More than $50 million in enhancements being made to at a half dozen New York State parks on Long Island are expected to be completed in time for beach season, officials said.
Improvements include new cottages at Wildwood and Heckscher State Parks, the new Boardwalk Café at Jones Beach State Park, boaters being able to stay overnight for the first time at the Robert Moses State Park marina, a new entranceway and rehabilitated bathhouse at Sunken Meadow State Park, and new trail access for the first time in 40 years at Napeague State Park.
“These new improvements and opportunities will encourage more people to visit and discover this wonderful park system for themselves,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The first seven cottages at a state park on LI is slated to open Memorial Day weekend at Wildwood in Wading River, with another three one-and-two-bedroom units to follow by Independence Day. Five similar cottages at Heckscher in East Islip are now available to book online and will be open in time for the Fourth of July weekend, with 10 more to come by 2019.
At the most-visited state park on the Island, the $20 million Jones Beach Boardwalk Café is expected to debut by July 4 weekend, bringing back a popular dining option to the Central Mall. The café will be operated by Centerplate, a concessionaire offering hospitality services at the park. A new spray ground is slated to open nearby the same weekend.
In addition, a 2.5-mile extension of the Ocean Parkway pedestrian path is currently under construction from the current end of the Boardwalk to the West End 2 Building, which will permit users of the path to travel the full length of the park.
At Robert Moses, the $3.4 million, 45-slip marina is now open and for the first time will welcome overnight boating on a first-come first-serve basis through Columbus Day weekend. Slips can accommodate vessels up to 42 feet and are now equipped with plumbing and electrical service. For additional information, call 631-669-0449.
In addition, the bathhouse/concession facility at the park’s popular Field 5 beach was renovated with new windows and doors, painted ceilings, tile walls and floors, and new restroom fixtures including the addition of family restroom facilities.
At Sunken Meadow, visitors will find a $2.5 million automated and renovated entrance plaza, revitalized event space at the West Pavilion run by Lessing’s Hospitality Group, renovated bathhouse, and improved golf course. The Main Bathhouse now includes an improved Park Visitor information office with an environmental education center.
And the $3 million golf course upgrade includes a renovated entranceway, professional shop in the clubhouse and restrooms. Throughout 27-hole golf course, greens, fairways and bunkers were improved and a new irrigation system was installed on the Blue and Red Courses and a golf cart path on the Red Course was installed. A new $2.5 million marshland reconstruction and environmentally friendly renovation of Parking Field 2 is also expected this fall.
And at Napeague, two miles of new trails, a parking area and interpretive signage about the region’s historic fishing industry were unveiled at the largely undeveloped 1,364-acre park. The new “Promised Land” trail network provides access to a pristine South Fork bay beach that has not been available to the public in 40 years. The trail network includes a short loop, 1.5-mile main loop, a beach loop, and a short spur to an overlook and interpretive kiosk.