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Long Island Parks: Hempstead Lake State Park

The Hempstead Lake State Park is located on Lakeside Drive in West Hempstead, New York with Nassau County, Long Island. Directions: It is off the Southern State Parkway – Take Exit 18 south into the park. Open year round. Sunrise to Sunset.

Entrance Fee: $8 per car daily on May 25-Sept. 2, weekends/holidays Sept. 7-Oct. 14. Built around a sprawling lake, this 775-acre park also offers such attractions as an archery range and a carousel. Open year round. Sunrise to Sunset.

Hempstead Lake State ParkA sign welcomes visitors to Hempstead Lake State Park in Nassau County Long Island. The vehicle use and parking fee is eight dollars on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.

Restricted ActivitiesA sign lets visitors know which activities are restricted on the park grounds such as alcohol, loud radios, and pets.

Fee BoothA booth sits at the entrance of the park to collect vehicle use and parking fees.

Historic Carousel The Historic Carousel at Hempstead Lake State Park.

Contact Information: Hempstead Lake State Park, Lakeside Drive, West Hempstead, NY 11552,  Phone: (516) 766-1029

Overview: The Hempstead Lake State Park was developed around Hempstead Lake and has a large number and wide variety of paths and trails. Each visitor must enjoy the natural scenery and solitude, with plenty of opportunity to get the heart up to the target rate as well. There are some gentle paths for children new to horses and riding, while others challenge brave skiers.

Standing Grills and Tables The barbeque area has both ground and standing grills and tables.

Barbeque Grill A raised barbeque grill for cooking at the park.

Covered Picnic Areas Covered picnic areas are available by special permit.

Field 1 Field 1 at Hempstead Lake State Park.

There are excellent paths of bicycles as well. It is a child-friendly Park where the play grounds and the grand pavilion available for picnics. The carousel is made of hand-crafted wood, and has artistic and historic values apart from the joy it gives

to young riders. The Park is also a suitable place for them to take to tennis, basket-ball and riding. Many children especially enjoy bringing along their pet dogs, even though close adult supervision is needed all the time, to stay within bounds and keep the animals on tight leashes.

Basketball Courts A park bench looks out to the basketball courts at Hempstead Lake State Park.

Basketball Courts A park bench looks out to the basketball courts at Hempstead Lake State Park.

Fishing and Boat Launch The fishing access and boat launch is available by permit only.

Water Levels A park sign details the changing water levels and water supply.

Hempstead Lake State Park has also three ponds that are accessible for fishing. Fishing in Hempstead Lake is by catch and release only. McDonald Pond and South Pond are stocked with trout in the fall and everyone may target trout throughout the winter months.

Other species present include large mouth bass, chain pickerel, black crape, perch, tiger muskies, carp, and sunfish. In fact, the Park authorities arrange a festival in the fall to spread awareness of the joys and methods of fishing. The instruction programs are useful for both children and for adults who would like to take to the pastime. There are interesting exhibits and practical demonstrations that generate much general interest. The Park is a must on the routes of every avid angler whenever they are in Long Island, and the sport is a distinct advantage for those who reside near and around the Park.

Swimming Prohibited Swimming is prohibited at the park as there are no life guards on duty.

Fishing and Boat Launch The fishing access and boat launch is available by permit only.

Hempstead Lake Looking out towards Hempstead Lake.

Facilities: Softball field; basketball courts; 2 playgrounds; bike paths (1 mile); stables (rentals), bridle paths (4 miles); freshwater fishing (license); snack bar, picnic area; 12 clay tennis courts, 8 all-weather courts (fee collected April 27-Oct. 14).

Pets: Dogs only. Access in dog-walk area only, on a leash not more than 6 feet. Not allowed in camping, bathing and picnic areas. Not allowed in buildings or on walkways.

Events: Daily tennis tournaments July-August; tennis clinics; Summer Run Series, date not set; fishing clinics in August; cross country ski clinic.


  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Ice Skating
  • Playing Field(s)
  • Boat Launch Sites
  • Food
  • Pavilions
  • Recreation Programs
  • Bridle Path
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Tables
  • Tennis
  • Empire Passport Accepted
  • Ice Fishing
  • Playground
  • X-Country Skiing

Find a list of Long Island Parks in our parks and recreation section.


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