440 Montauk Highway, Great River, NY 11739
DescriptionAn entire row of handicapped spaces can be found in the paved, parking lot of Bayard Cutting Arboretum . It is less than one tenth of a mile to the main entrance of the mansion. There is a brick ramp to the handicapped enrance and double doors at the main entrance ( three steps).
The first floor of the mansion is wheelchair accessible, including the bathrooms. Multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restrooms are located in a hallway to the left of the entrance. The men's room is tight for a wheelchair with the door opening in. The ladies' room is much larger and has a baby changing table. The Hidden Oak Cafe is located here. From here, via a short, steep ramp, one can access a large dining deck facing the river. Both of the doors must be open for a wheelchair to get outside.
Relatively flat, gravel paths wander through the various gardens. The approximately one mile river walk is a wide, gravel path with many benches, many of which are not on the path.
- Number of handicapped spaces: 8
Location of handicapped spaces: closest row to mansion
Surface of lot: paved
Distance to venue: less than 1/10th of mile
Terrain: relatively flat, but uneven
Places to rest: many benches
Paths and walkways: paved to mansion, gravel to gardens and riverwalk
Location of handicapped entrance: ramp at main entrance
Number of floors: 2
Ramps: short, steep ramp to outdoor dining deck
Steps and staircases: staircase to second floor
Width of aisles: wide on first floor
Places to sit: some seats
Location of restrooms: main floor in mansion. also in separate building near mansion
Type of restroom: multi-stall, handicapped accessible only in mansion
Ease of entry and exit: easy for ladies' room, tight in men's room
Baby changing station: no
Available food services: cafe in mansion
Friendliness of staff: friendly and very helpful
Notes: *Mansion has a second floor that can only be seen on a tour. It is not handicapped accessible.
Having had a serious accident, my husband will be in a wheelchair for quite some time. Takeing advantage of a glorious day, we decided to visit Bayard, a place we have enjoyed many times. This time however, was quite a different experience from the past. We have written about the accessibility of many places. Today made me realize how different things can be with a full-size wheelchair and a person weighing considerably more than my mom.
Parking was easy; a paved, level lot with an entire row of handicapped spaces. It is less than one tenth of a mile to the main entrance of the mansion. There are double doors at the top of the three steps. The handicapped ramp is to the left of the main entrance. A brick and concrete ramp leads to a single door entrance which was easy to push open to the lobby. This is a beautiful venue, with stained glass, and lovely things to see. This first floor is open to all, and wheelchair accessible, even if you are not on a tour.
The handicapped-accessible, multi-stall restrooms, are down the hallway to the left. The women’s room is spacious and easy to maneuver. There is a baby changing station in here. The men’s room is much smaller and quite tight for a wheelchair to maneuver. The fact that the door opens “in” also creates a difficulty.
The Hidden Oak Cafe is located here in the mansion. Reasonably priced, all food is prepared on premises, and it is tasty! The desserts are incredible. What more could one ask for? Nice seating inside, accessible seating outside on a large deck facing the great lawn and river. Both of the double doors need to be open for a wheelchair to get down the short. steep ramp. The staff was very helpful to us. Once my husband was settled, I went back to order. After placing your order, it is brought to your table by one of their gracious servers. If you don’t want to eat, or try one of their delicious snacks, or just want to relax , you can grab an Adirondack chair on the huge lawn, sit and relax.
When we finished we thought we would go for a walk along the river. The 691 acres with 14 different gardens, a 65 room mansion and river walk was donated to the Long Island State Park Region by Mrs. W. Bayard Cutting and her daughter, “to provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting.” It is a “passive park; no biking, picnicking, sports, bathing or games.” (website)
This visit, things were different. While the main path to the river is paved, but rather uneven, you wind up on gravel. Baby carriages are not difficult to push on the mainly flat gravel paths, but a full-size wheelchair with a full-size man is another story. It was way more difficult than I had anticipated. Somewhat uneven and with ruts along the way, I had a tough time just getting to one of the closer benches near the water.
The gravel paths wind through the various gardens. The river walk is a gravel path that meanders for about a mile along the Connetquot River. With many benches, mostly on the grass, one can stop to enjoy the peacefulness of the river. The vast majority of the paths are gravel,
Even if one does not walk the paths, the scenic views from the café can be enjoyed while having something to eat. We think it is something you should definitely put on your list of things to do.
The mansion is beautifully decorated for the holiday season, with high tea available. It was a wonderful thing to do!
This visit has made my rethink accessibility for wheelchair users. Their needs are much greater than someone using a cane or walker. With all of that in mind, we still think that Bayard is a wonderful place to visit.
We at Destination Accessible encourage you to check a venue’s website, www.bayardcuttingarboretum.com, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”