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection's Bluebelt program (leaves DEC website). Today, the area provides New York residents and visitors with the relief of a fresh open space to balance out an often-times chaotic urban life.A view of Lemon Creek from between fall foliage

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Lodging and dining opportunities as well as gas, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby community of Staten Island.

Staten Island Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guidebooks and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.