To find the Greenbelt Office in Blydenburgh Park: from Route 25-25A in Smithtown, go south on Brooksite Dr.; at next light (New Mill Rd.), turn right to park entrance at end of road. From Route 347, find Brooksite Dr. between the 347-454 junction and Rt. 111; head north on Brooksite to New Mill Rd.; go left to the park. Follow the paved path at the west end of the lot to the Blydenburgh-Weld House.
Sun. Dec. 1— WERTHEIM WANDERINGS:
10:00 AM – 6 miles – easy – flat – Info: Kathie, 631- 682-5133.
Let’s explore the fall colors of a natural L.I. habitat, including marine bay, tidal river, freshwater streams, ponds, salt marsh and much more; this will be an easy-paced hike exploring two trails along the Carmans River; you can drop out after the first trail (3 miles); heavy rain cancels; from L.I.E. Exit 68 or NY 27 Exit 58, go south to Montauk Highway (C.R. 80); turn right to light at Smith Road, then left about ½ mile to Refuge entrance.
Mon. Dec. 2—PINE BARRENS MAINTENANCE:
Thurs. Dec. 5—STUMP POND CIRCULAR “CHOCOLATE” HIKE:
9:00 AM – 5.7 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Nancy B., 631-682-0035.
Hike around the 120-acre pond in the middle of Blydenburgh Park: bring drinks and snack: rain or shine, although extreme weather cancels; meet at the south entrance of Blydenburgh County Park, opposite the County Offices on NY 347 in the parking lot just east (above) the entrance booth (old police station); enjoy a chocolate snack when we take a rest!
Sat. Dec. 7— MUTTONTOWN MARCH:
9:00 AM – 4 miles – moderate - varied – Info: Chuck, 516-906-2733, AM of hike.
Enjoy this Nassau County Preserve; meet at the equestrian parking lot; from NY 25A go south on NY 106 about 1/2 mile; entrance on right; from L.I.E. Exit 41 N (NY 106), go north about 2 1/2 miles past Muttontown Rd.; heavy rain cancels; bring water.
Sat. Dec. 7—CAUMSETT CAPER:
10:30 AM – 6 miles – moderate – hilly – Info: Carol, 631-223-3427.
We will be exploring many of the little-known trails and going on the beach to get a great feel for this extraordinary park; seeing the cliffs from the beach is awesome; great photo ops; bring water and snack; heavy rain cancels; from NY25, go north on Woodbury Rd., which becomes West Neck Road north of NY25A (Main St., Huntington); continue another 6 miles to park on your left; from the east go north on NY 110 to NY 25A in Huntington turn left (west) to West Neck Road; turn right for 6 miles; meet in parking lot near booth; check Caumsett website for fee info.
Sun. Dec. 8— BELMONT LAKE LOOP:
10:00 AM – 5 miles – moderate – flat – Info: Kathie, 631-682-5133.
We will take a moderately-paced hike round the lake and explore a flat hiking trail to Southard’s Pond, where we will stop to have a snack; bring water and snack; rain or ice cancels; from So. St. Pkwy. Exit 38, follow signs into Belmont Lake State Park; meet on west side of cashier's booth near comfort stations; no parking fee at this time of year.
Wed. Dec. 11—BLYDENBURGH-CALEB SMITH COMBO:
9:00 AM – 6 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Chuck, 516-906-2733, AM of hike.
Walk from Greenbelt Office through part of Blydenburgh into Caleb Smith Park and back; meet in parking lot at north entrance of Blydenburgh Park (directions top of schedule), bring water; rain cancels.
Sat. Dec. 14—FLANDERS-MAPLE SWAMP STOMP:
10:00 AM – 5.5 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Janet, 631-288-6884, before 9 PM.
We will walk to Owl Pond west on the Paumanok Path to Maple Swamp; bring water and snack; meet at kiosk on Spinney Rd, Flanders, south side of C.R. 24 just east of Birch Creek; rain cancels.
Sat. Dec. 14—THREE PONDS AND A SWAMP:
Sun. Dec. 15—SANS SOUCI STROLL:
10:00 AM – 4 miles – easy – mostly flat – Info: Kathie, 631-682-5133 day of hike.
We will explore two trails in the pine barrens of this county park in Sayville; heavy rain cancels; meet at park entrance on Broadway Avenue; eastbound, take NY 27 to Exit 50, continue in service road to Broadway Ave., turn right to park, ¼ mile on left; westbound, take NY 27 Exit 51, stay left in service road to Broadway Ave., turn left to park; parking is limited: overflow parking on Broadway Ave. or side street opposite entrance; meet in the parking lot; rain or icy conditions cancels.
Sun. Dec. 15—ANNUAL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE:
1:00 to 4:00 PM – Info: Office, 631-360-0753.
Hike 11:30 AM – 2 miles plus – easy – varied – Leader: Nancy Manfredonia.
Join us for our annual, festive get-together at the Blydenburgh-Weld House (directions at top of schedule); bring food to share (let us know in advance if you can, so we can plan); walk in historic Blydenburgh Park and into Caleb Smith St. Pk. Preserve beforehand if you wish; rain cancels hike.
Wed. Dec. 18—MUTTONTOWN NORTH AND SOUTH:
9:00 AM – 6 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Chuck, 516-906-2733, AM of hike.
We’ll hike both sections of this Nassau County Preserve; meet at the equestrian parking lot; from NY 25A go south on NY 106 about 1/2 mile; entrance on right; from L.I.E. Exit 41 N (NY 106), go north about 2 1/2 miles past Muttontown Rd.; entrance on left; heavy rain cancels; bring water.
Thurs. Dec. 19—PLANTING FIELDS PERAMBULATION:
10:30 AM – 4 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Carol, 631-223-3427.
Explore the wooded trails of this beautiful arboretum; afterwards, if you wish to stay, we can see the magnificent Holiday display in the Main Greenhouse and check out the Camellia House, where blooms may just be starting; from Northern Blvd. (NY 25A) in Brookville, take Wolver Hollow Rd; make right turn onto Chicken Valley Rd. to right turn onto Planting Fields Rd. entrance on right.
Sat. Dec. 21—COLD SPRING HARBOR OUT AND BACK:
9:00 AM – 5.3 miles – fast – hilly – Info: Tammy, 631-896-1409, between 6-9 PM.
Let’s celebrate Father’s Day with the first annual John Straus Memorial Hike! To honor our fathers, please bring a fun story about your Dad to share with the group, whether he’s still with us or not; we’ll do the first few miles of the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail by continuing past NY 108 to Stillwell Lane, then we’ll turn around and retrace our steps; this trail has some nice hills to make sure we get a great workout; bring water and trail snacks; a hiking pole is recommended; heavy rain cancels, light rain does not; call morning of hike if unsure; meet at the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trailhead on Harbor Rd. (NY 25A), in the unpaved parking lot adjacent to the Cold Spring Harbor Library.
Sat. Dec. 21—GREAT SOUTH BAY PLUS BAYARD CUTTING ARBORETUM:
10:45 AM – 6 or 9 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Quyen (Quinn), 631-234-5486; day of hike, 631-521-5103.
Sat. Dec. 28— HECKSCHER PARK LOOP:
10:00 AM – 4 miles – easy – flat – Info: Kathie, 631-682-5133.
Take a leisurely loop in the State Park at the south end of the L.I. Trail; take So. St. Pkwy. to its end at the park entrance (no fee at this time of year); follow loop road to Field 6, meet at comfort station; if muddy we will stick to the paved path; heavy rain cancels.
Sun. Dec. 29—CONNETQUOT CAPER:
10:30 AM – 5-6 miles – moderate – flat – Info: Carol, 631-223-3427.
This time we'll start on the Red Trail, stop at Bunce’s Bridge and return down the west side and see the horses in the paddocks; meet in the main parking lot on the north side of Sunrise Highway; from the west take NY 27 Exit 47A (Oakdale/Bohemia Rd.); follow signs for U-turn back onto NY 27 going west to park entrance on right; from the east take NY 27 west to park entrance on right; parking fee, or free with Empire Passport; bring water and snack; rain cancels; perhaps lunch at Bayard Cutting Arboretum afterwards?
Wed. Jan. 1—BETHPAGE FIRST DAY HIKE:
10:00 AM – 5 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Jim, 516-249-3650. See note below.
Come join us on a New Year’s Day hike through Bethpage State Park; look for signs of rabbits, hawks, fox and owls along the trail; bring water and snack; hike rain, snow, or shine—only blizzard cancels; exit points will be posted along the way to allow you to shorten the hike length and return to the parking lot; meet in picnic area parking lot near playground and polo field; from NY 135, take Exit 8 to Powell Ave, Bethpage; go east; the first road on the north side is the entrance to the Polo Field and Picnic Area; go to the end of the road and you will be at the rest rooms and playground area.
Registration is preferred, but not required. To confirm attendance, call 516-249-3560 and leave information on answering machine. If you wish to have someone return your call, please say your phone number twice.
Wed. Jan. 1—HITHER WOODS NEW YEAR’S DAY HIKE:
11:00 AM – about 9 miles – moderate – varied – Info: Rick, 631-267-6608 or 631-275-8539.
Hike a long but beautiful circuit through Montauk’s spacious Hither Woods on this New Year’s Day special; you will enjoy deep oak woods with lots of topography, as well as views along a secluded section of Block Island Sound coastline; meet at parking lot on north side of NY 27 at East Hampton’s Montauk Recycling Center; bring lunch and liquids.