Exploring Close to Home: Best Parks for Hiking Trails in Smithtown
Credit: Gail Frederick Cover
Caleb Smith State Park
With 543 acres to explore, there is something for everyone at Caleb Smith State Park. As one of only two New York state nature preserves on Long Island, Caleb Smith State Park is a unique treasure in the heart of Smithtown. The park offers 10 miles of marked trails and a few unmarked trails across the diverse terrain of the preserve. While hiking, you may just catch a glimpse of the wide array of wildlife and plant life that thrives on the preserve. Since the park is a nature preserve, pets are not allowed.
When visiting Caleb Smith State Park, it’s worth checking out the recently renovated Nature Museum in the historic Caleb Smith House. Exhibits on the natural history of Smithtown and the native wildlife, the Nature Museum is a perfect place to start or end your visit. The Museum also hosts Nature Programs for all ages. Upcoming events include a May Flowers Scavenger Hunt on May 28 to a children’s Fishing Tournament on June 11. Check out the park's website for a full schedule of nature programming.
Blydenburgh County Park
For those days when I want to take my dog's hiking, there is Blydenburgh County Park. Open year-round to guests, Blydenburgh County Park consists of over 600 acres including the more than 100-acre Blydenburgh Lake. Unlike at Caleb Smith State Park, dogs and horses are allowed at Blydenburgh and on many of the trails. There are also two dog runs located within the park where you can let your dogs play and romp off-leash. One run is for smaller dogs, but both are ample sized.
There are several marked trails available throughout the park, including a 6-mile trail that goes around the entire lake. Trail maps are available from the Long Island Trail Greenbelt Conference, which just so happens to have its headquarters in Blydenburgh County Park. The Long Island Greenbelt Conference even offers guided hikes through Blydenburgh Park on a regular basis. The park also includes the Blydenburgh Farm and Historic District. In this area, you will find several historic buildings, including four houses and a grist mill, that was built between 1798 and 1860. All buildings are in excellent repair and listed on National Register of Historic Places. Although only the Blydenburgh Grist Mill is standing today, there used to be a saw-mill and fulling mill in the same area.
Blydenburgh County Park and Caleb Smith State Park are just two of the amazing places to get out and enjoy the abundant natural beauty in Smithtown. As a local resident and real estate professional in Smithtown for many years, I have been lucky enough introduce many new residents to all the great amenities here. If you are looking for homes for sale in Smithtown, contact me today. I would be happy to put my local expertise to work for you.