CALEB SMITH STATE PARK
Directions: Take either, the Long Island Expressway (495) to Exit 53 (north) or the Northern State Parkway to Exit 45 (north) OR the Southern State Parkway to Exit 41A (north); to the Sunken Meadow Parkway (north) to Exit SM 3 East to Smithtown, onto Jericho Turnpike/Route 25 (east) for three (3) miles to the park.
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
Phone: (631) 265-1054
Overview: Everyone can enjoy the 543 acres of undeveloped, allowing visitors to explore its many different habitats including freshwater wetlands, ponds, streams, fields, and upland woods. The park also operates a nature museum with wildlife displays and nature programs for children and adults. Long Island residents have the rare opportunity to experience raw nature of the quality that only tribes who live far from civilization can expect in our times.
The undulating land of the Caleb Smith State Park is thick with tall trees. The many hues of leaves on inter-twined branches eventually make a deep and crunchy pile on the earth below. Trails are not easy to follow, but this only adds to the romance of hiking for hours as long as the sun does not tire of trying to pierce the foliage with one of more of its persistent rays.
History: Prior to its current name, the park was originally called Nissequogue River State Park, a name now used for parkland on the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center grounds. Before that, it was simply known as the Wyandanch Preserve. The lived here many centuries ago, nursed by the bounteous Nissequogue River; the cheerful and carefree waters of which flow on in never-ending cycles of evaporation, drainage in to the Long Island Sound and fresh precipitation around the eternal springs that feed it from beyond the borders of this Park. Spending time in this environment where almost nothing has ever changed, bonds our generation with ancestors far removed.
Facilities: The Caleb Smith State Park Preserve has self-guided 1/2-mile trail accommodating wheelchairs, plus 1-mile and 2 1/4-mile self-guided trails (free tree guide at office), 3 1/2 miles of Greenbelt Trail, nature museum, fly-fishing, junior angler's fishing area, bird walks, geology workshops, clinics, and family programs.
Seasons/Hours: Open year round from approximately 8:00am to Sunset. Closed Mondays: April – September Closed Mondays and Tuesdays: October - March
Pets: Strictly, no pets allowed.
Events: Beat the Heat, Animal Olympics, South Side Saunter, Buzz Says the Bee, and Wet-n-Wild (no dates set).