9 Tucked Away Nature Spots on Long Island

William Floyd Estate
The William Floyd Estate in Mastic, as taken by Long Island artist/photographer Xiomaro, who was commissioned by the National Park Service to document the historic site. His photos will be on display July 4 through Aug. 17, 2014 at the Patchogue Watch Hill Terminal.

Long Island is full of parks and preserves celebrating the region’s history and natural wonders. Here are nine to check out while the weather’s nice!

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve
25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Huntington. parks.ny.gov
This park was originally an estate purchased in 1921 by Marshall Field III. Today, Caumsett, which translates to “place by sharp rock,” is a massive, 1,750-acre park situated on a peninsula in Lloyd Harbor with scenic views of the North Shore coasts and miles of trails to use.

Dwarf Pines Plains Preserve 
County Rd. 31, East Quogue. suffolkcountyny.gov
Birdwatches can delight at this park, as the Long Island Dwarf Pine Plain houses a rare ecosystem full of birds that usually cannot be seen on the Island. American kestrels, marsh hawks, long-eared owls are some of the different species that can be seen.

Indian Island Park
Indian Point Rd., Riverhead. suffolkcountyny.gov
If camping is what you’re looking to do on Long Island, Indian Island County Park in Riverhead is the place to do so. The 275-acre park offers trailer and tent campsites. Beyond sleeping under the stars, parkgoers can hike near the Peconic River and picnic overlooking scenic views on Flanders Bay.

Orient Beach State Park
40000 Main Rd., Orient. parks.ny.gov
At the end of the North Fork of Long Island, Orient Beach State Park showcases the beauty of the intersection of land and sea, with a long stretches of shore and a maritime forest. Named National Natural Landmark in 1980, patrons can view Orient Point, Plum Island, Long Beach Bar and Cedar Island lighthouse from this park as well.

Planting Fields Arboretum
1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay. plantingfields.org
One of the more popular parks on this list, Planting Fields is one of the only surviving Gold Coast estates that is in its original form. Originally owned by insurance giant William Robinson and Coe Standard Oil heiress Mai Rogers Coe, the 409-acre estate, complete with the original mansion, hiking trails and arboretum, stands as a testament to the wealth of the North Shore.

Stillwell Woods Preserve
S Woods Rd., Woodbury. nassaucountyny.gov
Located along the greenbelt trail, which extends from Massapequa to Oyster Bay, the tree-filled nature preserve has a massive 270 acres that gives parkgoers the freedom to run, bike, hike and ride horses.

William Floyd Estate
245 Park Dr., Mastic Beach. nps.gov
To learn of Long Island’s place in the founding of America, look no further than the William Floyd Estate. The 25-room house used to belong to Floyd, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and sits on a 613-acre plot to explore. Guided tours of the Old Mastic House are offered every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Weirtheim National Wildlife Refuge
340 Smith Rd., Shirley. fws.gov
A part of the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, this 2,550-acre refuge is bisected by the Carmans River and host a variety of different habitats that yields itself to see tons of different animals like white-tailed deer, fox, turtles and songbirds. Hunting, fishing, hiking and photography are one of the many activities that parkgoers can enjoy.

Welwyn Preserve County Park 
100 Crescent Beach Rd., Glen Cove. nassaucountyny.gov
Once a former estate grounds for industrialist Harold Irving Pratt, Welwyn Preserve County Park houses the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in the former estate mansion. Beyond the museum, the grounds is also a nature preserve that has multiple hiking trails to take in the nature of the North Shore and also the Long Island Sound.