- Restrooms: YesWaste Disposal: Yes - Single waste bin near entranceAbout this place:
The dog trail here is a favorite of mine! Mom loves to birdwatch, and I get to romp through woods, fields, marshland, and splash in the water too! Trails are wide and comfortable, and there are usually other dogs to greet. My favorite thing to do is look for fish that osprey have dropped!
The dog trail (located in the back corner of Field 5), is a favorite of ours. We have zipped in and out for a quick walk, or spent hours roaming the big main trail, and some off-shoots. The trail kicks off with some excitement- a big osprey nest right at the start. You’re almost guaranteed to see them, we’ve never missed them any time we’ve visited. The big field you’ll approach on your right side is lovely, there’s plenty of shade to pause and catch your breath. We followed a path across from the field all the way into marshy wetlands which were beautiful and afforded some birdwatching as well.
Fun Facts & Sights to See:
- Local History: This park was the location of the homes of George C. Taylor and J. Neale Plum. William Nicoll, the founder of Islip, originally built his estate here.
- Fun fact: known as the “Home of the Whitetail Deer”
- Haunted History & Local Lore: according to local legend, J. Neal Plum, a wealthy merchant, decided to settle a grudge with a banker, Alexander Masterson Jr, whom he blamed for causing friction between Plum and his children. After a confrontation at a nearby hotel, Plum fatally shot Masterson. Plum was arrested for the crime, but died before being able to be tried. Some say that while walking the trails you can hear a horse pass by you, and there have been reports of feeling like you’re being watched or followed when you walk through the location of the former Plum house, but no one is sure if it’s the spirit of Plum or Masterson!
- Know Before You Go: there are garbage cans at the start of the trail, but not once you’re in the woods, plan to pack in and pack out
- Helpful Hints: After a good rainstorm, the first turn in the trail may have a huge puddle that nearly traverses the trail. We almost let this deter us, thinking the entire walk would be soupy. If you don’t mind skirting the edges of it, it will pay off, the rest of the trail seemed to drain pretty well!
- Local History: A donation by August Hecksher was used by the State of NY to purchase the land, although it was met with opposition by local residents at first.
- Heckscher State Pkwy
11739Phone: (631) 581-2100
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